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El niño poeta; La domesticación en la literatura infantil sobre Pablo Neruda

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Title: El niño poeta; La domesticación en la literatura infantil sobre Pablo Neruda
Author: Swomley, Olivia
Advisor: Castillo Sandoval, Roberto
Department: Haverford College. Department of Spanish
Type: Thesis (B.A.)
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: In the past ten years, there has been an explosion of children’s literature surrounding Neruda’s life and poetry. My thesis explores how these interpretations of Pablo Neruda edit, omit, or add to the image of Neruda presented in his poetry and memories. Neruda’s politics and sexuality were unsavory to American audiences, especially during his own life, and consequently many of these more adult elements of his poetry were taken out of the first translations of his work. How do children’s authors deal with these more difficult aspects of Neruda’s life and poetry? Beginning with an extensive analysis of the dominant themes in Neruda’s own childhood that he presents in his memoirs and his poetry, I argue that for Neruda childhood is a fresh and curious perspective that he carries with him for the duration of his life. The concept of childhood is deeply tied to Neruda’s political life, his sexuality, the theme of death, and his love of nature. Although each interpretation appropriates and domesticates these source texts in a different way, none of them is entirely faithful to the image of Neruda present within the source texts. Many interpretations, such as El niño de la lluvia and To Go Singing Through the World, domesticate the presence of Neruda’s abusive father. Others, such as The Dreamer, domesticate sexuality. The concept of death, tied so firmly to life and childhood in Neruda’s poetry, is almost entirely absent. While each interpretation does an excellent job of depicting the inspiration of the natural world and the power of poetry, many of the darker and more introspective aspects of Neruda’s own poetry and life are diminished.
Subject: Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973 -- Criticism and interpretation
Subject: Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973 -- Juvenile literature
Subject: Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973
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Swomley, Olivia. "El niño poeta; La domesticación en la literatura infantil sobre Pablo Neruda". 2012. Available electronically from

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