Bread, Truth, Wine, Dreams: A Study of Pablo Neruda as a Mythic Figure in Latin American Popular Fiction
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Pablo Neruda has become much more than a legacy of poetry. It is evident by the numerous studies done that Neruda’s life has as much to do with his continued success as does his written work. What is interesting is the way in which the appropriation of Neruda—in the form of stories that directly relate to his life—has allowed for different types of myths. Using Roland Barthes’s theory of Mythology, it is possible to link Neruda the man to a number of concepts. By exploring his life and then studying several works of fiction that include Neruda as a character, we can see how a particular myth can illuminate both our understanding of the work and the way we feel about Neruda. The importance of this study lies in what it reveals about our ideologies and how we perpetuate Neruda’s ideas of love, hope, dreams, and desires.