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Showing posts from May 12, 2013

Las Preguntas – Names (Pablo Neruda)

 Jan Neruda died in Prague in 1891. He was a Czech national poet who had a street named for him in Mala Strana. The Chilean poet who took Neruda’s name for a pseudonym did so to hide from his father the fact that he wrote poetry. Hay algo más tonto en la vida que llamarse Pablo Neruda? Is there anything sillier in life than to be called Pablo Neruda? [XXXII] The pen name became his public name. Even before he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, the Chilean had immortalised the unSpanish name of Neruda in a way undreamt of by his great Czech inspiration. Quién da los nombres y los números al inocente innumerable? Who assigns names and numbers to the innumerable innocent? [LXIV] Nearing his own death soon after that Prize, Pablo Neruda wrote a poem filled with questions. We can hear him gazing at the world. One of his recurring concerns is names. For poets, as for most of us, names are essential meaning, but as he meets mortality Pa