Pablo Neruda Biography & Facts
Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973), better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda (; Spanish: [ˈpaβlo neˈɾuða]), was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician who won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924).
Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions in various countries during his lifetime and served a term as a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When President Gabriel González Videla outlawed communism in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in the basement of a house in the port city of Valparaíso, and in 1949 he escaped through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina; he would not return to Chile for more than three years. He was a close advisor to Chile's socialist President Salvador Allende, and, when he got back to Chile after accepting his Nobel Prize in Stockholm, Allende invited him to read at the Estadio Nacional before 70,000 people.Neruda was hospitalized with cancer in September 1973, at the time of the coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet and the United States that overthrew Allende's government, but returned home after a few days when he suspected a doctor of injecting him with an unknown substance for the purpose of murdering him on Pinochet's orders. Neruda died in his house in Isla Negra on 23 September 1973, just hours after leaving the hospital. 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". However, an international forensic test conducted in 2013 rejected allegations that he was poisoned. It was concluded that he was suffering from prostate cancer. Pinochet, backed by elements of the armed forces, denied permission for Neruda's funeral to be made a public event, but thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets.
Neruda is often considered the national poet of Chile, and his works have been popular and influential worldwide. The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language", and the critic Harold Bloom included Neruda as one of the writers central to the Western tradition in his book The Western Canon.
Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto was born on 12 July 1904, in Parral, Chile, a city in Linares Province, now part of the greater Maule Region, some 350 km south of Santiago. His father, José del Carmen Reyes Morales, was a railway employee, and his mother Rosa Neftalí Basoalto Opazo was a school teacher who died two months after he was born on 14 September. On 26 September, he was baptized in the parish of San Jose de Parral. Neruda grew up in Temuco with Rodolfo and a half-sister, Laura Herminia "Laurita", from one of his father's extramarital affairs (her mother was Aurelia Tolrà, a Catalan woman). He composed his first poems in the winter of 1914. Neruda was an atheist.
Neruda's father opposed his son's interest in writing and literature, but he received encouragement from others, including the future Nobel Prize winner Gabriela Mistral, who headed the local school. On 18 July 1917, at the age of 13, he published his first work, an essay titled "Entusiasmo y perseverancia" ("Enthusiasm and Perseverance") in the local daily newspaper La Mañana, and signed it Neftalí Reyes. From 1918 to mid-1920, he published numerous poems, such as "Mis ojos" ("My eyes"), and essays in local magazines as Neftalí Reyes. In 1919, he participated in the literary contest Juegos Florales del Maule and won third place for his poem "Comunión ideal" or "Nocturno ideal". By mid-1920, when he adopted the pseudonym Pablo Neruda, he was a published author of poems, prose, and journalism. He is thought to have derived his pen name from the Czech poet Jan Neruda, though other sources say the true inspiration was Moravian violinist Wilma Neruda, whose name appears in Arthur Conan Doyle's novel A Study in Scarlet.In 1921, at the age of 16, Neruda moved to Santiago to study French at the Universidad de Chile with the intention of becoming a teacher. However, he was soon devoting all his time to writing poems and with the help of well-known writer Eduardo Barrios, he managed to meet and impress Don Carlos George Nascimento, the most important publisher in Chile at the time. In 1923, his first volume of verse, Crepusculario (Book of Twilights), was published by Editorial Nascimento, followed the next year by Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and A Desperate Song), a collection of love poems that was controversial for its eroticism, especially considering its author's young age. Both works were critically acclaimed and have been translated into many languages. A second edition of Veinte poemas appeared in 1932. In the years since its publication, millions of copies have been sold and it became Neruda's best-known work. Almost 100 years later, Veinte Poemas is still the best-selling poetry book in the Spanish language. By the age of 20, Neruda had established an international reputation as a poet but faced poverty.In 1926, he published the collection Tentativa del hombre infinito (The Attempt of the Infinite Man) and the novel El habitante y su esperanza (The Inhabitant and His Hope). In 1927, out of financial desperation, he took an honorary consulship in Rangoon, the capital of the British colony of Burma, then administered from New Delhi as a province of British India. Later, mired in isolation and loneliness, he worked in Colombo (Ceylon), Batavia (Java), and Singapore. In Batavia the following year, he met and married (6 December 1930) his first wife, a Dutch bank employee named Marijke Antonieta Hagenaar Vogelzang (born as Marietje Antonia Hagenaar), known as Maruca. While he was in the diplomatic service, Neruda read large amounts of verse, experimented with many different poetic forms, and wrote the first two volumes of Residencia en la Tierra, which includes many surrealist poems.
Diplomatic and political career
Spanish Civil War
After returning to Chile, Neruda was given diplomatic posts in Buenos Aires and then Barcelona, Spain. He later succeeded Gabriela Mistral as consul in Madrid, where he became the center of a lively literary circle, befriending such writers as Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, and the Peruvian poet César Vallejo. His only offspring, his daughter Malva Marina (.... Discover the Pablo Neruda popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Pablo Neruda books.