Interview with Julio Gálvez / "Clarin", Chile



Mexico City. - In an interview with Clarí July Gálvez (1949), author of Neruda and Spain (2003), speaks of the relationship with the Chilean poet Generation 27, the epic voyages Winnipegy of mayflies in Madrid and Barcelona during the dictatorship of Franco. The writer Julio Gálvez also addressed contemporary issues, supporting the complaint on the alleged murder of Neruda and reiterating his criticism of the Neruda Foundation, on the other hand, listed his unpublished books: "In addition to the biography of Luis Enrique Delano and the book of Winnipeg, I have a kind of biography called: Conversations with José Balmes, and the latest project is the biography of another beloved poet, Juvencio Valley ".
MC. - July, why are you interested in the relationship Neruda's poetry and politics and Spain?
JG. - I do not believe in one "why", or the importance of the straw that breaks the camel, for rebalsarse, the glass must already be full. Therefore, the interest of such relationship, born and raised for several reasons. The first, for sure, is my love for reading in general, instilled by my father since childhood, after the poetry in particular. For two of my teachers, Virgilio Figueroa and Rafael Coronel, met Neruda's poetry. I liked it and every time I had a chance, read his work.

In 1973 I arrived in Spain. There still lived Franco and, when the arrival of American began to be large, the conditions for a work permit or temporary residence permit, they became hard and cumbersome. The number of papers, certificates and medical examinations had to be present in inflamed police offices to anyone. Once I had to renew the residence permit, against the officer on duty and already galloping nerves, I snapped with much conviction that the Spanish who arrived in Chile in 1939 had no identity card, no job, and that the next day their arrival, these shortcomings were addressed. I said it with such conviction that when I got home, I thought, would it be true that all about? At that time I was interested to know more about the epic of Winnipeg. I had read the posthumous books: "I confess that I have lived" and "I was born to be born", and the article was published on Neruda and thought that this issue was not touched by the depth, because of its importance, required. That steam, as it somehow is the biggest link between Neruda and Spain. Hence, I was born my interest to investigate how much of it was written. Now, once started the inquiry, the facts and figures you have found a much wider field than the trip only "Winnipeg". You enter the political issue of the time, deeply into the literature of that time, in the Generation of '27, and of course, you should try to know the Chilean reality of those years and a host of characters, all interesting. The problem with that is you are almost insurmountable, how you put a stop to all that history, where do you put the limits?, If everything is connected.

MC. - Between the house and the Winnipeg flowers, what times and epic nerudianas highlight?
JG. - The Spanish experience of our poet was that changed the course of his life, changed the way they see the world. And not me, it says the same Neruda. Therefore, the time since his arrival in Spain campaign to Winnipeg, and still later, is full of milestones Nerudian, all outstanding, all successful and, from the point of view of creation was the era that changed his poetry.

Perhaps the first of these, in chronological order, is the case in June 1935, a newcomer to Spain, when he participated as Chilean delegate in the First Congress of Intellectuals in Defense of Culture, held in Paris. In the second congress of the same body, held, as we know, in Spain in July 1937, Neruda was one of the organizers and one of its vice presidents. His metamorphosis was consolidated at a dizzying rate. I think these units in both conferences were the trigger of Neruda unionist and organizer we met later. Clearly, the main fact that caused this transformation was the Spanish Civil War, with consequences that we all know and deeply the heart beat of the poet, first the murder of Federico Garcia Lorca, after the death of Antonio Machado, the confinement and death Miguel Hernandez. But we must also remember other milestones in his life in Spain gave birth to her only daughter, Malva Marina, also there and ended his marriage to Maria Antonia deteriorated Hageenar and began his union with Delia del Carril.

From the point of poetry, in Spain wrote and first published the poem "I explain some things," his "first poem proletarian", in his own words. This poem began his legendary work "Spain in My Heart", book publishers mythical adventures. A purpose of this book, a few years ago, I wrote a short essay I read in a Neruda meeting held at the University of Stockholm, where I propose that his book "Canto General" is the direct outgrowth and continuation of "Spain in the heart ". So far, no one has disputed this claim.

MC. - Researched the Neruda fleeting return to Spain in 1972?,? Neruda had promised not to step on Spanish soil during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco?
JG. - I have not had that episode as a research topic, however, as any reader, yes I have read on these short stays. I say on these stays, because at least we know of three opportunities in which the poet was in Spain after the Civil War, was accompanied by three Matilde Urrutia, his wife. The first one, of which there are even pictures, happened in April 1967. The editor and writer Esther Tusquet testified to that brief stay in Barcelona. Neruda traveled to Europe aboard the "Augustus" boat he made at that port. Esther remembers that afternoon Tusquet visited part of the old city, the Gothic Quarter, the Cathedral and, of course, the church of Santa Maria del Mar. Henry Robertson, the noted researcher Neruda, wrote a short essay on the subject, published Annals of Literature in Chile, in 2004.

Then in June 1970, the poet returned to visit Barcelona, this time traveling aboard the transatlantic "Verdi" and, accompanied by Gabriel García Márquez, toured part of Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter. The journalist was commissioned Marino Santos Gomez leaving the testimony of that visit in an article that, if I recall, was titled "12 hours of love." The last visit, and for me the most endearing, was in November 1972. Neruda already very ill, he traveled back to Chile. He met with the painter José Caballero at Barajas airport in Madrid. The poet recalls Jose Caballero, the air smelled of Madrid that he had known so well, with the nostalgia of one who knows that you can not return.

It is true, as you say, that the poet had said repeatedly in public, not to return to Spain while Franco was in power. And, somehow, I had met before. Because the three times he was in Spain he did as a passenger in transit. If traveling in a boat, you can disembark at ports where scale makes a simple pass to give you down and you return to your back, without any report on the passport, without you have entered the country legally. And at the airport of Barajas, did not leave the building. That is, without breaking his promise at all, Neruda, like the child who sticks his nose to the glass of the window, leaned out to Spain to see her so close and so far. His love for the country was stronger than any promise.

MC. - The poet Marcos Ana was the epilogue between Neruda and his memories of Spain, do conversaste with Ana in Madrid's Marcos Café Gijón?
JG. - I had the opportunity and I'm sorry. But we met and talked a lot with Marcos Ana during his last visit to Chile, when he came to present his memoir. Something we talked about Neruda, but mostly, my interest was to know more about him, about his life. Still waiting me awhile to read "Tell me how a tree", his autobiography. In one of the two presentations made in Santiago, read a passage from the book, it was surprising to me to see how many of us shed tears.

MC. - How would you describe the friendship between Neruda and Picasso?, What is the story behind the run of "Bulls" and 15 sheets of Picasso?
JG. - "I only speak of what I know" said someone who can not remember the name, but I think a correct sentence. The truth is that on that friendship and about 15 sheets of Picasso, I do not know more than what they learned in a great trial of Henry Robertson. But I can tell you something about both Pablos, Neruda and Picasso.

When looking for information for my book: Neruda and Spain (RIL, 2003), a day in the National Library, I found an interesting interview published in July 1939 by the magazine "Ercilla". For me it was a huge discovery, the kind that you save a week of not finding anything. In Paris, Pablo Picasso Pablo Neruda interviewed. During that year, and this month in Chile are fighting a tough battle, the political right opposed with all his might to asylum Spanish Republicans. The left, meanwhile, blew valuable case for asylum. In those days appeared that interview. Picasso spoke wonders of Neruda and this, in turn, subtly criticized the Chilean government that put strict limits on the number of inmates who wanted to bring the Special Consul to his country. This interview, published in my book, was later reproduced widely in various publications, not always with attribution. Time after my discovery, in the same National Library, I found in a local newspaper another interview, this time was a Chilean journalist who interviewed Pablo Picasso. In it, the artist denied any truth to the alleged interview by him to Neruda. I said in my book that the interview of the poet painter, authentic or not, was a positive factor in the political battle being waged by the right of asylum. The funny thing is that the denial was never mentioned by those who reproduced the alleged interview.

Mk-With new editions of collected letters and biographies of Neruda, how many unpublished chapters or pages include revised and expanded reprint of Neruda and Spain?
JG. - I have not raised a number of pages or include any other chapter, but surely there are issues and data that have been overcome. It seems incredible that the poet write the investigation and therefore, although most do not say anything new. But there are researchers who, at a stroke, have changed history and chronology Neruda. Including Henry Robertson, who with a new and very stringent proposal, changed the origin of the nickname that made Pablo Neruda Neftali Reyes. Another notable is the investigation of Bernardo Reyes, with his "family portrait". Largely corrected known family home until then. Moreover, already a couple of years, there appeared a consistent book, David Schidlowsky, containing almost all documents and letters relating to Neruda, and I say almost all for leaving a margin of uncertainty, as it may be the totality of existence.

For my book, as I said, I have found that there are some outdated data. One of them is the question of the release of "Spain in My Heart" in workshops typographical Montserrat Monastery. I point, based on an interview with a very reliable witness, that the second edition of this book does not exist, it was raw, unbound and was burned by nationals before they entered the monastery. Then I found a text Valender Jaime claiming otherwise. I started to investigate and, oh, surprise, I found evidence that the second edition of "Spain in the heart" if he ever bound by participating bookbinders and edited. Other data also pointed to the book have been supplemented with new testimonies later, the case of Miguel Hernandez staying at the Embassy of Chile in Madrid.

I think a book, especially this type of historical research books, are always subject to revision, always new data and facts that change somewhat the course of history. Therefore, I can not figure so cold, how many pages could be added to the book, edited, moreover, so many years ago. Moreover, new research and included in the book of "Winnipeg", the text still work and, of course, is unprecedented.

Mk-Poli Delano Our friend told me to write a book about his father, when you end the biography of Luis Enrique Delano?
JG. - Biography of Luis Enrique Delano is finished, well ... what can be done to an unpublished book. It was an exciting project, precisely because it was the life of the biography. Delano I thank my research nerudianas. Remember that Neruda were childhood friends after they met in Spain and Mexico through its consular performances and, finally, found in Stockholm, one as Chilean ambassador in Sweden and the other as a Nobel Prize for Literature . At first, as I said, he appeared as one of the many characters that surrounded Neruda environment, however, to delve a bit into it, I found an immense character, with a life of its own, rich and fruitful, and substantial literary and quality. Besides being a writer, Delano was a noted journalist, with a National Award journalisms to his credit, was also a painter, although he called himself "Sunday painter" and, as noted, was a prominent diplomatic career in which he represented Chile in Madrid, Mexico, New York and Sweden.

In its day it struck me, this noble and beloved writer did not exist biography. On it was written hundreds of articles and some passages of his life are mentioned in countless books. But there was one containing his biography. The more I read about him, the more I was drawn to the character. I ended up admiring him and love him, I think condition for withstanding biography. In a short essay published in the journal Volodia Teitelboim "Araucaria de Chile", about the rescue of the work and memory of Delano, says something like: "This is one of the tasks of Hercules to feel responsible for Chilean culture, for the rescue of their collective memory, the chronic and analysis of what has happened in this country since the thirties. "Yo, I really humbly, not a formality, I assumed that task. So far in the book remains unpublished, my greatest pride is that Poli Delano, his son, he looks like a very good book.

As you know, "Neruda and Spain" was released in late 2003. Until now it has been several years, and although I have published over sixty articles in different media and some books by testing several, from the formal point of view, I failed to publish my second book. That's not to say I have not worked. Today I have several projects, but I have four unpublished books. In addition to the biography of Luis Enrique Delano and the book of "Winnipeg," I have a sort of biography called "Conversations with José Balmes" and the latest project is the biography of another beloved poet, Juvencio Valle, who, as you know , was a great friend of Neruda from earliest childhood. Juvencio Valley, National Literature Prize in 1966, was the first singer of Chilean forest and as Neruda, was a caring and committed writer. He traveled to Spain during the civil war to serve as media correspondent Chileans, there made friends with almost all the poets of the Generation of '27, especially with Rafael Alberti and Miguel Hernandez. Moreover, Juvencio was three and a half months in prison in the jails for being caught with documents sent from Paris by Neruda, to secure the release of Miguel Hernandez. It is known that he got the nickname Neruda to his friend: "Juvencio Silence", however, the life of Juvencio Valle has nothing flat and quiet, not his poetry.

MC. - You mentioned that you have an unpublished book about Winnipeg, why have not you published?, What do you need?
JG. - As you know, in my book "Neruda and Spain" there is a chapter on the "Winnipeg", because, of course, is a book about Neruda and his relationship with Spain. The "Winnipeg" is that, a chapter in that relationship, but it is a very important chapter is the result of all this experience, and this chapter already published, evidently does not contain all the research and documentation gathered for over twenty years. When he wrote "Neruda and Spain", I always thought that someday would write a book about the "Winnipeg".

It is true that on this subject much has been written, there have been movies and documentaries. But I know, I know very well, that is not all that. There have been repeated many fables, the memories of many of the passengers and actors of this episode has faltered, have misrepresented evidence and myths that have remained, by endearing and fantastic, many authors have dared not, or have failed to disprove. In this unpublished book collected many testimonies known, others completely unknown and is the result of rigorous research. In attempting dismantle these myths and expose new data. One of them, repeated ad nauseam, is that famous cable sent by President Aguirre Cerda Neruda when the "Winnipeg" was about to sail to Chile. "According to press reports ... I beg you cancel the trip ...". The cable, released by Neruda in his memoirs, cited by most of his biographers, never existed. A similar cable was sent to Neruda by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abraham Ortega. Told him not to suspend him on tour, but to stick to the agreed terms of passengers. Another fact misleading, repeated many times, is the presence of the Minister of Health, Salvador Allende, in the port of Valparaiso, to meet the boat. The "Winnipeg" arrived at Valparaiso on the night of September 2, 1939, Allende took office ministerial September 28 of the same year, ie, 26 days after the arrival of the "Winnipeg". It was there and as a political leader, not as Minister of Health.

The year before, as the world marked 70 years of the arrival of the Spanish Republicans, I published a short essay with the life of the ship, from its construction to its sinking during World War II. This chronic, though published, is part of the book. He is also part of an extended essay on the contribution of refugees in Chile, from arrival until today. What do I need to publish? Just need a publisher, nothing more, but nothing less than that.

MC. - In Poli Delano house, heard Manuel Araya's complaint about the alleged murder of Neruda, Clarí recently wrote on the page: "The version of the driver has always seemed inconsistent, however the article 'Induced Death' proves otherwise "(30/10/2011) what would your conclusion on the trial to clarify Neruda's death and possible exhumation?
JG. - It was. Several years ago, at the home of Poli Delano, in Cartagena, heard the theory about the supposed murder of Neruda gave us Manuel Araya. I remember us, plus Poli, was the poet Pablo Olivares. At that time, the version of the driver seemed very inconsistent, his arguments were not strong enough to raise serious doubt and less to do what I thought was intended for me, I was writing an article with that story. I had the impression of someone seeking notoriety with a sensational discovery. So opined the times I asked about it. Then, when the Communist Party, validating the version of Manuel Araya, filed the lawsuit, I thought it was an unwise decision, ill-considered. However, when I read the interview the lawyer Eduardo Contreras who published the weekly "Process" in Mexico and "Clarín" of Chile, I totally changed his mind and so I mentioned it on the page you avalanches. Counsel's arguments are solid and well founded. Moreover, with humility, I acknowledge my first levity to the complaint of the driver. If the dictatorship was able to assassinate Orlando Letelier, General Bachelet, Jose Toha, General Carlos Prat, if attacked Leihgton Bernardo and his wife, if, in the words of Pinochet, the plane that supposedly move to Salvador Allende into exile had to "fall", why could not kill Neruda, in the same way they did with Eduardo Frei? All these illustrious personages represented unquestioning opposition to the dictatorship, from within the country and from abroad.

I think the investigation into this case is necessary. A few days ago I read an article in the newspaper "The Nation" in which the Foundation would be a desecration Nerudaseñalaba exhume the remains of the poet. And we agree, any exhumation is a desecration, now, nobody wants to exhume the body without a higher reason, and in this case the reason is to research and know the truth. It is not the same as the poet died of prostate cancer that was killed by the military, especially when there is a history of Case Frei, where names are repeated doctors also participated in the now called Case Neruda.

MC. - Finally, in August 2003, sent a letter to the journalist Faride Zerán to deny a personal statement published in the article Foundry Neruda: "With Felipe Ruiz held a telephone conversation for over an hour and in that time I made serious allegations and whoever does not gather founded chronicles Rocinante "what was your complaint against Neruda Foundation, how would you describe the legacy administrators and copyright Neruda?
JG. - Several times I thought about Neruda Foundation and, after that interview on Rocinante, several times I have refused to comment on the same. And not because they have an opinion. I think the institutions are people, and there, as in any large institution, there are good and bad people, there are good and bad managers. In life, as in the group of people, not all white or all black, there is a range of colors, as there is a range of situations and contexts in which we live.

Although it has been several years, I remember that interview and article "Casting Neruda", the journalist Felipe Ruiz. I think the reporter was not lucky, and I spoke to Jaime Valdivieso and me, and they were forced to send a letter of complaint by the misrepresentations. In my case, after a long conversation with the interviewer, the article put in my mouth the exact opposite of what I had said. He noted that the Neruda Foundation had breached the competition rules by refusing to publish the winning book. However, the contest rules stipulated that the Foundation was not required to edit the winning book. How could I say the opposite of what they said made public bases in a magazine that ran one of the jurors. However, even today you can find Web pages with still "affirm" the writings of the journalist.

In the time between the failure of that contest and editing my book, I went to several publishers for editing. In three of them the process was identical, eagerly accepting a first and then a flat refusal, albeit briefly. Remember me writer Virginia Vidal commented: - "Here are black hand", but I refused to believe it. Shortly afterward, an editor told me that a director of the Neruda Foundation had threatened that would have problems if edited the book. I assumed that was what had happened to the other two publishers. I asked if this was true to Jorge del Rio, one of the directors of the Foundation and he confirmed the fact. First, the position of the foundation was reasonable. They had invested a considerable amount of money in the competition and considered to be the owners of the rights, on the other hand, the book won the competition, by condition indicated on the bases, he was just over one hundred pages, the book I wanted to edit was almost four. Therefore, the distribution of rights could easily have fallen by fifty percent for each one, but in those days, the Neruda Foundation offered me a much smaller percentage of total benefits. This intimidation of editors, confirmed by a director of the Neruda Foundation, seemed much more serious than the writer mistakenly wrote down the revistaRocinante.

After bullado Prize, I had an interesting proximity Neruda Foundation. At first people I met very valuable, as it was Marcela Elgueta, real engine of that organization. Then, with his disappearance, things began to turn. I remember once I submitted a project to the Foundation organized an international gathering of cultural foundations, which will analyze the common problems. Neruda, among so many facets, I thought, was an organizer of their peers, the Foundation that bears his name is required to play the same role with his. In those days there was a nefarious executive manager, very bad memories for many people, it appeared as if the project was his and could not convince anyone. On another occasion, I traveled to Spain with orders of the Foundation was to contact, to arrange a kind of twinning with the Foundations of Miguel Hernández and García Lorca. When I had the orders handled positively, I received an email in which they said that everything agreed annulled. In that country, where I lived for over twenty years, the Foundation, by the lack of seriousness, and I, "liar", were at the height of the heel.

At the time of that nefarious manager, strange things happened. Know if by their own management or by order of the board, I have no evidence to say anything, but, at that time dismissed Bernardo Reyes, who organized the Poetry Train, an event that has not, to date, unmatched in Chile. Also "resigned", against their will, Tamara Walspurguer, the more honest and efficient person I know, who served as Director of Archives and Libraries. Until recently, the website of the Neruda Foundation, in paragraph Awards, mentioned the Special Prize winner Pablo Neruda Test 1998, it was me. Then they changed the design of the page and now you can see the names and biographies of all winners, prizes to young poet Pablo Neruda, the recipients of the Medal of Honor for leading personalities in the cultural field, including the names of the students final year of Liceo Pablo Neruda of Temuco that stand out for the score in his class. All but the Test Special Award 1998, the highest, from the economic viewpoint, awarded in Chile. Does anyone get those ordered data page? Was it an oversight? I do not know, but I think if I request a computer redesigning my website, the data can not change me if I do not command it. If it was an oversight, I have discussed with members of the Foundation and has not been reinserted the data. Therefore, it would be as valid only the first question, for children as it is, is not it? You can still check out the pages of the magazine and you'll Neruda mine collaborations, contributed selflessly. If all these facts are questionable, others say it, I just pointed it, ie: Acts.