Cementerio General, Av.Baptista, La Paz, Bolivia
Jaime Sáenz Guzmán (29 October 1921 – 16 August 1986) was a Bolivian poet, novelist, and short story writer. Born in the city of La Paz, he lived his entire life there, and the rough topography and harsh climate of this Andean city had a powerful effect on much of his work. His poetry, though individual to the point of being difficult to classify, bears some similarities with surrealist literature.
Throughout his life, Sáenz struggled with alcoholism, a struggle about which he frequently wrote in his poems. Accordingly, he is often viewed as a sort of poète maudit, or "cursed poet". Sáenz was openly, "unashamedly", bisexual.
Jaime Sáenz Guzmán was born on 29 October 1921 in La Paz, Bolivia to Lieutenant Genaro Sáenz Rivero and Graciela Guzmán Lazarte. In 1926 his parents sent him to Muñoz school, and then to the American Institute. He ended his schooling in 1937. In 1938 he traveled to Germany with some classmates to return in 1939. This trip would be crucial in his life because he became strongly influenced by the works of Arthur Schopenhauer, Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Thomas Mann and Franz Kafka.
In 1941 he started to work in the Bolivian Department of Defense, then in the Bolivian Treasury. In 1942 he joined the United States Information Service and worked there until 1952. In 1943, he married a German citizen, Erika Käseberg and in 1947 they had a daughter, Jourlaine. In 1948 Erika definitely left Sáenz.
From this moment, Sáenz devoted his life not only to write but to drink, too. Carlos Alfredo Rivera, one of his best friends, tried to persuade him to stop drinking and asked for medical advice, but the intervention obviously came too late. Sáenz died in a delirium tremens crisis.
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