SANTIAGO, Chile — Nicanor Parra, a Chilean physicist, mathematician and self-described “anti-poet” whose eccentric writings gained him a number one place in Latin American literature, died Tuesday. He was 103.
His dying was confirmed by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who expressed her condolences. Her authorities ordered nationwide flags to be flown at half-staff in public buildings and decreed two days of mourning.
“Chile loses one of many best authors within the historical past of our literature and a singular voice in Western tradition,” she mentioned.
Characterised by wit and irreverence, Parra’s works embrace “Poemas para Combatir la Calvicie” (Poems to Combat Baldness, 1993), and “La Montana Rusa” (The Curler Coaster, 1962), during which he says he needs to disturb the comfy world of poetry with a experience that folks take at their very own threat.
Whereas his poetry gained him fame, Parra was a revered physicist, incomes a level from the College of Chile after which learning physics at Brown College and cosmology at Oxford College in England. He was a professor of theoretical physics on the College of Chile and taught at Columbia, Yale, New York College and Louisiana State College.
Parra introduced the skepticism of science to his literary work, rejecting conventional poetic methods and experimenting with prose-like kinds, on a regular basis photographs and grotesque humor in what he referred to as “anti-poetry.”
“The favored poetry of Nicanor Parra is crimson and palpitating like a preventing cock crowing within the ring,” wrote literary critic Fernando Alegria in “Literature and Revolution.”
Parra printed his first guide, “Cancionero sin Nombre,” (Singer and not using a Identify), in 1937 after which turn into desirous about writing poetry that will attain most of the people.
He earned worldwide fame in 1954 with “Poemas y Antipoemas” (Poems and Antipoems) and gained Chile’s prestigious Nationwide Literature Prize in 1969 and a Guggenheim fellowship in 1972.
As soon as, in an artwork present in Santiago, Parra displayed life-sized cardboard silhouettes of each Chilean president hanging from a noose, along with a coffin with a steering wheel inside. A be aware on the coffin mentioned “simply in case…” He gave no rationalization of what the show meant.
At one level, he additionally changed the sword held by a statue of a Chilean hero in Santiago with an umbrella.
Parra wasn’t the primary Latin American poet to buck conference. Cesar Vallejo, Vicente Huidobro and Pablo Neruda had already challenged the established order as a part of the area’s vanguard earlier than him. However Parra discovered a novel voice as a defective human conscious of his weaknesses and bitter towards the absurdity of civilization.
Whereas Parra was generally related to Latin America’s left, he bumped into issues with leftists for his optimistic angle of the U.S.
In 1971, he visited Washington to attend a cultural gathering sponsored by the Library of Congress, which included a go to to the White Home. Parra, together with different authors and poets, was acquired by Pat Nixon, the spouse of then President Richard Nixon. The go to earned Parra condemnation from leftist teams all over the world.
However Parra refused to be categorized: “I’m neither a rightist nor a leftist,” he wrote, “I simply break with all the pieces!”
Born Sept. 15, 1914, Parra grew up in a chaotic however proficient household of eight kids, a number of of whom turned famous artists, together with people singer Violeta Parra.
Parra spent most of his childhood within the suburbs of Chillan. His father was a music instructor and his mom sang folkloric songs.
Parra spent the final many years of his life secluded in his dwelling close to the ocean on the central coast of Chile.