An Introduction to Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda: Romantic, Radical & Revolutionary

1960s: Days of Rage

The poet Pablo Neruda in 1952. He persuaded Chile’s president to offer asylum to some of the mistreated Spanish patriots rotting in French internment camps.

“Does politics belong in art? The question arouses heated debate about creative freedom and moral responsibility. Assumptions include the idea that politics cheapens film, music, or literature, or that political art should abandon traditional ideas about beauty and technique. As engaging as such discussions might be in the abstract, they mean little to nothing if they don’t account for artists who show us that choosing between politics and art can be as much a false dilemma as choosing between art and love. In the work of writers as varied as William Blake, Muriel Rukeyser, James Baldwin, and James Joyce, for example, themes of protest, power, privilege, and poverty are inseparable from the sublimely erotic—all of them essential aspects of human experience, and hence, of literature…

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