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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Part of Pablo Neruda is Coming to the US (He is Still Dead, Though)

Posted by Thomas Ross on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Last week, the Chilean government followed through on plans to exhume the body of Pablo Neruda. The poet was renowned equally for his beautiful, harrowing (and super sexy) love poetry and his powerful, sincerely held (and super sexy) communist ideals. It's mostly been accepted that Neruda died of cancer 12 days after Augusto Pinochet's coup (and less than 24 hours before he was supposed to escape that same coup).

In 2010, a former driver and assistant to Neruda began to make claims that Pinochet's government had poisoned the writer. So they dug him up, although the Pablo Neruda Foundation was not super happy about it. After some preliminary testing in Chile, parts of the poet's bones are being sent to the University of North Carolina for further toxin testing. Labs around the world volunteered to do the work for free.

Either Neruda was murdered by the Pinochet government, or his illness was exacerbated by the coup and the death of his friend and leader, Allende. There's only one direction to point a finger, and that's at another dead man, Augusto Pinochet. Regardless of any results that may come of this exhumation, I would argue that the most important fact has already been addressed by Neruda—in the most badass possible way—in his memoir: "I confess I have lived."

There's also a mostly creepy AP slideshow of the dig (dude's grave was beautiful, before it got all dug up) at HuffPo.

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