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Chilean History and Literature

Resources for the history and literature of Chile.


Background image of Santiago courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) user facility (Flickr link). Flag of Chile from Wikimedia Commons. 


“As she writes, she feels a warm assurance; she likes her phrasing, and her conclusions, which are not absolute. On the contrary, they retain an ambiguous hesitant air, a little like done thinking out loud. She rereads her first notes and at times disagrees with herself, and she loves that, she has always liked changing her mind. She thinks about Chaura Paillacar struggling with headaches and about the unnamed poet's jumpy eyes, and Aurelia Bala writing with both hands and Floridor Pérez with his son Chile, whom she imagines as a teenager every bit as skinny and gangly as the country that gave him the name he wanted to change at any cost. She thinks about Hernaldo Bravo just after he was hit by a car, in a hospital, writing poems out of pure boredom, and about the twins scribbling incessantly on the walls of Bernadita Socorro's small, light-filled apartment... that the world of Chilean poets is a little stupid but it is more genuine, less false than the ordinary lives of people who follow the rules and keep their heads down. Of course there is opportunism and cruelty, but also real passion and heroism and allegiance to dreams. She thinks that Chilean poets are stray dogs and stray dogs are Chilean poets and that she herself is a Chilean poet, poking her snout into the trash cans of an unknown city...” - Alejandro Zambra, Chilean Poet