Jaime Quezada: “The people of Magellan should be proud to have had a Nobel Prize for Literature here”

The writer, essayist and scholar of the work of Gabriela Mistral, participated in two activities included in the program to commemorate the Centennial of Desolation.

Easy to talk to, entertaining and a declared admirer of the life and work of Gabriela Mistral. The poet and essayist Jaime Quezada, was the recent week in the city of Punta Atenas and once again, like so many others, his visit to Magallanes responded to his link with the Nobel Prize and Literature.

«One has a fate, a destiny and I thank Gabriela Mistral. She, once again, has brought me to these lands,” he commented last Friday during a poetry conversation organized by the Pedagogy in Spanish and Communication course at the University of Magallanes (UMAG) and in which regional writers Christian Formoso, Rina Díaz and Víctor Hernández, and the Seremi of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, Diego García. This event, like the Dialogue in Motion on the text “Gabriela Mistral: the book of Patagonia”, which he held during that same day with UMAG students, are part of the program for the celebration of the centenary of Desolación.

“Desolation, is a book that was published in the United States, in New York, by Columbia University, and that was practically written or prepared here in Punta Arenas, when she was director of the city’s high school for girls. . The title of the book Desolation is precisely a poem that is in the text and that was written here in Magallanes. This gives great importance and projection to the first book by Gabriela Mistral. So, the territory of Magellan, of Patagonia, of Punta Arenas, is very present in this first book, which is exactly one hundred years old on this date”, explained the writer.

-What do you think that in Magallanes the commemoration of the hundred years of Desolation is held?

“I think it is very important that here in Magallanes, through the Seremi of Cultures, Arts and Heritage, and also other institutions, such as the university and other organizations and the educational system, keep Gabriela very much in mind. Mistral. She lived here a hundred years ago, she spent two and a half years in Punta Arenas, she was the director of an educational establishment. She wrote important poems, so that she is very present here in the daily life of Magallanes, in geographical life, human life, of what was his stay in Punta Arenas and that is very important in the work of Gabriela Mistral. The people of Magellan should feel proud and happy to have had a Nobel Prize for Literature here, a Chilean woman who loved this region so much”.

-Why does Desolation mark Gabriela Mistral’s pen so much?

“Desolación entails all these personal experiences that she had and not personal. She possesses a breadth of worldview, in her own spiritual sense. The desolations in it, the geographical desolation of having known a new and novel world. I was happy in Magallanes, she says, despite the extreme weather. In other words, she felt here, always very well. Happiness for her was very important in Magallanes. But at the same time, it is also the description of a physical and human territory, which entails the entire text Desolation. It is a book full of love, lack of love, passions, fervours, romanticism, lyricism, but it lasts until today. That is why a hundred years have passed and we are still valid with this first book”.


The Centenary program of the publication of Gabriela Mistral’s collection of poems Desolation, promoted by the Citizen Board of the Regional Reading Plan and the Seremi of Cultures, considers two milestones for next week. On Tuesday, October 25, at 11:30 a.m., a ceremony will be held in the Torres del Paine commune. There, the collection “Obra Reunida de Gabriela Mistral” will be delivered to the library of the Cerro Castillo village school. While for 1:00 p.m., a visit to the sculpture of the poetess, located in the Tres Pasos sector, is planned.

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Jaime Quezada: “The people of Magellan should be proud to have had a Nobel Prize for Literature here”