Pablo Neruda, La Chacsona
by Maria Kruk
Pablo Neruda is likely to be one of the most prominent politicians and cultural doers in Chile in the 20th century. Regardless of his popularity and appreciation in Chile, his books of poems are quite rare occasion overseas, in particular, in translation. Given the fact that Pablo Neruda has impressed the audience in childhood years, it is appropriate to claim he is one of the most talented and magnificent poets the world could see in the 20th century.
In order to write poems, Pablo Neruda worked under the pen name, which he used during all his life. In fact, a real name of the poet is Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Among the other interesting facts about Pablo Neruda one can be astonished with his refusal to embrace the post of the President of Chile. In 1969, his candidacy for the presidency of Chile has been introduced by Chilean Communist Party. However, he gave way to his friend Salvador Allende. Four years later, both were lost in the maelstrom of the Pinochet coup.
Devotion to communist party and at the same time genuine poems with deep philosophy in all the lines made Pablo Neruda a sort of national hero and no doubts the most popular poet in Chile, considering the Nobel Award in literature in 1971. Nowadays there are some places around Chile related to the poet, which constantly pull in foreigners. They eagerly explore the highlights of Neruda's poems, the biggest events in his biography and, of course, his contribution into the world literature and Chilean national culture.
One of the Neruda-related sites is a House Museum in Santiago. It is located in a house built by the poet for his secret lover, and later - the third wife Matilda. Locals have named the house-museum La Chascona, which means "red-haired", and what was Matilda. La Chacsona – the last of home of Pablo Neruda, in which he lived for the last twenty years of his life, from 1953 to 1973. The interesting design of the house is in that it is literally cut into the rock. Speaking of Pablo Neruda, it is worth noting that he was obsessed with the sea and marine issues, which is why the building resembles a ship in shape and filled with a variety of items related to the sea. Here, everything is preserved as it was during the life of the poet. The house has many rooms, forming a labyrinth. The museum tells about the daily life and creative activity of Neruda.