On This Day — Pablo Neruda Awarded Literature Nobel Prize (October 21 1971)

“The Nobel Prize in Literature 1971 was awarded to Pablo Neruda for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent’s destiny and dreams.”

Nobel Prize (Official website)

“Estranged to myself, like shadow on water,
that moves through a corridor’s fathoms,
I sped through the exile of each man’s existence,
this way and that, and so, to habitual loathing;
for I saw that their being was this: to stifle
one half of existence’s fullness like fish
in an alien limit of ocean. And there,
in immensity’s mire, I encountered their death;
Death grazing the barriers,
Death opening roadways and doorways.”

Pablo Neruda — The Poet (Edited and translated by Ben Belitt)

“I was an Argentine poet, he was a Chilean poet, he’s on the side of the Communists, I’m against them. So I felt he was behaving very wisely in avoiding a meeting that would have been quite uncomfortable for both of us.”

Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges

“Today in #SpyHistory – The Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to former KGB agent and Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, 1971.”

The Spy Museum — Tweet (October 21 2018)

“If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic. You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words…”

Lawrence Ferlinghetti — From “Poetry as Insurgent Art”

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973), better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician. Neruda was hospitalised with cancer at the time of the coup d’état led by Augusto Pinochet that overthrew Allende’s government. Neruda suspected a doctor of injecting him with an unknown substance for the purpose of murdering him on Pinochet’s orders. He died in his house in Isla Negra on September 23 1973, just hours after leaving the hospital. Follow us on Twitter: @INTEL_TODAY

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Although it was long reported that he died of heart failure, the Interior Ministry of the Chilean government issued a statement in 2015 acknowledging a Ministry document indicating the government’s official position that “it was clearly possible and highly likely” that Neruda was killed as a result of “the intervention of third parties”.

In June 2013, a Chilean judge ordered that an investigation be launched, following suggestions that Neruda had been killed by the Pinochet regime for his pro-Allende stance and political views. Neruda’s driver, Manuel Araya, stated that doctors had administered poison as the poet was preparing to go into exile.

In December 2011 Chile’s Communist Party asked Chilean Judge Mario Carroza to order the exhumation of the remains of the poet. Carroza had been conducting probes into hundreds of deaths allegedly connected to abuses of Pinochet’s regime from 1973 to 1990.

Carroza’s inquiry during 2011–12 uncovered enough evidence to order the exhumation in April 2013. Eduardo Contreras, a Chilean lawyer who was leading the push for a full investigation, commented: “We have world-class labs from India, Switzerland, Germany, the US, Sweden, they have all offered to do the lab work for free.”

The Pablo Neruda Foundation fought the exhumation under the grounds that the Araya’s claims were unbelievable.

In June 2013 a court order was issued to find the man who allegedly poisoned Neruda. Police were investigating Michael Townley, who was facing trial for the killings of General Carlos Prats (Buenos Aires, 1974), and ex Chancellor Orlando Letelier (Washington, 1976).

Test results were released on 8 November 2013 of the seven-month investigation by a 15-member forensic team. Patricio Bustos, the head of Chile’s medical legal service, stated “No relevant chemical substances have been found that could be linked to Mr. Neruda’s death” at the time.

However, Carroza said that he was waiting for the results of the last scientific tests conducted in May (2015), which found that Neruda was infected with the Staphylococcus aureus bacterium, which can be highly toxic and result in death if modified.

A team of 16 international experts led by Spanish forensic specialist Aurelio Luna from the University of Murcia announced on 20 October 2017 that “from analysis of the data we cannot accept that the poet had been in an imminent situation of death at the moment of entering the hospital” and that death from prostate cancer was not likely at the moment when he died.

The team also discovered something in Neruda’s remains that could possibly be a laboratory-cultivated bacteria. The results of their continuing analysis are expected in 2018.

Neruda Official Trailer 1 (2016) – Gael García Bernal Movie

REFERENCES

Pablo Neruda — Wikipedia

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On This Day — Pablo Neruda Awarded Literature Nobel Prize (October 21 1971)

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