Edith Bergansius, The Hague Hispanic Association’s president, H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, Ambassador of Uruguay and Prof. Gabriel Inzaurralde, Latin American Master Studies program at Leiden University.
Once again, the Embassy of Uruguay together with The Hague Hispanic Association, directed by the president Ms. Edith Bergansius, organised a successful event to pay tribute to the reputable writer of Latin American letters: Ida Vitale of Uruguay, the winner of the 2018 Miguel de Cervantes Prize.
The Koningkerk was filled to its maximum capacity, as the members of the Diplomatic Corps including Ambassadors of Ecuador, and Chile, as well as members of The Hague Hispanic Association which celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020, and other friends of Uruguay and groups of the Spanish speaking diaspora attended to hear Gabriel Inzaurralde, Professor at Leiden University of Hispanic Literature, to give a lecture about Vitale.
The evening began with H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre, the Ambassador of Uruguay, proudly presenting her views on one of the most important poets of the generation of 45’.
An essayist “critic, a professor of literature, a translator, the author of more than thirty books, as well as the recipient of countless wards and recognitions. It is a source of pride that an Uruguayan woman has received the highest award of the Spanish language, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize for Literature. She is the fifth woman to receive the Cervantes prize that was established in 1976” , noted Ambassador Ms. Dupuy.
Ida Vitale taught literature in Montevideo until her exile in Mexico from 1973 until 1980, then Vitale, together with Enrique Fierro, her husband, moved to Austin in Texas, where they remained for 30 years until Fierro’s death in 2016.
The poet then returned to Montevideo, were she is still living and writing today. At the age of 96, the author is currently working on a new novel recounting her years in Mexico.
“Her poem Fortuna refers precisely to her status as a woman, and the fortune of having been able to develop in a free society. She belonged to the so-called “Generation of 45′, and like one of her contemporaries, Mario Benedetti, she had to live in exile in Mexico, a country that historically received many Uruguayans in solidarity, in particular from the world of art,” explained H.E. Ambassador Dupuy, who then added that at the event “we will deliver some of Vitale’s poems for your delight.”
Professor Mr. Inzaurralde gave a masteringly engaging speech that kept the public attentive until the end. He managed to bring the poet Vitale to the audience thanks to lively anecdotes, while also reading and analysing many of her poems as well as her life.
On the screen, a broadcast of the Miguel de Cervantes awards ceremony with the King and Queen of Spain, together with Ms. Ida Vitale, as well as a short video of her addressing the audience from home was screened.
This evening full of cultural experiences continued when Ambassador Dupuy invited all guests to taste exclusive Uruguayan wines as well as traditional empanadas and alfajores. Thereafter, the conversations of all present continued until late, marking this event a great success.
Congratulations to Ida Vitale in Montevideo, as well as organisers and all participants!