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Rodrigo Hasbún

Rodrigo Hasbún Rodrigo Hasbún[1†]

Rodrigo Hasbún, born in 1981 in Cochabamba, is a prominent Bolivian writer known for his short stories and novels. His second novel, "Los Afectos" (Affections), has been translated into 10 languages. In 2017, he was recognized on the Bogotá 39 list of promising young Latin American writers. Hasbún’s work is influenced by his journalism studies, time in Chile and Barcelona, and doctoral studies at Cornell University[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Rodrigo Hasbún was born in 1981 in Cochabamba, Bolivia[1†][2†]. During his high school years, he was part of a grunge band, an experience he claims influenced his writing[1†][2†]. His journey into the world of literature began towards the end of his time in college[1†][2†].

He pursued his higher education in journalism in Bolivia[1†][2†]. After completing his university education, Hasbún spent a year, between 2003 and 2004, in Santiago de Chile[1†]. This was a country where his grandparents and also his father had lived[1†]. Following this, he moved to Barcelona where he pursued a postgraduate degree from 2004 to 2005[1†][2†].

In 2009, Hasbún moved to Ithaca to pursue a doctorate at Cornell University[1†]. His doctoral thesis focused on the intimate diaries of Latin American writers[1†]. Interestingly, Hasbún himself has been maintaining a personal diary for twelve years, which he considers to be his "most important writing"[1†]. He has around thirty notebooks written, safely stored in his parents’ house in Bolivia[1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Rodrigo Hasbún’s literary career began with the publication of his first collection of stories, “Cinco”, in 2006[1†]. This was followed by his first novel, “El lugar del cuerpo”, which won an award in 2007[1†]. His work caught the attention of the Hay Festival, and he was selected as one of the 39 most important Latin American writers under 39 years old[1†][3†].

In 2011, a short story from “Cinco” was adapted into a feature film titled “Los viejos”. The film was directed by Martín Boulocq, a childhood friend of Hasbún[1†]. This collaboration marked a significant milestone in Hasbún’s career, showcasing the versatility of his storytelling[1†].

His second novel, “Los Afectos” (Affections), published in 2015, was translated into 10 languages[1†][3†]. This novel further established Hasbún’s reputation in the international literary scene[1†][3†].

Hasbún’s work has been recognized with several awards. He was twice awarded the Bolivian Santa Cruz de la Sierra National Book Award[1†][3†]. In 2010, he was listed by Granta as one of the twenty best writers in Spanish under the age of 35[1†][4†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Rodrigo Hasbún has made significant contributions to the literary world with his collection of short stories and two novels[5†][1†]. His works have been translated into multiple languages and have received international recognition[5†][1†].

Hasbún’s works have been featured in various well-known literary magazines, including McSweeney’s, Words Without Borders, Granta, and Zoetrope[5†][1†]. His writing style and character descriptions have been appreciated by critics and readers alike[5†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Rodrigo Hasbún’s work is characterized by its exploration of the intersection between personal and political narratives[4†][7†]. His writing often blurs the line between fact and fiction, creating a unique narrative style that is both evocative and thought-provoking[4†].

In his novel “Affections”, Hasbún presents a polyphonic narrative that explores the perspectives of the three Ertl sisters, providing a nuanced portrayal of their experiences and emotions[4†]. The novel is inspired by the real-life Ertl family, who migrated to Bolivia after World War II[4†]. Hasbún’s portrayal of the eldest daughter Monika’s radicalization and involvement in the Ejercito de Liberación Nacional de Bolivia provides a compelling exploration of political commitment and personal transformation[4†].

Hasbún’s work is also characterized by its focus on the fluidity of self[4†]. His characters often confront their own reflections, grappling with their identities and the changes they undergo[4†]. This theme is particularly evident in the character of Monika, who confronts her reflection in the mirror, recognizing the woman on the other side as her new self[4†].

Critics have praised Hasbún’s work for its intellectual heft and emotional subtlety[4†][7†]. His novel “Affections” has been described as a compact and evocative historical novel that skillfully bridges two indelible historical moments[4†][7†]. Hasbún’s ability to examine broad societal shifts and intimate moments in the lives of his characters has earned him recognition as a significant voice in contemporary literature[4†][7†].

Personal Life

Rodrigo Hasbún has led a life that is as intriguing as his literary works. After completing his university education in Bolivia, he spent a year, between 2003 and 2004, in Santiago de Chile, a country where his grandparents and also his father had lived[1†]. He then pursued a postgraduate degree in Barcelona from 2004 to 2005[1†].

Hasbún has a deep connection with writing, not just professionally but also personally. He has been keeping a personal diary for over twelve years, which he considers to be his "most important writing"[1†][4†]. He has around thirty notebooks written, safely stored in his parents’ house in Bolivia[1†]. This intimate relationship with writing reflects his commitment to exploring the literary world.

After completing his studies at Cornell University, Hasbún moved to the Canadian city of Toronto in 2014[1†]. His personal life, much like his professional life, seems to be marked by a journey of exploration and learning.

Conclusion and Legacy

Rodrigo Hasbún’s work has left a profound impact on the literary world, particularly in Latin American literature[8†][4†]. His unique narrative forms and profound storytelling have made him a prominent figure in contemporary literature[8†][4†]. His novel “Affections” is a testament to his ability to weave intricate narratives that explore complex human emotions and historical events[8†][4†].

Hasbún’s work often blurs the line between fact and fiction, creating a unique literary style that has been recognized and celebrated[8†][4†]. His characters are often caught in a state of flux, reflecting the complexities of human identity[8†][4†]. This innovative approach to storytelling has established Hasbún as a leading voice in contemporary literature[8†][4†].

In addition to his published works, Hasbún’s personal diaries have been a significant part of his literary journey[8†][1†]. He has been keeping a personal diary for over twelve years, which he considers to be his "most important writing"[8†][1†]. These diaries, safely stored in his parents’ house in Bolivia, are a testament to his commitment to exploring the literary world[8†][1†].

Hasbún’s legacy extends beyond his published works. His influence can be seen in the way he has inspired other writers and contributed to the broader literary discourse[8†][4†]. His work continues to be studied and admired for its depth, complexity, and innovative narrative techniques[8†][4†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Rodrigo Hasbún [website] - link
  2. The Modern Novel - Rodrigo Hasbún [website] - link
  3. Words Without Borders - Rodrigo Hasbún [website] - link
  4. The White Review - Interview with Rodrigo Hasbún [website] - link
  5. Book Series In Order - Rodrigo Hasbun [website] - link
  6. Goodreads - Author: Books by Rodrigo Hasbún (Author of Los afectos) [website] - link
  7. World Literature Today - by Rodrigo Hasbún [website] - link
  8. Words Without Borders - A Tale of Displacement and Dissolution: Rodrigo Hasbún's "Affections" [website] - link
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