Buenos Aires - - Thursday 22 De April

Home People Art and Literature Horacio Quiroga, the tragic writer

Horacio Quiroga, the tragic writer

Two storybooks have made Horacio Quiroga famous: Tales of the Jungle and Tales of Love of Madness and Death.

Art and Literature

Two storybooks have made  Horacio Quiroga famous: Tales of the Jungle and Tales of Love of Madness and Death.

In the middle of 1936 the writer finally left the missionary jungle that he has reflected so well in the first of them and with body and soul, faithful to his own way, immersed himself in the second of these storybooks.

Quiroga has finally decided to return to  Buenos Aires . It doesn't make sense to stay in  Misiones  anymore. His second wife,  Maria Elena Bravo , tired of jealousy, mistreatment and life in the mountains, has abandoned him taking their daughter with her. And there's that stomach pain she had years ago and the doctors could never find the origin. His friends have got him a bed in the  Clinics Hospital  and by June of that year he arrives in the capital. In the first consultation he is hospitalized with a reserved forecast.

During this hospitalization, which lasts for more than eight months, he frequently walks through the corridors of the hospital and soon becomes known to staff and boarding schools. On one of these routes he enters a restricted area, and finds a patient locked up and chained to bed: Vicente Batistessa, who suffers from a degenerative disease very similar to that of the elephant man.

 Horacio Quiroga  interferes with the hospital authorities, getting him released and transferred to a bed next to his. From that moment on Batistessa became his secretary and friend.

In January 1937,  Quiroga  had an exploratory surgery and discovered that the origin of his pain was a prostate cancer in a very advanced state and without the possibility of surgery.

A board of doctors explains to  Quiroga  the seriousness of his condition. He asks permission to leave and takes a long walk around the city. He returns around 23 hours, hiding in his clothes a jar with a bluish-red liquid and with a strong smell of almonds. That night she told Batistessa about her decision to end her life and beat her hand to cancer. Your friend understands and helps with the preparations.

In the early hours of February 19, 1937, after several hours of suffering terrible pain,  Horacio Quiroga  died a victim of arsenic ingestion. In his last words, the writer has confessed to his friend that he does not give up life because he feels that life had already abandoned him.

Publication Date: 13/05/2018

Rate this item



I wrote! Reader Notes

Go to section


By: Andrea 27 May, 2018

Recuerdo haber leído a Quiroga ya hace muchos años, y en su momento me había gustado mucho. No conocía esta parte triste de su vida. Muy buen artículo !

By: Maria Jose Villamil 10 June, 2018

Me encanta poder conocer la vida real de este autor porque con ello se entienden los cambios en su literatura.

By: DelSal 04 March, 2021

Uffff, el cuento de la picadura de la víbora, con una tensión palpable... y lo mismo el del almohadón de plumas... Creo que por un tiempo no quería dquedarme dormido después de leerlo... ajajja

Leave feedback


Pulpería Pulperias: 3 poles that resist the passage of time

Nostalgia invades us when we walk through our gauchas roots and refresh the village traditions and t...

Art and Literature
Acción Poética Poetic Action: the walls talk (and tell us nice things)

Ten years ago, a Tucumano brought to Argentina this artistic movement that expanded throughout Latin...

Solar54 What would life be like on Mars?

An extraterrestrial event is happening in the province of La Rioja... This is Solar54, a human life...

Titanes en el ring Titans in the Ring, the power of their unparalleled strength

In the year of the seventieth anniversary of Argentine television, we began remembering this program...



I want to be up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter and I received the latest news