Foreign Minister Urrejola will present the commemorative edition of Gabriela Mistral’s book “Desolación” and will launch the “Diplomacy and Letters” series

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonia Urrejola, will present this Wednesday 11 January at 11:45 at the headquarters of the Ministry, the commemorative edition published for the centenary of the “Desolation” by Gabriela Mistral (Biblioteca Nazionale Edizioni) which integrates the collection ” Diplomacy and Letters”. The event will also see the participation of the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage, Julieta Brodsky, and the director of the National Library, Pedro Pablo Zegers.

The celebratory edition of “Desolation” corresponds to the second volume of the “Diplomacy and Letters” series, a project created by the National Library and the Division of Cultures, Arts, Heritage and Public Diplomacy (DIRAC) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make homage and publicize the great figures of Chilean letters who have successfully performed diplomatic and consular functions without abandoning their literary vocation.

The incorporation of Gabriela Mistral’s work into the collection shows not only the permanent commitment of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the dissemination of the work of one of the most universal writers and the only Ibero-American woman to obtain the Nobel Prize for Literature, but also the accent on the inaugural text of the author’s literary production, with which she obtained an early international recognition. In 2022, the 100th anniversary of the first edition of “Desolación” (New York) ended and, this 2023, the centenary of this publication will be celebrated in Chile (Editorial Nascimento).

In addition, the commemorative edition of “Desolation” highlights Mistral’s international reputation as a diplomat. He began his consular career in 1932 and went on to represent Chile in countries such as Brazil, Spain, Guatemala, Italy and Portugal, among others. Similarly, the figure of the woman also appears as the central axis of his childhood, throughout his life, and in his writings, with a constant vindication of her rights. This pays homage to Gabriela Mistral poetess, woman and diplomat.

musical poems

In addition to the presentation of the book and the launch of the “Diplomazia e Lettere” series, the event at the Farnesina includes an artistic intervention of three poems by Gabriela Mistral on Portuguese fado, with music by the Chilean composer Jorge Prado, which belong to the record production “Saudades de Gabriela” (2021).

Recorded in Portugal by six of the greatest exponents of fado, this project was a winner of the Music Fund 2021 and sponsored by the Portuguese Embassy in Chile, which considered it an official activity of the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union 2021 and 200 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. It was also sponsored by the National Library.

For the occasion, the staging will be curated by Jorge Prado, Portuguese guitar, composition and musical direction; Josefina Echenique, on vocals, and Eugenio González, on classical guitar. The poems performed will be “Desolation”, “The sonnets of death”, “III strophe” (both included in Desolation) and Things.

The activity will be attended by authorities, Chilean embassies abroad via streaming, representatives of the diplomatic corps and international organizations and personalities from the world of culture.

Great diplomatic writers

The “Diplomacy and Letters” series was inaugurated in 2021 as part of the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1871), with the publication of “El loco Estero” by Alberto Blest Gana, writer and diplomat, considered the father of the Chilean novel.

In total it includes 27 authors, including two Nobel Prize winners for literature; two Cervantes Prizes and 25 national literary prizes. It is important to underline that the first edition of the National Literature Prize went to a diplomat, Augusto D’Halmar, in 1942.

In addition to the already mentioned Alberto Blest Gana (1830-1920), Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) and Augusto D’Halmar (1882-1950), the collection includes Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), Nobel Prize for Literature 1971 and National Literature 1945; Julio Barrenechea (1910-1979), National Prize for Literature 1960; Pablo de Rokha (1894-1968), National Prize for Literature; Marta Brunet (1897-1967), National Prize for Literature 1961 and Benjamín Subercaseaux (1902-1973), National Prize for Literature 1963.

The list also includes Gonzalo Rojas Pizarro (1916-2011), Cervantes Prize for Literature 2003, National Prize for Literature and Queen Sofia Prize for Ibero-American Poetry 1992; Jorge Edwards (1931), Cervantes Prize for Literature 1999 and National Prize for Literature 1994; Armando Uribe (1933), National Prize for Literature 2004; Antonio Skármeta (1940), National Prize for Literature 2014; Raúl Zurita (1950), National Literature Prize 2000, Pablo Neruda 2016 Ibero-American Poetry Prize and Ibero-American Poetry Queen Sofia Prize 2020 and Diamela Eltit (1949), 2018 National Literature Prize and Guadalajara FIL Prize in Romance Languages, among other authors


The third volume of the collection is scheduled for this year, with the commemorative edition of Pablo Neruda’s “Crepusculario”, coinciding with the centenary of its publication and the fiftieth since the author’s death. And the collection of poems “Sol de la India” by Julio Barrenechea is being published, in a trilingual Spanish-Hindi-English edition.

It should be noted that the work “Desolation” will be distributed through Chilean Embassies, Consulates and Missions abroad to schools, libraries, universities and cultural institutions on five continents. To learn more about what is happening in the world of science and culture, join our Cultívate community, El Mostrador newsletter on these topics. sign up for free


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