Fray Mocho

Fray Mocho, actually José Sixto Alvarez ( born August 26, 1858 in Gualeguaychú Entre Ríos Province; † August 23, 1903 in Buenos Aires ) was an Argentine journalist and writer.


José Sixto Alvarez - occasionally even Ciriaco José Alvarez - came at age 18 in 1876 for the first time in Buenos Aires. He was excited about the opportunities that the city offered him and three years later he settled in this city and remained there until his death.

He started for various newspapers (La Nación, La Razon and La Patria Argentina) and magazines (El Ateneo, La Colmena Artística or Fray Gerundio ) to write. Due to its direct nature as a journalist and his way of life, he was soon called " Fray Mocho " ( little monk Bluntly ) by his peers and soon began Alvarez only under this pseudonym to publish.

In addition to his journalistic work to Alvarez tried also in literary works and was able to successfully debut in 1885 with his anthology Esmeraldas as a writer. In 1898 he founded the magazine Caras y Caretas, which he directed until his death. In addition to many colleagues José Ingenieros, Roberto Horacio Quiroga Payró and can be named here.

José Sixto Alvarez died three days before his 45th birthday in Buenos Aires and found his final resting place.


Alvarez is considered a representative of Modernism, which he had always seen as a response of the European fin de siècle. He used in his writings again and again Lunfardo; by his own admission deliberately as a counterpoint to the Castilian language. As his most important work applies En el mar Austral, in which he describes life on an Argentine whaling ship for a one year trip.

Agustín Cuzzani called one of his theater in his honor Teatro Fray Mocho.

Works (selection)

  • En el mar Austral. Vaccaro, Buenos Aires 1920.
  • Galería de ladrones de la capital. , 1887.
  • Esmeraldas. Cuentos mundanos. In 1885.
  • Los del costumbristas 900 ( Capitulo, Vol 34). Centro Editorial de América, Buenos Aires 1980.
  • Memorias de un vigilante. 1897.
  • Un Viaje al país de los Matreros. Vaccaro, Buenos Aires 1920.
  • Salero criollo. Vaccaro, Buenos Aires 1920.
  • Cuentos de Fray Mocho. Editorial Universal, Buenos Aires, 1963 ( illustrated by Hector Basaldua ).