Monday, April 25, 2011

Arte Para La Gente: Adios Gonzalo

Chile is renown for being a land of great poets including Pablo Neruda, Gabriella Mistral and Nicanor Parra. Sadly, one of the country's top wordsmiths passed away earlier today.

Gonzalo Rojas died this morning at the age of 93 as the result of consequences from a stroke he suffered in February. “It was really a privilege for those who had the good fortune to know him”, Rojas’ son Gonzalo Rojas-May mentioned to a local radio station. “My father was a democrat against all the repressive systems of the world,” Rojas-May added in recognition of his dad who left Chile in exile for several years under the Pinochet regime. (Rojas would return in 1979 to live in central city of Chillan for most of his remaining years).

The Chilean government declared two days of mourning in commemoration of Rojas who received numerous honors for his work including the Cervantes Prize in 2003. “La miseria del hombre”, “Transtierro” and “Del ocio sagrado” were just some of the books of poetry created by Rojas who was especially prolific during the 1980s and 1990s.

The impact of Rojas’ work may’ve been best described by Cervantes Institute director Carmen Caffarel according to AFP:
“(He was) a vanguard poet who flirted with surrealism, a master of the written word and a prolific creator of works that earned him the highest literary recognition”, said Caffarel in a communiqué.
In the below video Rojas read “Asma es Amor” (“Asthma is Love”), a poem where he played with words to reveal his longing for a love lost:

Rest in peace Gonzalo.

Video Source - YouTube
Online Sources- La Tercera, La Nacion, AFP, Europa Press

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