Harvard College Library

Exhibition Celebrates Centennial of Pablo Neruda’s Birth

This photo of Neruda comes from a biography on the poet by Volodia Teitelboim -- it is considered the most authoritative biography on Neruda and is featured in the exhibition.
February 12, 2004 - The exhibition A Celebration of Pablo Neruda, 1904-1973 opens at Houghton Library in honor of the centennial of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's birth. Items featured include manuscript drafts of Neruda’s play, Fulgor y muerte de Joaquín Murieta (Splendor and Death of Joaquín Murieta), about a legendary Chilean (or Mexican) bandit during the California Gold Rush. In addition, Neruda’s political views are illustrated through several of his letters to the Argentine literary figure Victoria Ocampo and his illustrious career as a poet is represented by various first editions of his works that were published in Chile, Argentina, and Spain.

Neruda’s literary works include some 47 books, of which 35 are poetry. He published his first book of poetry, Crepusculario, in 1923 and went on to write prolific, abundant, and ever changing material. As critic René de Costa writes, "Neruda’s writing does not evolve in the traditional way, according to a smooth trajectory of growth and refinement. Instead, after each triumph there is a series of spurts, of experimental compositions, followed by a volcanic outflow of verses that result in a totally new book and, to be sure, a new an somewhat different poetic."

In conjunction with the exhibition, the lecture Los materiales del canto nerudiano. Naturaleza, historia y discurso en Canto General will be given in Spanish by Fernando Moreno from the Universite de Poitiers, France. The lecture will be held on Thursday, March 18, from 6pm to 8pm, in the Edison and Newman Room of Houghton Library. The lecture is open to the public.

A Celebration of Pablo Neruda, 1904-1973 is open through April 1 in the Amy Lowell Room and Chaucer Case, Houghton Library. Curators of the exhibition are Assistant Professor Luis Carcamo-Huechante and Lynn Shirey, Assistant Librarian for Latin America, Spain, and Portugal in Widener. For details, call Shirey at 617-495-2449.




This story appears courtesy of the Harvard College Library Communications Office
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