Hugo Montes: "Laura Reyes Neruda's death associated with the military intervention"

By Mario Casasus

 

 

In an interview with Clarín.cl Hugo Montes (1926), Chilean lawyer and scholar, discusses the political testament of his friend and neighbor Pablo Neruda: "The poet had a morale builder, Paul wanted to make an area for culture, a community would Punta de Tralca, where they could live poets, artists, musicians, painters and playwrights, Paul dreamed of that project, began to implement its foundation, but died relatively young, at age 69 I do not know to what degree came with your project in Punta de Tralca. Now remember Matilde said, 'Paul had not gone straight to study education in French, but one day he attended a career in architecture, but math is complicated, so we switched careers at the University of Chile'. Paul was obsessed with construction. "


Author of books: Political Ideology Baltasar Gracian (1949), Poetry current Chile and Spain (1963), Studies on the Araucana (1966), Chilean poetry today (1967), Nicanor Parra and poetry of the everyday (1970 ), Machu Pichu in poetry (1972), To read Neruda (1974), Chapters of Chilean literature (1974), Essays stylistic (1975), Reading in Chile (1977), Letters to Laura (1978), and Poetry Education (1980), In the life of a professor (1991) and by our language (1992). Hugo Montes Brunet is also the author and editor of several anthologies of poetry.

Around the alleged murder of Neruda, the lawyer Hugo Montes revealed the suspect had Laura Reyes: "I had a different version, Paul's death associated with a military government intervention now will be an exhumation of the body because it could be poisoned at Clinica Santa Maria. According to the official story Neruda died of prostate cancer, but I have not tracked the investigation of justice. " Moreover, the lawyer Rodolfo Reyes said on CNN Chile: "my mother once said, 'your Uncle Paul was killed', later became known official information" (13/02/2013). And one of the best friends of Matilde Urrutia, Spanish journalist Luis Maria Anson wrote in The World: "Matilde believed that Pablo Neruda died of poison" (03/08/2013). On April 6 exhume Neruda begin to clarify suspicions Manuel Araya, Reyes family and inner circle of Matilde Urrutia.

MC. - Published "Letters to Laura" (1978), a facsimile of Neruda's correspondence to his sister. Laura Reyes Why trust you, and what you remember about the publishing project details?

HM. - I had published a book in Buenos Aires was called to read Neruda (1974), Laura Reyes knew my work and he said: "I want to talk to you, I think his book on Paul is very good, says what Paul was "we meet two or three times, until I made a revelation:" Hugo knows, I have a huge amount of letters of Paul ", after reading them I said," Laura, you have a treasure, are unpublished letters I'm sure if you can authorize me to publish a book in Spain ", at that time I was young, I traveled to Spain and Germany frequently, was a friend of the Spanish poet Luis Rosales who worked in the Hispanic Culture Editions.

Paul had died and to publish Letters to Laura (1978) needed authorization from Matilde Urrutia, I explained that it was a nonprofit edition, Hispanic Culture was a public institution. Matilda said: "First of all I would like to see the manuscripts and the preface," I left the material and approved the project. The book includes the photographic reproduction of the cards, with the original colors of each paper or postcard, some letters are written in green ink and have drawings in the margins.

MC. - What theme emphasized in his conversation with Laura Reyes?

HM. - Laurita told me a version of Neruda's death, but when I asked about this release Matilde, Neruda's widow said, "Oh, Laura always with his stories and things".

MC. - What did Laura Reyes?

HM. - He said he was happy with the book's publication.

MC. - What did he say about Neruda's death?

HM. - I had a different version, Paul's death associated with a military government intervention now will be an exhumation of the body because it could have been poisoned in the Santa Maria Clinic. Paul was in Isla Negra on September 11, 1973, brought him to the Clinica Santa Maria, I know that there was a delay in the shipment of military checkpoints, according to the official story Neruda died of prostate cancer, but I have not followed track justice research.

MC. - When Neruda met?

HM. - I had said that Neruda was very selfish, because it did not grant permission to publish his poems, is that I wanted to publish the Anthology of half a century, in 1954 I went to Isla Negra to ask permission to publish several poems in my anthology Paul said, "do what you want, you need to put the poems for his anthology" and passed me some of his unpublished Elementary Odes. Paul was generous, never had a bad experience with him, he was always very generous, I still have a couple of letters that I wrote Neruda.

MC. - A letter is published in his book: "Machu Picchu in the poetry of Pablo Neruda."

HM. - This year I found another letter from Paul in my library.

MC. - Unpublished?

HM. - Yeah I had been going to Isla Negra afternoon, since then I have a plot near the house of Paul. I'll give you a photocopy of the letter:

"September / Friday 23/1966
My dear Hugo Montes, at the last minute I had to urgently leave to Santiago (Losada coming for just a few hours).
No way to tell. I hope in 'The Chascona'
Marquez de la Plata 0192, Tel 397945, tomorrow Saturday morning. Forgiveness and up
then, cordially yours.
Pablo Neruda ".

I have a very positive view on the human side of Neruda, is arguably the political part of Paul, communism does not arouse my interest, I know that Paul was a true communist. Paul talked many times about Christianity, I would say that some of his poems worth of Francis of Assisi. For example when he wrote:

"My duties walk my song:
am and am not: that is my destiny.
I'm not sore unless accompanied
of those who suffer are pains mine.
Because I can be without being all "

That is, it is a solidarity that as a Christian I would like to express, but the book is a poem dedicated to Fidel Castro. Paul reminds me of St. Francis of Assisi that he became interested in the little things of nature and was always supportive to the suffering of their brothers.

MC. - Neruda had other Christian friends?

HM. - Yes, in our conversations Paul remembered the doctor and politician Eduardo Cruz-Coke agreed to the Senate-also share a friendship with Cardinal Raúl Silva Henríquez-the best I have had the Chilean Church, he ordered me of deacon, Cardinal Silva Henriquez visited an orphanage in the church next to Isla Negra, Punta de Tralca after his pastoral work went to talk to Paul.

MC. - Without a doubt, the best friend of Neruda was Homero Arce, in the National Library came across an article you published in La Tercera: "Homer evokes Arce Neruda" (09/14/1980). How do you remember the secretary and friend of the poet?

HM. - I knew him very well, Homer was a quiet person, quiet, undemonstrative, in a good way was a secondary figure who never wanted to take advantage of his friendship with Pablo Neruda, was his collaborator, and asked dictated an order their documents, the word secretary is very wide, Homer was not a clerk Neruda, the poet needed the assistance of a trusted friend and needed to talk, Pablo Arce found in Homer a great partner.

MC. - Neruda or Homer Arce told her about the project Cantalao?

HM. - I do not know in detail, Neruda had a morale builder, Paul wanted to make an area for culture, a community would Tralca tip, where they could live poets, artists, musicians, painters and playwrights, Paul dreamed that project, began to implement its foundation, but died relatively young, at age 69 I do not know to what extent did your project in Punta de Tralca. Now remember Matilde said, "Paul had not gone straight to study education in French, but one day he attended a career in architecture, but math is complicated, so we switched careers at the University of Chile." Paul was obsessed with the construction, design stairs, terraces, libraries, bars and windows of his three houses: La Sebastiana in Valparaíso, Santiago and La Chascona in the house in Isla Negra.

MC. - Remember the house in Lo Curro, The Manquel.

HM. did not know you built another house. When I met The Chascona in Santiago I telephoned to ask directions, Paul said, "look at Hugo, you come to Providence Avenue, passing the bridge of the Archbishop, reaches Pio Nono Street, there, under the Virgin the Immaculate Conception, is my home, "he looked like a pilgrimage, not directions to his house.

MC. - When last spoke with Neruda?

HM. - In 1972 I gave a lecture on Heights of Machu Picchu but there was no one, only four people attended, among the guests was a German intellectual who was director of the Chilean-German Cultural Institute, the gentleman said, "it is very interesting he said, but no one has come to listen, know, ask for a quote to publish his book that perhaps it could finance the Institute ", so I ordered the budget to the publisher of the Catholic University and also asked the Italian artist Di Girolamo Vittorino illustrations for the book. Returning from France, Neruda met the 1972 edition and I wrote the letter that you know:

"Isla Negra, April 24, 1973.
Thank you very much, Hugo Montes, by 'Macchu Picchu in poetry'.
I think a thorough study and shiny. Especially thank you for your extraordinary final sentence on page 71, reference generous towards my work.
Wish they were confined his book to my poem. I do not mean mere selfishness which has, of course, in my desire. I think you are not thrilled with the other poets and this note is in the style of their appraisals live forever in this part seem discouraged.
Let's see if it happens around here, telling me to phone # 2 in Isla Negra. I've always had a great pleasure to talk to you.
Yours affectionately.
Pablo Neruda ".

After reading Paul's letter, I ignored and deleted references to other poets, from the letter the book is titled: Machu Picchu in the poetry of Pablo Neruda. I was with Paul just before he died, months earlier.

MC. - Finally, I read the letters to Laura Reyes Neruda in the Complete Works of Hernán Loyola, but I know the facsimile letters. Could you show an original?

HM - Yeah. Issue date is 1978. You will not find another original edition, no longer available, the Institute of Hispanic Culture was renamed and closed its editorial. Title: Letters to Laura suggested the poet Luis Rosales. The copyright holder was Laura Reyes. There are 28 cards and 16 postcards. Here is the exact date of my interview with Laura Reyes: December 9, 1975, I will read you a quote from what I posted: "As I say, Paul did not believe in his coming death, but seconds before dying opened his eyes and said in a clear voice: 'I go, I go,' were his last words, he stood by his wife Matilde and me, died at Santa Maria Hospital

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