Snippet: Sergio Macías on Pablo Neruda in Madrid, 1934-1936

According to the publisher’s information Vida, amigos y amores de Pablo Neruda en la Guerra Civil Española [Life, friends, and loves of Pablo Neruda in the Spanish Civil War] by Sergio Macías (Gorbea, Chile, 1938) explains Neruda’s (1904-1973, Wikipedia) intimate relation with the writers of the Generation of 27 (Wikipedia) in Spain, his travels and the dramatic start of the Civil War that influenced him profoundly and gave a new meaning to his poetry. He socialized with Rafael Alberti, Federico García Lorca, Miguel Hernández, Luis Rosales, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Amado Alonso, María Zambrano. During this time Neruda left his first wife and his daughter, and lived with Delia del Carril and apparently had other affairs. This work covers Neruda’s daily life as a man, poet and consul in Madrid from 1934 to 1936, including his virtues and vices.

“Yo vivía en un barrio de Madrid, con campanas, con relojes, con árboles. Mi casa era llamada la casa de las flores, porque por todas partes estallaban geranios: era una bella casa con perros y chiquillos.”

Pablo Neruda, Explico algunas cosas

[I lived in a Madrid neighborhood, with bells, with clocks, with trees. My house was called the flower house, because everywhere burst geraniums: it was a beautiful house with dogs and kids. Pablo Neruda, “I explain a few things” (poem)]

As Daniele Belmiro explains in her article on the book in El País, shortly after his arrival Neruda rented an apartment in “La Casa de las Flores” [Flower House], a recently constructed vanguard building that occupied a whole street block on Calle Hilarión Eslava in the upper-middle-class neighborhood of Argüelles (the house was destroyed during the Civil War, then reconstructed). He paid little attention to the consular work and concentrated instead on poetry, literary coffee-house discussions and “wining&dining”.

Sergio Macías published El Madrid de Pablo Neruda [Pablo Neruda’s Madrid] in 2004, and from the bookstore description, the book described above is the same, maybe in an updated and enlarged format.

SOURCE: Globo Editores; El País, Oct. 29, 2014

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