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Patrick Parrinder, 6 December 1990

Curfew 
by Jose Donoso, translated by Alfred MacAdam.
Picador, 310 pp., £13.95, October 1990, 0 330 31157 3
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War Fever 
by J.G. Ballard.
Collins, 176 pp., £12.95, November 1990, 0 00 223770 9
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Great Climate 
by Michael Wilding.
Faber, 147 pp., £12.99, November 1990, 0 571 14428 4
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Honour Thy Father 
by Lesley Glaister.
Secker, 182 pp., £13.99, September 1990, 9780436199981
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... have gone soft. Mañungo’s return to Santiago coincides with the death and funeral of Matilde Neruda, widow of the great poet who was Chile’s only other modern cultural superstar. For an outsider it is impossible to say how far Curfew’s vivid portrayal of Pablo Neruda’s surviving friends and the members of ...

Bites from the Bearded Crocodile

G. Cabrera Infante, 4 June 1981

... 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 song ...

The Ribs of Rosinante

Richard Gott, 21 August 1997

Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life 
by Jon Lee Anderson.
Bantam, 814 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 593 03403 1
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Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara 
by Jorge Castañeda, translated by Marina Castañeda.
Bloomsbury, 480 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 7475 3334 2
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... Communists of that generation appreciated the finer things in life. Later I discovered that Pablo Neruda liked to receive homage in the shape of crates of whisky and tins of caviar.The officials at Havana airport prodded the Stilton with knitting needles lest it should turn out to be a bomb. ‘Operation Mongoose’, the United ...

Credibility Brown

Christopher Hitchens, 17 August 1989

Where there is greed: Margaret Thatcher and the Betrayal of Britain’s Future 
by Gordon Brown.
Mainstream, 182 pp., £4.95, May 1989, 1 85158 233 9
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CounterBlasts No 3: A Rational Advance for the Labour Party 
by John Lloyd.
Chatto, 57 pp., £2.99, June 1989, 0 7011 3519 0
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... stiffened with charts and figures, of British decline. As I read it, a line from one of Pablo Neruda’s poems came back to me. After depicting the damage and humiliation inflicted on Chile by irresponsible rulers and unaccountable corporations, Neruda closed by saying simply: ‘and the trunk of the tree of ...

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