Wast was one of the most popular novelists of his time: when he died in 1962, three million of his books had already been sold. He was born Gustavo Martínez Zuviría in Córdoba and later moved with his family to Santa Fe , where he was awarded an honorary doctorate in law in 1907. First he used the stage name "Hugo Wast" for his novel Flor de durazno ("Peach Blossom") published in 1911 . The novel became his first commercial success. He was elected to the Argentine Chamber of Deputies as a Conservative in 1916. He also received the national literary prize for his realistic novel Desierto de piedra ("Desert of Stone") published in 1925 .
Wast was a leader in the consolidation of radical anti-Semitism in Argentina. In his two-part novel El Kahal ("The Jewish Community") and Oro ("The Gold", 1935), negative stereotypes from the protocols of the Elders of Zion are taken up, with the Jews of Buenos Aires being portrayed as a threat to Argentine society. His ideological ties to " intégrisme ," a Catholic French national ideology based on the National Front, were at least well known.
From 1931 to 1955 he was director of the Argentine National Library . In October 1934 the Church appointed him President of the World Eucharistic Congress in Buenos Aires. In 1941 he was appointed a member of the Catamarca Province by the government of President Ramón Castillo . In 1943, as Minister of Public Education in the new military government of General Pedro Pablo Ramírez , he reintroduced Catholic religious education in public schools, ending an Argentine secular tradition.
When the Catholic Church and President Juan Perón distanced themselves from each other, Wast was dismissed as director of the Argentine National Library in 1954. He died in Buenos Aires in 1962. The journal department of the Argentine National Library still bears his name to this day.
Honors and prizes
- 1926 Grand National Prize for Literature from the Argentine Government for Desierto de Piedra
- Flor de Durazno . 1912.
- The raven house. Novel of a revolution in Argentina ("La Casa de los Cuervos"). Germania publishing house, Berlin 1930.
- Valle Negro . 1918.
- The inexorable one (“La que no perdonó”). Germania publishing house, Berlin 1929.
- Pata de Zorra . 1924.
- In the stone desert. Novel from the Argentine Sierra ("Desierto de Piedra"). Germania publishing house, Berlin 1928.
- Lucia Miranda. roman ("Lucia Miranda"). Alber Verlag, Freiburg / B. 1949.
- The path of the lamas ("El Camino de las Llamas"). Verlag Obpacher, Munich 1962.
- Early heroism. Novel about the boy "Alegre" . Libreria Goethe, Buenos Aires 1944.
- The Alzaga's conspiracy. Novel from the time of South America's struggles for freedom (“Myriam la conspiradora” and “El jinete de fuego”). Herder, Freiburg / B. 1956.
- Mabel S. Agresti: Lo Argentino y lo cristiano en algunas novelas realistas de Hugo Wast . In: Revista de literaturas modernas , 1984, No. 17, pp. 65-75.
- Mabel S. Agresti: La concepción de la novela en Hugo Wast. En el centenario del nacimiento de Gustavo Martínez Zuviría . In: Revista de literaturas modernas , 1983, No. 17, pp. 83-96.
- Estela Erausquin: Manuel Gálvez et Hugo Wast. Deux écrivains nationalistes et catholiques dans le bouleversement des 30 années en Argentine . Dissertation, Sorbonne Paris 1991.
- Juan C. Moreno: Gustavo Martínez Zuviría . Editorial Culturales, Buenos Aires 1962.
|ALTERNATIVE NAMES||Martínez Zuviría, Gustavo (Pseudonam)|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Argentine writer and politician|
|DATE OF BIRTH||October 22, 1883|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Cordoba|
|DATE OF DEATH||March 28, 1962|
|Place of death||Buenos Aires|