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Moths of Ill Omen

Malcolm Deas, 30 October 1997

News of a Kidnapping 
by Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Edith Grossman.
Cape, 291 pp., £16.99, July 1997, 0 224 05002 8
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Chapolas Negras 
by Fernando Vallejo.
Alfaguara, 262 pp., £15, March 1996, 958 24 0283 0
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José Asunción Silva: Obra Completa 
edited by Hector Orjuela.
Unesco/Casa de la Poesía Silva, 747 pp., £40, April 1996, 84 89666 06 7
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... likes to settle on rafters or ceilings: a moth of ill omen. Chapolas negras is also the title of Fernando Vallejo’s essay on the Colombian poet, José Asunción Silva, who – another of those anniversaries – committed suicide a hundred years ago last year. This Chapolas negras is an extraordinary work by the most distinctive Colombian writer to ...

Solitude and Multitude

Tony Gould, 13 February 1992

Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence 
by Luis Poirot, translated by Alastair Reid.
Norton, 185 pp., £25, March 1991, 0 393 02770 8
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Adios, Poeta 
by Jorge Edwards.
Tusquets Editores, 335 pp., ptas 1,800, November 1990, 84 7223 191 7
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... human being: but Pablo Neruda, friend of the great – Lorca, Picasso, Eluard, Aragon, Ehrenburg, Vallejo, Cortazar – and colossus of Chilean literature, author of Residencia en la tierra and Canto General, among innumerable other works, was distinctly larger than life. From his early years as a diplomat in such outposts of the British Empire as Ceylon and ...

Bites from the Bearded Crocodile

G. Cabrera Infante, 4 June 1981

... Guillen had a truly poetic gift, though in a minor key. In fact, he is, together with Cesar Vallejo and Pablo Neruda, the most widely translated Latin American poet of the century and has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize. The musical connection is an apt one, for Guillen was a writer of pop poetry avant la lettre, the composer of soft ...

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