Matilde Urrutia was poet Pablo Nerudas lover, muse, wife, and widow. The Nobel-laureate Chilean wrote The Captains Verses and One Hundred Love Sonnets—two of the most celebrated volumes of love lyrics in modern Spanish letters—for her. In My LifeMoreMatilde Urrutia was poet Pablo Nerudas lover, muse, wife, and widow. The Nobel-laureate Chilean wrote The Captains Verses and One Hundred Love Sonnets—two of the most celebrated volumes of love lyrics in modern Spanish letters—for her.
In My Life with Pablo Neruda, Urrutia reveals her side of their famed romance. But her book is not simply a love story told by a muse- it is also a document of her life as the persecuted widow of a national hero. Her voice lifts out of the sorrow and violence of the military dictatorship that precipitated her beloveds death in 1973, to reaffirm the power of Nerudas own passionate voice.My Life with Pablo Neruda opens with the dramatic events of September 11, 1973, with Augusto Pinochets overthrow of the democratically elected socialist president of Chile, Salvador Allende.
Devastated by the coup, the sixty-nine-year-old Neruda dies a few days later of a heart attack. Grief-stricken, Urrutia takes refuge in her memories, reeling back through time to recount the heady early days of her twenty-two-year romance with Neruda. Here, she reveals the birth of The Captains Verses and divulges the secrets of their illicit marriage in Italy.
Urrutia then returns to the grim reality she faces in Santiago in the mid-1970s, to describe life under the dictatorship. Harassed by Pinochets henchmen, she becomes an exile within her own country, mourns the torture and disappearance of loved ones, and finally awakes from the stupor of sorrow and commits herself to using Nerudas words to lash out against the bloody regime.Reading My Life with Pablo Neruda is like spending a long afternoon with Matilde Urrutia.
In a conversational style, she brings Neruda to life, and he emerges as a vibrant, playful, and impatient man driven by unbounded appetites. At once humorous and heart-breaking, Urrutias story makes for a fine domestic complement to Nerudas own lush memoirs.