Wednesday, September 01, 2004

On another hand

On another hand, Neruda's naive fawning over Stalin is perhaps reminiscent of that of Julia Kristeva and Sollers, of "Tel Quel" fame, over Mao...

"Bad Poet, Bad Man," writes Stephen Schwartz:

(begin quote)

Neruda never bothered to hide his great enthusiasm for Stalin. Upon the dictator's death in 1953, he wrote a threnody declaring:

To be men! That is the Stalinist law! . . .
We must learn from Stalin
his sincere intensity
his concrete clarity. . . .
Stalin is the noon,
the maturity of man and the peoples.
Stalinists, Let us bear this title with pride. . . .
Stalinist workers, clerks, women take care of this day!
The light has not vanished.
The fire has not disappeared,
There is only the growth of
Light, bread, fire and hope
In Stalin's invincible time! . . .
In recent years the dove,
Peace, the wandering persecuted rose,
Found herself on his shoulders
And Stalin, the giant,
Carried her at the heights of his forehead. . . .
A wave beats against the stones of the shore.
But Malenkov will continue his work.

This poem remains in print in Neruda's Spanish-language collected writings. It does not often appear in anthologies of his work in English.

(end quote)

For the full article: Bad Poet, Bad Man

See also this
on Czeslaw Milosz, by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Steve at Splinters.

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