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Week 2: Pablo Neruda and Left-wing Politics

Poems: ‘Las Alturas de Macchu Picchu’ [The Heights of Macchu Picchu], Section 2 of Canto General [General Song] (photocopy of both Spanish original and English translation will be provided).

Film: Online clips of documentary in production, Pablo Neruda: The Poet’s Calling (Dir. Carlos Bolado, narrated by Isabel Allende, 2009) at


General Reading:

Marjorie Agosin, Pablo Neruda (trans. by Lorraine Ross; Boston, 1986).

Salvatore Bizzarro, Pablo Neruda. All Poets the Poet (Metuchen and London, 1979).

Gordon Brotherston, Latin American Poetry. Origins and Presence (Cambridge, 1975). Esp. Chapter 6.

René de Costa, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda (Cambridge and London, 1979).

John Deredita, ‘Review: Gaps, Translations, Loaded Words: Poetics and Current Neruda Criticism’, Latin American Research Review, 19:2 (1984), pp. 260-75. Available online via JSTOR

Manuel Durán and Margery Safir, Earth Tones: the Poetry of Pablo Neruda (Bloomington, 1981).

Adam Feinstein, Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life (London, 2004).

David Patrick Gallagher, Modern Latin American Literature (London, 1973). Chapter 4.

Mike Gonzalez and David Treece, The Gathering of Voices. The Twentieth-Century Poetry of Latin America (London, 1992). Chapters 4 and 6.

Nobel Foundation, ‘Pablo Neruda, Nobel Prize in Literature 1971: Biography’, Nobel Prize, 2009.

Pablo Neruda, ‘Nobel Lecture’ (13 December 1971), Nobel Prize, 2009.

Christopher Perriam, The Late Poetry of Pablo Neruda (Oxford, 1989).

Volodia Teitelboim, Neruda: An Intimate Biography (trans. by Beverly J. DeLong-Tonelli; Austin, 1991).


Themes to be considered and further reading: Spanish Civil War, Chilean Communism/socialism, brotherhood, labour, solidarity, dictatorship, corruption, political violence.


1. Chilean History

Simon Collier and William Sater, A History of Chile, 1808-1994 (Cambridge, 1996)

Benjamin Keen, Latin American Civilization: History and Society, 1492 to the Present (6th edition, Boulder, 1996) Chapter 14: ‘The Chilean Way’

Thomas Skidmore and Peter Smith, Modern Latin America (Oxford, 2000). Chapter 4: ‘Chile: Socialism, Repression, and Democracy’

Edwin Williamson, The Penguin History of Latin America (London, 1992) Chapter 14: ‘Chile: Democracy, Revolution and Dictatorship’


2. Neruda’s Political Imagery and his Political Legacy

Marjorie Agosin and Janice Molloy, ‘Neruda in the Soul, Neruda in Isla Negra’, Human Rights Quarterly, 13:2 (1991), pp. 185-192.

Fernando Alegría, ‘The State and the Poet: An Art of Resistance’, Pacific Coast Philology’, 15 (1980), pp. 1-9. Available online via JSTOR

Kelly Austin, ‘ “I Have Put All I Possess at the Disposal of the People’s Struggle”: Pablo Neruda as Collector, Translator and Poet’, The Comparatist, 32 (2008), pp. 40-62. Available online via MUSE

Roland Bleiker, ‘Pablo Neruda and the Struggle for Political Memory’, Third World Quarterly, 20:6 (1999), pp. 1129-1142. Available online via JSTOR

Carolyn Curiel, ‘Editorial Observer; An Overdue Ode to Neruda: Chile tries to Reconcile Love and Politics’, New York Times Online, 6 July 2004. Accessible at

Pablo Neruda, A Call for the Destruction of Nixon and Praise for the Chilean Revolution (trans. by Teresa Anderson, Cambridge, 1980).

Russel Salmon and Julia Lesage, ‘Stones and Birds: Consistency and Change in the Poetry of Pablo Neruda’, Hispania, 60:2 (1977), pp. 224-241. Available online via JSTOR

Antonio Skármeta, Burning Patience or Il Postino (trans. by Katherine Silver, London, 1988). A short novel about Neruda’s last years and the Pinochet dictatorship (also made into a film, Il Postino/The Postman (dir. Michael Radford, 1994), though this, unlike the novel which is set in Chile, is set in Italy)