Juan Rodolfo Wilcock. Author, poet, critic and translator. Born on April 17, 1919 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Wilcock was the son of Charles Leonard Wilcock and Ida Romegialli.
He studied at the Universidad de Buenos Aires
from which he graduated as a Civil Engineer
in 1943. That same year he started to work for a railroad company then in expansion in the western parts of Argentina. The experience would be short-lived. Wilcock resigned a year later. His first known literary work and accomplishment came in 1940 under the title: Libro de poemas y canciones (Book of Poems and Songs) which earned the Martín Fierro, a prize given by the Argentine Society of Writers (SADE). The same work would also win the prestigious Municipal Award of Literature given by the City of Buenos Aires. Soon Wilcock would see himself surrounded by some of the most prominent writers-intellectuals of the time like Jorge Luis Borges
, Silvina Ocampo
, and Adolfo Bioy Casares
to name just a few of the acquaintances he befriended, but perhaps the most influential. Wilcock would later refer to the three as a constellation and the Trinity, which helped him elevate from what he called a “grey existence”. In 1945 Wilcock undertook the self-publication of two collections of poetry: “Ensayos de poesía lírica” and “Persecución de las musas menores”. The following year he would again obtain the award granted by the Argentine Society of Writers (SADE) for his “Paseo Sentimental". Also in 1946, Wilcock published his “Los hermosos días”.
Travels and Tribulations
Those were hard times for Argentina. General Juan Peron
’s fascist regime was suffocating most intellectual life and now that the war was over in Europe, many chose to relocate to the newly liberated capitals of the old world. In 1951 Wilcock left Argentina for the first time in a visit to Italy. He traveled in the company of Silvina Ocampo
and Bioy Casares
"To live is to cross the World over with the help of bridges made of smoke; When one is already in the other side, it don’t matter if the bridges disappear” JRW.
Life as an Italian Author
By 1953 he was residing in London earning a living as a translator and a commentator for the BBC
. After a short return to Buenos Aires in 1954 he once again set sail for Italy where he would settle for good three years later. From now on most of his works, some of his most celebrated, would be written in Italian, a language he learned to command better than most native Romans. In 1975, Wilcock requested the Italian citizenship which was finally granted to him a year after his death, which occurred in his country cottage in Lubriano
, Province of Viterbo
, Alto Lazio
on March 16
. Juan Rodolfo Wilcock is buried in the Protestant Cemetery, Rome
located near the Porta San Paolo
alongside the Pyramid of Cestius
- Libro de poemas y canciones. Editorial Sudamericana, 1940.
- Ensayos de poesía lírica. Self published, 1945.
- Persecución de las musas menores. Self published, 1945.
- Paseo sentimental. Editorial Sudamericana, 1946.
- Los hermosos días. Emecé, 1946, 1998.
- Sexto. Emecé, 1953, 1999.
- Los traidores (in collaboration with Silvina Ocampo). Losada, 1956; Ada Korn, 1988.
- El caos. Editorial Sudamericana, 1974, 2000.
- Poemas. Fundarte, Caracas, 1980.
- La sinagoga de los iconoclastas. Anagrama, Barcelona, 1981, translated into English as The Temple of Iconoclasts.
- El ingeniero. Losada, Buenos Aires, 1996.
- El estereoscopio de los solitarios. Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1998.
- Hechos inquietantes. Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1998.
- El libro de los monstruos. Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1999.
- Los dos indios alegres. Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 2001.
- El templo etrusco. Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 2004.