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Suspicions rise in Pablo Neruda's death
« on: January 17, 2012, 10:56:38 AM »
By EVA VERGARA | Associated Press – 7 hrs ago


ISLA NEGRA, Chile (AP) — The suspicions have lingered for decades.

Pablo Neruda, Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet, would have been a powerful voice in exile against the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. But that all changed just 24 hours before Neruda was to flee the country in the chaos following the 1973 military coup.

He was 69 years old and suffering from prostate cancer when he died, exactly 12 days after the brutal coup that ended the life of his close friend, socialist President Salvador Allende.

The official version was that he died of natural causes brought on by the trauma of witnessing the coup and the lethal persecution of many of his friends.

Some Chileans have questioned that official telling of Neruda's death and instead suspected foul play at the hands of Pinochet's regime. Those doubts could get a public airing as Chile's Communist Party asks that Neruda's body be exhumed for testing to address long-simmering suspicions that the poet was poisoned.

The judge investigating his death could rule at any moment that the exhumation go forward.

Communist Party lawyer Eduardo Contreras said he believes the poet was murdered, and he is supported by Manuel Araya, who was Neruda's driver, bodyguard and assistant in the year leading up to his death.



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Re: Suspicions rise in Pablo Neruda's death
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2012, 10:58:10 AM »
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Re: Suspicions rise in Pablo Neruda's death
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2012, 11:03:12 AM »
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2012, 11:08:50 AM »
During the late 1960s, Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges was asked for his opinion of Pablo Neruda. After describing a brief meeting with him when both were young, Borges stated, "I think of him as a very fine poet, a very fine poet. I don't admire him as a man, I think of him as a very mean man." When asked for the reasons for this, Borges continued,

"Well, he wrote a book -- well, maybe here I'm being political -- he wrote a book about the tyrants of South America, and then he had several stanzas against the United States. Now he knows that that's rubbish. And he had not a word against Perón. Because he had a lawsuit in Buenos Aires, that was explained to me afterwards, and he didn't care to risk anything. And so, when he was supposed to be writing at the top of his voice, full of noble indignation, he had not a word to say against Perón. And he was married to an Argentine lady, he knew that many of his friends had been sent to jail. He knew all about the state of our country, but not a word against him. At the same time, he was speaking against the United States, knowing the whole thing was a lie, no? But, of course, that doesn't mean anything against his poetry. Neruda is a very fine poet, a great poet in fact. And when they gave Miguel de Asturias the Nobel Prize, I said that it should have been given to Neruda! Now when I was in Chile, and we were on different political sides, I think he did the best thing to do. He went on a holiday during the three or four days I was there so there was no occasion for our meeting. But I think he was acting politely, no? Because he knew that people would be playing him up against me, no? I mean, 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." --Burgin, Richard (1968), Conversations with Jorge Luis Borges, Holt, Rhinehart, & Winston

 

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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2012, 11:14:56 AM »
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