Antonio Dal Masetto, writer, Died at 77


Antonio Dal Masetto was born in 1938, in Northern Italy, and died November 2, 2015.

Antonio immigrated to Argentina when he was 12 years old, with his mother and sister, during the last European migratory wave following World War II.

Dal Masetto father had reached Argentina two years earlier, the family settled in Salto, province of Buenos Aires.

Antonio spoke years later, saying the local library became his personal haven and it was there that he learned Spanish and started his lifelong reading habit.

When Antonio was 18, he moved to Buenos Aires in search of a new refuge and soon joined the busy cultural and bohemian life of the porteño riverside in the late 1960s, immersing himself in a world which he would then portray in his works.

Antonio Dal Masetto first book of stories, called Lacre, was published in 1964.

In the following year Antonio moved to Bariloche, where he made a living painting houses, an experience which he would later depict in 1969 in ‘Siete de oro’, his first novel, published after the writer returned to Buenos Aires.

Antonio book showed a whole new phase in Argentine literature and shows its author’s talent in all his depth and breadth: the tight prose, the precise descriptions, his sense for scenes montage and sequencing.

His autobiographical, ‘Siete de oro’ which describes everything in it that truly occurred in real life, including the journey to that small world that the main character finds in Bariloche, although the city is never mentioned by name. “I lived for three years in Bariloche, from 1965 to ’1968, I went there pretty much like an adventurer, in search of an opportunity,” Dal Masetto had once said in an interview.

Antonio work shows a particular penchant for immigration and uprooting, as evinced by Oscuramente fuerte Es la vida and La tierra incomparable, two works that, along with Cita en el Lago Maggiore, make up the trilogy that he dedicated to his native country, his mother and his childhood.

Both of his novels were adapted for the big screen: Hay unos tipos abajo in 1985, by Argentine directors Emilio Alfaro and Rafael Filipelli (Dal Masetto cowrote the screenplay) and Siempre es difícil volver a casa in 1992, by Jorge Polaco.

Antonio received the Konex Platinum Prize in the Novels: 2011-2013 category.

Some of Antonio’s books have been published in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Israel and released locally in Argentine.

Antonio Dal Masetto passed away on November 2, 2015 due to heart related issues.