October 26, 2020

They find a previous version of ‘Sangre de Toro’ by Neruda

Monument to Pablo Neruda in Chile.

A preliminary version of the sonnet “Sangre de Toro” (1965), typewritten and signed by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, was found last July in the apartment of a friend of hers, reports this Tuesday the University of Chile, which will be in charge of preserving the document.

The sonnet would be the preliminary version of the one published in the book “Eating in Hungary” (1969), composed with two hands together with the Guatemalan poet Miguel Ángel Asturias during a trip that both made with their wives through Budapest, according to the information.

The discovery took place in the house of an old friend of the poet, Perla Grinblatt, wife of the lawyer Sergio Teiltelboim, brother of Volodia, the writer, once she died, on July 14, at the age of 94.

“I started to sort his belongings and in a plastic box I found a lot of souvenirs (…) and suddenly I see this folded piece of paper which was very surprising to me “, has related Marcia Teitelboim Grinblatt, the youngest of the three daughters of the marriage of Perla Grinblatt and Sergio Teiltelboim and who found the typewriter, according to the statement from the University of Chile.

Neruda gave “lots of poems” to the couple, to whom he was united by a cultural and political friendship, due to the fact that they all belonged to the Communist Party, and with whom he shared parties, “very entertaining and with costumes”, said another of the daughters, Patricia Teitelboim Grinblatt.

After Augusto Pinochet’s coup in 1973, the couple’s house was raided several times by the military, who destroyed the poems, According to Patricia, she thought there were none left until her sister found this one.

It was not the only treasure related to Neruda that appeared at Grinblatt’s home, where a 1961 invitation to the inauguration of “La Sebastiana”, the house in Valparaíso de Neruda, and a heartfelt letter in the poet’s handwriting, written from Paris and dated November 5, 1965, which he wrote to Sergio Teitelboim after the death of his brother Miguel in a car accident.

The verses of the sonnet found refer to the Neruda’s passion for food and drink taking its name from a famous Hungarian red wine.

“Robusto came, your family / did not wear tiaras or diamonds / blood and sweat put on his forehead / a fragrant purple rose“is the first paragraph of four that make up the sonnet.

“It is an apparently modest sonnet, but the truth is that to keep any manuscript of Neruda is to keep a jewel. He continues to be one of the great lyrical voices in the world literature concert, although sometimes Chilean stupidity does not know it“, commented the essayist Grínor Rojo, director of the Center for Latin American Cultural Studies (CECLA) at the University of Chile.

Rojo, a scholar of Neruda’s work, will make a presentation of the poem at the virtual signing ceremony this Wednesday, September 23, the day that also 47 years have passed since the poet’s death.

“‘Sangre de toro’ has the grace that it is original evidence of the meeting of two of the greatest poets of Latin America, Pablo Neruda and Miguel Ángel Asturias, a few years after both won the Nobel, the Chilean in 1971 and the Guatemalan in 1967. In this sense, it also has a general reading, in which they insist that they are eating and drinking not alone, but with all the Latin American people, “says Rojo, according to the press release.

The rector of the University of Chile, Ennio Vivaldi, thanked this donation, which joins the collection that this house of studies has of the work of the Chilean Nobel, the one that he himself began to donate while alive in the early 1950s and that includes books, shells, records and other newspaper documents.

“We will safeguard this typewriter, we will put it in value and offer it to new generations, fulfilling our patrimonial role “, said the rector.


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