The sunny day

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Since the beginning showed unselfishness for portraying reality and built a world outside itself.

The constant theme in the world Onettian point to guilt, moral responsibility, the relativity of truth, the dream. Salvation is by writing one of its outputs, the implications of the imagination a leak off the essential precariousness of the condition man. The script feeds the illusion that life has a purpose. Prevails in his narrative the vision of a man physically and espiritualrnente exhausted, hence the proliferation of marginal beings in their texts, heroes or rogue anti-heroes who are prostitutes, sick, crazy. The fight against this useless desolation is revealed, the position of his heroes slash more resignation than panic.

The characters in his novels have a vocation to live alone and dominated by boredom, sadness or madness.


Critics have unanimously agreed to bring to Louis Ferdinand Celine and William Faulkner as two of the main Uruguayan writer's literary mentors.

1. Well

2. La vida breve

3. Santa Maria cycle

The name of Santa Maria, has a clear biblical sense, alluding to the nostalgia for paradise and the original purity. The name of the imaginary people would refer to the myth of Eden. Others have understood in ironic terms: a brothel, The Shipyard.

The shipyard

The plot begins considering an event that will later be narrated in a later novel, Juntacadáveres: the pimp Larsen has been expelled from Santa Maria, five years before by running a brothel. Now go back eager to rehabilitate his name. Comes with a new project: trying to revive an abandoned shipyard commissioned as an entrepreneur, Petrus. Larsen knows that the effort is doomed to failure, but nevertheless, accepts the challenge. By the way courts the poor daughter of the old Petrus, Angélica Inés, and dreams of marrying her and become a wealthy businessman. He also meets two employees of Petrus, Gálvez and Kunz, as lazy as the same Larsen. Gálvez has some compromising material for his employer (a false land titles), which does not disclose to satisfy their inner sense of superiority over Petrus. However, when it reaches the end of the novel, published, and thereafter commits suicide. Petrus ends up in jail and projects Larsen fade. The end of the novel contains an ambiguous solution to the taste of Onetti. Apparently, Larsen enlists the services of a boat and escape from Santa Maria. He died later in hospital.

Should stop at the fact thatthe protagonist sees the perfection of the impossibility of his desires. Meet the deterioration that is the shipyard, the ineptitude of the staff around him, the ridiculousness of their amorous. However, he persists in his company, conscious of its uselessness. This is perhaps the quintessential Onettian heroes: his pessimistic insight and willingness to fail against hope. Awareness of the self-defeating, disgusted capacity itself accompanies the route as Larsen over the action.


It focuses on the ups and downs around the brothel Larsen and details related to the authorization, the arrival of prostitutes, Bergner cure reaction forces and right-thinking and business solution, on the other hand, relations between the adolescent Jorge Malabia and his sister insane, Julia, told by the same boy. Besieged by remorse and disgust, Jorge decides to flee with prostitutes, but is stopped at the railway station and taken back home. There he meets Julia, who has just committed suicide, hanging from a ceiling beam and dressed like a schoolgirl, in an attempt, as desperate as enigmatic, to recover lost innocence.

Moreover, all the characters are somehow contaminated. Jorge Malabia, the most innocent in appearance, has a dubious relationship with the widow of his brother, his father, a wealthy man of the people, is one that invokes moral principles to attack the brothel, but before the ground has hired Larsen .

The pimp is the real hero Larsen Onettian: rebellious and disaffected, challenging an order to hypocrite.

Larsen and his eyes are simultaneously poor and pathetic. Larsen is not a violent thug and operator, as expected. Onetti characterizes it as an artist who dreams of the perfect brothel. His ideal was not performed because only together 'dead' entries prostitutes in years.

4. Recent novels

Let's talk to the wind (1979)

When no amount (1993)

The short novels:

The face of misfortune, The farewells and to an unmarked grave.


The dreaded hell

In "The dreaded hell", Risso, the protagonist, has separated from his wife because of her infidelity. The woman disappears and, soon, Risso start getting pictures of her in lewd positions. With each consignment the images are more aggressive and, for further humiliation, are sent to other known protagonist. Risso is all a bitter form of love and revenge to him by his wife. When I finally decided to reconcile, receives a final letter even more hurtful. The text does not leave us guessing what it contains. But just Risso suicide.

the face of misfortune (short stories)

The face of misfortune is focused on an attempt, by the main character (in this case the narrator of the story), to escape an intolerable situation by an existential leap, failing and sinking further. Two tragic stories intersect: the first one goes back to the suicide of the narrator's older brother after an embezzlement committed by him in his business. The narrator feels guilty for this first misfortune it was he who induced his brother Julian to escape poverty through speculation. The second story begins on the front lines of the story, the narrator notes with some interest, from the window of his hotel, the bike ride of a beautiful teenager. Later, he returns to find the girl and convinces her to walk together towards the beach at night. The evening ends with the two making love in the midst of a turbulent nature, with a background in the stormy horizon. The next morning, a prostitute friend of the late Julian visit the narrator with the idea of getting money. After discussion, the woman has just confessed that his brother had spent years cheating money and therefore the narrator is not as guilty as I thought. Despite this news release should the narrator now feels cheated by someone you always believed. Although, as the reader knows, there was no evidence against him, the narrator pleads guilty. We must not forget the solitude so characteristic of the hero Onettian. In the end, the narrator is "looking for purity, truth, epiphanies in a fallen world. His indictment can be seen as a surrender in front of a world that feels disappointed and which now uses the same weapons he has known: the lies and violence. Only used such weapons against himself.

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