Ricardo Blanco's Blog

Neruda’s Timekeeper Revisited

To Don Asterio Alarcón, timekeeper of Valparaíso by Pablo Neruda   Valparaíso has the smell of a crazy port, the smell of a shadow, of a star, of moon-scale and fish-tail. The heart shudders on the harrowing stairways… Read More

A short walk in Valparaíso

I first came across the name Valparaíso via Neruda’s poem dedicated to Don Asterio Alarcón, the clockmaker of that city, many years ago. Neruda’s house is a fabulous creation, built on five stories, most of the rooms having large… Read More

Fictions and Foreigners: Borges and Alastair Reid

The first story I read by Borges, at the age of eighteen, was Tlön, Uqbar, Tertius Orbis. Although the name would have meant nothing to me at the time, the translation was by Alastair Reid. Forty years later,… Read More

Nicanor Parra at ninety-seven

Two weeks ago the Cervantes prize, Spain’s loftiest literary honour, was bestowed on the Chilean poet Nicanor Parra. Parra, at ninety-seven years of age, is without doubt the most influential of living South American poets. His career as… Read More