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The Truce: a novel from Benedetti

Updated on August 7, 2017


This book was published in 1960 and brought enormous fame to its author, Mario Benedetti. It is written like a personal diary that lasts over a year, from February 11 to February 28 of the next year; narrated by Santomé, a widowed man with 3 older children, he writes in it that at his 49 years of age he has lost the spark of life, his work was the only thing that distracted him but he is waiting desperately for his retirement, all was a routine until Laura came.

About the author

Mario Orlando Hamlet Hardy Brenno born in Paso de los Toros, Uruguay, on September 14, 1920. He was a writer, poet, and playwright who belonged to the generation of the 45, a generation of Uruguayan authors from 1945 to 1950. This group influenced in a social, political and cultural way of the people in the country and outside of it.

Since teenage Mario knew he wanted to devote himself to the literary world. As an adult, while working in a magazine at the age of 23 he published his first essays, and so I continue to work for important magazines and continue writing. On par, he had a great activity that involved politics, so he was exiled from Uruguay for several years. At 88 years of age, this great writer dies in Montevideo

What is it about?

Martín Santomé is a man of serious character, he is not someone that likes to socialize or stablish any kind of relationship. Since his wife, Isabel died giving birth to thier son, he has not been interested in having a sentimental relationship with anyone. With his children, Jaime, Blanca, and Esteban he is just as distant as with all the people aroubd him; their relationship has been so since they were children, putting as an excuse a lot of hours that Martin was at work.

A few months before retiring, Martin met Laura, a beautiful 24-year-old girl with beautiful green eyes that worked at the same office that him. She was very different from him as to character, she was a very sweet woman and despite all her differences she agrees to get involved with him. At first, he thinks it's crazy for a girl to want to be with an older man, however, as the relationship progresses, both are falling in love more and more and that is how Martin, despite the objections of his children, wants to propose marriage to her. Shortly after having this idea Laura stops going to work until one day, she just leaves this world. How will you face this fact, Martin?


Novel analysis

Why the name of it?

The novel it is called that way because it represents a period of time when according to Martín, God allows him to be happy again, to love and to feel, and then, after that period ends, God decides that is time for him to return to his lonely life, the life he was used to.


The main subject that Benedetti sets in his novel are solitude, the loneliness of the human being and how people see it. Although it is true that Martin lost his wife he was not completely alone, he had his children, but he decided to seclusion, to lock himself up and so he was the one who decided to be alone. Another topic is the past; Everyone has the past, that's logical, but there are those who go ahead and come in the future, the protagonist decided to always have in his memory to his wife, is that laudable, but that memory prevented him from living to the maximum his relationship, the character may have been afraid to forget his first love and therefore brought her mind constantly , comparing even his current relationship with Laura.

Another topic is God, but not from a religious point of view where it mentions institutions or imposes it as a universal belief, but Benedetti mentions it as a superior entity in which Martin, his main character believes and even considers him an entity that has given him happiness but also has taken away. It does not make mention of God very often since the author does not seek to transmit what he believes in terms of religion but before life and its various circumstances.


The novel might be a bit cruel and dramatic due that a good man that loved his sons and daughter, who worked hard and stayed loyal to his wife even after she passed away has a boring and sad life, and the suddenly arrived of love into his life and felt like a man again, but just as quickly as that passionate and extraordinary feeling arrived it went and with it hopes and dreams.

Still I recommend it, not only for being a literary classic novel, I do because it shows that life must be lived entirely, we do not know what will happen in the future, all that we have is present and we must treasure it


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