Abraham Quezada: "Do not rule out murder theory Neruda"

By Mario Casasus

 

 

Mexico City. - In digital interview from Ecuador, the diplomat and historian Abraham Quezada (1961), the project speaks Epistolary Disperses Neruda: "My task aims to collect and edit the other confess I wish I lived in Neruda. When finally we dispose a volume with much of the poet's letters undoubtedly emerge a new Neruda, a bit different, more human, less character, more person. It is important to know the 'inside frame', which explains the surface, complete and illuminates darkened corners and helps ultimately shape the 'mosaic' of the personality of this Chilean so universal. " This year, Dr. © in American Studies published a book about the friendship between Pablo Neruda and Salvador Allende: "I've been discovering the important rapport that existed between them, I could not move, and I hope to give an account of a different relationship, but endearing ".

Editor anthologies of letters: Pablo Neruda. Traveller Epistolario 1927-1973 (RIL, 2004); Correspondence between Pablo Neruda and Jorge Edwards (Alfaguara, 2007), Letters to Gabriela Mistral (RIL, 2009), Pablo Neruda, Claudio Veliz. Correspondence on the way to the Nobel Prize, 1963-1970 (DIBAM, 2011), Pablo Neruda and Jorge Carrera Andrade: the Finis Terrae hoops Equator (Libresa, 2012). He is also author of the book: Pedro Aguirre Cerda. Trajectory of an educational ideal (1990, 2nd. Ed. 2011) and the Dictionary of historical and geographical concepts of Chile (RIL, 2004, 2nd. Ed. 2010).

In an exclusive interview with Abraham Quezada Clarín.cl supports the next exhumation of Pablo Neruda, scheduled for April 8: "I understand that there is reasonable doubt about the end of the poet and, ultimately, the truth must prevail. If she goes through the poet's exhumation, we must move forward and conclude that the best way stage. Current forensic technologies not know whether they will be able, at 40, to detect a potential puncture abnormal would have accelerated his death. Not rule out the murder theory, less if we knew then that the regime of that time did not hesitate at nothing and nobody, but I hardly think that this would have been. "

MC. - Abraham, when you end up compiling all letters Neruda?, What percentage of completion is the sum of Total Epistolario?

AQ. - It is, as we understand, a major effort, which so far is bearing some fruit, as I have edited several partial epistolaries Neruda. I have a plan drawn up to several years, involving keep track of the friends of the poet and the environment, then identify those who may have had correspondence. I immediately set out to determine whether there epistolary contacts. It is not easy, in contrast, is time consuming and, sometimes, there are suspicions of people who simply do not want to display them or make them known, and it is legitimate, although I must confess that I feel like a part of the poet is being obscured, and a intellectual as bright as collective, as all can not remain in darkness. This is a work of inquiry that I am making both inside and outside of Chile. Surprisingly and so far, I have found most valuable and unpublished materials out than in my country. My friends, who know these inquiries, help me with data and sometimes I provide copies of unknown texts. It is, ultimately, a story that seeks to build a network, in this case of intellectuals, writers, friends, acquaintances, relatives, etc., must be reconstructed to give to those who were part of that environment and eventually exchanged correspondence with the poet .

MC. - Why'll include cutting letters home, without much significance in the biography of Neruda?

AQ. - I am interested Epistolary Neruda gather scattered, not by a mere desire to "glimpse the lives of others", but because a writer as protein, whose poetic production of a student saying "sent back to Spain's caravels Colón ", is" the totality of his language "(albeit minor key). Moreover, the correspondence is "the purest form of autobiography." These two are the premises that guide my work. Hence, the "cutting domestic or without much significance" is also useful to reconstruct part or traces of an existence.

My task, in a way, and hopefully collect pursues edit the other "I confess that I have lived" Neruda. When finally we dispose a volume with much of the poet's letters undoubtedly emerge a new Neruda, a bit different, more human, less character, more person. It is important to know the "inside frame" which explains the surface, complete and illuminates darkened corners and helps ultimately shape the "mosaic" of the personality of this Chilean so universal. What else can suck a scholar of the life of a poet like Neruda?

MC. - How was during the recent trip to Havana?, Do Cuban writers contributed some letters nerudianas for your publishing project?

AQ. - All right, it was a kind invitation extended by the organizers of the 22nd International Book Fair of Havana. I gave two talks there with a very interesting public presence. I was delighted to find that they already knew my work there and some of my books had arrived in the island. I could also visit some academic centers and meet with some local personalities, familiar with Neruda. For example, with the authorities of Casa de las Americas, with the poet Pablo Armando Fernandez, Aitana Alberti (daughter of Rafael, friend of Neruda), with historian Ciro Bianchi Ross, etcetera. I was also a social meeting with Roberto Fernandez Retamar. Yes, I found some materials Nerudian Cuba, which to my delight and joy, are still unpublished.

MC. - The Ecuadorian publishing "Libresa" published a collection of letters: "Pablo Neruda and Jorge Carrera Andrade: the Finis Terrae hoops Equator" (2012), have you received another proposal to publish a book with letters of Neruda and his partners in different countries?

AQ. - This work, published the past year, the prestigious publishing house published Libresa of Quito and was presented at the International Book Fair of Santiago, Quito and Havana, and generated considerable interest, as it contains an essay that explains the parallel I identify in these two authors, as well as part of his correspondence. Many intellectuals Ecuadorians, in turn, made me see, that while Carrera Andrade is an important poet of Ecuador, completely unaware of the ties of friendship he had with the Chilean poet.

No, so far I have not receive proposals for editing in Chile, which surprises me, because little is known beyond Ecuadorian literature and its characters. In any case, for me it was interesting to add to the pantheon Nerudian a figure as the writer Carrera Andrade, and check the early reception of the work of Chilean regional environmental, which in the mid-thirties and was well known in the South American countries. Here in Ecuador, have been receptive to my work and maybe we could move forward on the issue of one of my books of the past, or else you can write in this beautiful land. Do not know yet, definitely.

MC. - On April 5, 2010, in an interview, told us about the book: "Pablo Neruda and Tom Maschler". Why has not gone out of print your correspondence with the London publisher of Neruda?, Do you know other unpublished letters to the editors of the poet, I mean in Losada and Nascimento ...

AQ. - This work of Neruda with Tom Maschler wrote it while in New York. Research and epistolary bill that completely made out there. I have found no publisher because it is written in English, without translation into Spanish-far, and once finished, I immediately devote itself to other work that was pending and was falling behind. At that time, for example, prepared and edited the correspondence between Neruda and Jorge Edwards (Alfaguara, 2007) and my letters to Gabriela (RIL Publishers, 2009). There is also an underlying reason is that I am not, as I would like, a full-time writer. I am a Foreign Service officer in Chile, so I must also fulfill my civic duties. In any case and as far as possible, I try to "walk my duties with my song."

Yes, I know of no material relationship with his publishers Neruda and people connected to that medium. In one such exchange postcards, still unpublished, the poet shows its creativity to build and design their books to appear at will. It seems that before writing, such as "The Third Book of Poetry" in his head already clear the paper type, color, and design points of the cover and the spine, and characters to use in printing. For better or worse, as he said one of his most important biographers: "Neruda was a poet of books." No loose wrote poems, wrote books from the beginning.

MC. - In November 2011, were leaked a couple of letters to Carmen Balcells Neruda, but the literary agent slowed its spread. Are you allowed to read the letters Neruda-Balcells or be protected up to the new File Classification purchased by the Ministry of Culture of Spain?

AQ. - Long knew of its existence, but do not know the details. Must be a charting relevant interests me to know. I have in my personal file copy of some of the texts of this exchange, I would like to compare and study. I expected to be available at any time to access it.

MC. - The poet Alejandra Arce said in an interview, that preserves letters Neruda Homer Maple, but not decided before the end of his book. But my dear friend Sara Facio told me not publish letters preserved Neruda, or Julio Cortázar. What do both?, Do you agree with the approach of not circulating letters from writers for personal?

AQ. - Seeking to provide, from a somewhat different perspective to the knowledge of the major poet of our language, and would be ideal or close friends be encouraged to edit the letters of the poet, from their own perspectives. Neruda suspicious of these investigations, and the corresponding editing labors, ever said with some concern to Matilda, "when I die publish to my socks." The desire to keep in reserve must be respected and protect it, and what should remain reserved in this area. Think for example, until today, the letters of TS Elliot have not been published, only a small number-just because their heirs and have estimated. Some critics suspect that there may be found truths "somewhat uncomfortable" homosexual tendencies-Semitism or the author, that they legitimately want to keep safe. But at the same time, it somehow prevents scholars "shape the exact picture of the existence" of this remarkable writer, playwright and literary critic American Nobel laureate in 1948.

I add a detail, we have not been researchers who put in the public arena or another writer Neruda, were themselves, with their art and desire to be known. We, we investigate, and bring to the knowledge of their lives, we find it very necessary to access these materials. How else can we understand the genius of its creation or the depth of his talent? The other area, private, helps explain and understand what is happening or explain their higher fee.

MC. - I know you work in an essay on Pablo Neruda and Salvador Allende, where you will publish?, Will you be ready for the 40th anniversary of the coup?

AQ. - Yes, I'm working "slowly but surely" in an essay on the relationship Allende, Neruda who, curiously, has not been worked before, except a few very general items and some errors. While I have not finished, I'm in talks with some publishers and hopefully see the light this 2013. I've been discovering the important insight that existed between them. It was an investigation that has surprised me at various times. From testimonies, mainly written, and valuable documentation of archives, I could not move, and I hope to give an account of a different relationship, but endearing, which concludes for both, that fateful month of September 1973.

MC. - In several letters to Sara Vial Neruda, Matilde Urrutia, Francisco Velasco, Jorge Edwards Volodia Teitelboim and read some symptoms and treating his cancer to the poet, to what extent can rebuild Neruda's medical record with descriptions of his letters?, what is its importance to establish whether the cancer was under control?

AQ. - It is difficult to reconstruct the poet's medical record at the time of such density and intensity that existed from its corresponded with the persons mentioned. First, because the poet avoids unknown-it-or will not accept the truth of her diagnosis. This is a curious "dignity" of the great characters, never want to appear weak or sick to their audiences. The case of Charles De Gaulle is famous, even when he visited Chile in the late sixties. It seems they want to project an image of strength, character and marble for eternity in a healthy and vital.

Although Neruda always talking about diagnosis, treatment, hip pain to rheumatism, etc., never spoke of cancer in his private correspondence. These letters are useful to know the life story, but not to explain what cancer, even even when the hospital will radiate Valparaiso Van Buren agree to have that malignant disease. At such close partners like Jorge Edwards, speaks of its ills, but not of the deadly disease. Ever Dr. Francisco Velasco said that Neruda had chosen the Embassy in France precisely because there were good urologist, that is, at least was aware that she had some health problems linked to prostate cancer that was sprouted and fatal outcome .

MC. - What do you think the next exhume Neruda scheduled for April 8?,? Discard murder theory Neruda?

AQ. - I confess that at first I thought. I have the impression that one, after his earthly life cycle, should rest in peace be buried and dug up. But I understand that there is reasonable doubt about the end of the poet and, ultimately, the truth must prevail. If she goes through the poet's exhumation, we must move forward and conclude that the best way stage. Current forensic technologies not know whether they will be able, at 40, to detect a potential puncture abnormal would have accelerated his death.

Not rule out the murder theory, less if we knew then that the regime of that time did not hesitate at nothing and nobody, but I hardly think that this would have been. My research of the last period Neruda realize a sick, tired, sallow, permanently exhausted and he was treated in France, and Russia secretly, then continued radiating in Chile. If we also consider the coup and the death of his friend, President Salvador Allende, joined the persecution and murder of others, which reached Neruda certainly known, and the collapse of the Popular Unity government, is the Neruda impression, eventually died of grief, rather than cancer.

Moreover, it is noteworthy that none of his immediate surroundings have said something earlier. I met many statements Matilde Urrutia until 1986, but nothing about it, no hint or suspicion that would think about it, being as it was an important advocate and promoter of human rights. The other close friends, and very true to Neruda, who may have known, suspected, or said something, anything mentioned in this regard. Or all lived or was deceived perfect crime.

MC. - Finally, researchers David Schidlowsky, Mario Amoros and I publish previously unpublished letters and documents relating to the legacy of Neruda: Cantalao Foundation. How would you define the last will of the poet?, What do you attribute the insistence of the political testament of Neruda in his letters?

AQ. - I do not know in detail that stage, but I can assure you that in an unpublished documents I'm working on the poet, we see the tremendous power that Neruda puts the project to be. For Cantalao Foundation convened a special way Gonzalo Losada, Neruda even offered one of the pavilions in Punta de Tralca bear the name of the publisher Losada, or the full name of your editor Argentina: Gonzalo Losada; Neruda insisted ask a economic contribution to his friend and editor for the new Foundation. Also invited friends from other countries to "matching" to finance the construction of Cantalao. Like other companies that projected poet, Cantalao certainly would have been completed in good shape if the flash of fury that September 1973 had not ended with so many things in Chile.

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