Delia del Carril
Neruda's wife was born in Saladillo
Collaboration of Dr. Carlos Galliani
The way Fernando Saez narrates it in her biography, published by South American, it was the life of a woman of style and anger.
Delia del Carril was born in Polvaredas, the family's ranch in Saladillo County, the minor between their old siblings - Justa, Julia, Ema and Victor- and the senior of the minor- Raul, Adelina, Conrado, Carlos, Mario, Emilio, Ofelia and Ramiro-, the less docile, the most curious, from girl with own ideas.
It was 1884, times of economical prosperity and social prestige for the family. Their father, Víctor, was son of Salvador del Carril, who had been governor of San Juan at 22 years, fervent unitary, minister of country property of Rivadavia, exiled in the Uruguay during the government of Roses, vice-president of the Argentina Confederation that presided Urquiza.
Her mother, Julia Iraeta Iturriaga, with hardly l4 years when she got married, was the only daughter of a vasque merchant from Azul, a sensitive woman to the music and the literature.
Subjects to the discipline of governess and to the rigid educational principles of the father, the Del Carril siblings lived during some years in the country, an inseparable group in which Delia stood out like the but rebel, favored by her father, fan to the crazy horse races and always willing to challenging the codes that restricted to have dealings with people out of the closed family circle.
She was eight years old when the family moved by ship to Paris, where she was interned with her sisters in the convent of the nuns of the Assumption, more unbearable for she than the of the Sacred Heart that housed them during their stay in Madrid.
It was the first of many journeys and marked the end of the free life at the ranch. In little time the obligations of the father, deputy national and later lt. governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, besides the educational necessities, resolved the transfer to Buenos Aires, to a house at 3000 of Santa Fe Ave. The tragedy delayed little in hitting the family: Delia was 14 years old when her paternal grandmother died; exactly one year later, her father, suffering from then for an incurable neurasthenia, as they called it back then, shoot himself to dead in the garden of the house.
Widow at 36 years, Julia Iraeta trusted the ranch to administrators and she began to alternate the life in Buenos Aires with long stays in Paris, opening to their daughters, by means of readings and shows new current, unsuspected possibilities.
Delia fulfilled some requirements, like her presentation in society at 21 years, attends dances and benefic parties and wavering to the same time between the song and the painting. Four of the senior had gotten married, and the house was the center of meeting of many people. Among others, Ricardo Güiraldes.
In Paris, Delia secured their friendship with Ricardo and another Argentines: the Oliverio siblings and Alberto Girondo, the art collector Alfredo González Garaño.
She didn't come across her vocation neither was attracted by the marriage. In Buenos Aires she found two friends who tune with her necessity of independence: Victoria Ocampo and Lía Sansinena. In
1915, before selling Polvaredas, they invite there a group of friends, and Güiraldes arrives with Diehl Adam, famous as intelligent person, with a sagacious look for the art.
Ricardo Güiraldes and Adelina fell in love and little time later they got married. In nothing Adelina resembled to her sister Delia; but her household vocation, her dedication, love and patience, also her money was important for the writer to be full devoted to his work.
Besieged by her own lovers, Delia followed dreaming about a relationship that commits it more deeply.
The First World War tears to Europe. In 1916 Ortega y Gasset arrives in Buenos Aires, he dazzle Delia, he establish a friendship with her family and, by their intermission, Ortega and Gasset met Victory Ocampo. That same year, the Gonzalez Garaño, the Güiraldes and Delia plans a journey by train to Mendoza, from there to Chile and then to Jamaica. Adan Dieh suddenly shows up in Retiro, he ascend to the train with them and, in front of the general stupor, Delia and Adan Diehl get married in Mendoza.
During four years she had stayed in front of this bohemian man and without attachments; as her, attraction and audacious, four years younger. Delia had 32 years then. It was the commencement of a confrontation of possessive passions and jealousy.
Delia had beauty and charm, she lavished it with naturalness; Adan Diehl didn't stay behind.
The long illness and the death, in Mar del Plata, of the father they from Diehl Adam put a parenthesis in the conflicts of the couple. Later, of journey in Mallorca, Adan succeeds in buying a vast property in Fomenter. his wife abandons him, after facing the flagrant evidence of an infidelity.
The stormy marriage had lasted four years. Accompanied for the Güiraldes and the Gonzalez Garaño, Delia return to Buenos Aires.
For her friends she's still a necessary personage, exciting, with a privileged brain for the improvisation, interested in everything, with a curious manner of associating many ideas and form an attractive discourse, that herself finished by taking in joke, so they are not going to take her seriously, Fernando Sáez in her biography. They were the first years of the decade of the 20, when Oliverio Girondo personifies the vanguard.
A literary group gathers Ricardo Güiraldes, Jorge Luis Borges, Raul González Tuñón, Adelina and Delia as the only women. Delia establishes a friendship with Pedro Figari.
A succession of family misfortunes- the accidental death of a brother during a hunt; the death of her sister Julia; three nephews dead tragically in short time leaves a profound print in her spirit, and in 1926 another loss mark the end of those years of companionship.
After the publication of Don Segundo Sombra, gravely sick, Güiraldes dreamed about return to the India, attracted by the oriental religions, but he died in the apartment of Gonzalez Garaño, in Paris, October 8 of that year.
In spite of the friendship with Maria Rosa Oliver, the classes of painting with Juan del Prete, the fleeting encounters with Saínt-Exupery or Marinetti, the life of Delia kept seeming to she superficiality, unconscious, and she returned to Paris, the same year 29 in that Adam Diehl had achieved the financial prowess of constructing, from nothing, the imposing Formentor Hotel, inaugurated with a party that made history, June 29 of that year.
In Paris Delia met painter Fernando Leger, whom differenciate from his colleagues for his own way of art, in which he introduced engagements and industrial element. He was affiliate to the French Communist Party .
With him Delia discovers another world in Paris: she met to Picasso, to Blaise Cendrars,Blaise Cendrars, Le Corbusier, Louis Aragón, Paul Eluard. What she heae among them, their vision of the reality, awake in her a great transformation. She begin to interesting in the Marxist ideology: she found answers to her searches, she felt crazy, call for those ideas, entered in the French Communist Party, registering like artist and female painter in the Association of Writers and Revolutionary Artists: finally discovered a road that allowed her to commit, feel useful to the others.
For sure, in Buenos Aires, the reaction of her family was of total denial. Rafael Alberti and Maria Teresa Leon urge her to travel to Spain, where the republican era was lived. She arrive there in 1934, and begin to work in the Alliance of Intellectual.
Delia received the nickname of the Ant that lasted a lifetime.
It is not well known if Delia and Pablo Neruda knew each other in the mythical Cervecería de Correos of Alcalá Street or in the house of the Chilean diplomat Carlos Morla Lynch, a man of good pen and sensibility for the art.
Neruda arrived one night to the house of Morla Lynch, who has a consular asignment in Barcelona, and a little later he was authorized for the general consul of his country to settle down in Madrid.
Born in Parral, south from Chile, Neruda had been consul in Ceilán, Java and Singapur. During that stage wrote Residencia en la Tierra and got married to a Dutchman, Maria Antonieta Hagenaar.
He, physically opaque; she, the wit and the charming in person. The mutual necessity, the attraction, the love that surged between both with the time would be seen like a perfect balance of their respective absences.
Maruca, the wife of Neruda, shared with him the department at the Casa de las Flores, near to the university student City, and she maintained to the margin of the bohemian life of the poet.
Until dawn, Neruda drunk anise with the innovative group of Spanish poets that leaded García Lorca and Miguel Hernández.
Delia carried him almost twenty years, which was not noted. She was a fine woman that could also be distant, that dominated the situations with an innate ease, says Saez.
The political situation begins to aggravates and in those days are born the daughter of Maruca and Pablo, suffering of hydrocephalus, a grave anomaly. A deep abyss grew between them.
Starting from 1935, Delia and Pablo share their life already less privately, with friends like Raul González Tuñón and his wife, Amparo Mom. In February of 1936, the elections for the Courts consecrate the victory of the Popular Front. Maruca parts with their daughter for Barcelona and the murders, July 12 in Madrid, from the Lieutenant José Castillo, man of left, and the day following the of José Calvo Sotelo, untie the division of the country between the rebellious forces and the republican; the war.
Few days later arrives the news of the death of Federico García Lorca. Pablo Neruda and Delia del Carril Rail commit with the republican cause and simultaneously she begins to deal with reading, revise, correct, suggest, approve the originals he writes, a task that would complete efficiently during many years. The situation turns worst and on November 7 they decide to abandon Madrid. Delia remains in Valencia, where is installed the republican government. One month later she met Pablo in Barcelona, who had agreed the divorce with his wife, and from they they travel to Paris.
Neruda introduces to Delia to Louis Aragón, who offer her employment in an antifascist association that he directed. A modest monthly sum is added to the decreased rent that Delia received from Buenos Aires.
From Paris, they decide to return to Chile. This is the Ant. Greet her, he tells to his friends of always, that were waiting for them in the Mapocho station, in Santiago, on October 10 of 1937. They rent a big house that will be from then a place of meetings they organized for charm. Delia ignores every concerns to the domestic organization, but she is indispensable in everything else.
Delia pleases the group of Neruda. They found the Alliance of the intellectual, chord with the principles of the Communist Party.
A brief journey to Buenos Aires allows her farewell to Adelina, who part toward the India; beginning her divorce of Adam Diehl, by then financially ruined; and realize how much her ideas separate her from her family.
In journey to Paris, Delia and Neruda, from a small department of the Quai of L'Horloge are devoted to organizing the transfer of Spanish refugee, hundred of which completed the crossroad until Valparaiso. Two months remain in a Paris hit by the war. Later they return once more, and the necessity of finding a place in Chile to write take Delia, through an ad, until Isla Negra, where she bought, for 35 thousand peso, a small village near to the port of San Antonio. Place of dream, not very inhabited, hardly by a community of fishermen, in front of the Pacific.
Also stop by there friends, guests, run the wine, it result difficult for her to maintain a minimum of order. In 1940 - full war in Europe- travels to Mexico, where Neruda has been designated general consul from Chile.
The murder of Trotsky has just occurred. The house of the couple is converted once again in place of meeting and party of friends, like Siqueiros, Leon Felipe and José Bergamin. For assumption, the wine and the tequila run in quantity. They suffer the painful news that arrives from far: the daughter of Neruda past away in Holland; Miguel Hernández, victim of tuberculosis, in the jail of Alicante.
Divorced of María Antonieta Hagenaar, Neruda (Neftali Basoalto Reyes) and Delia del Carril Iraeta got married in the city of Tetecala, state of Morelos, on July 2 of 1943. In the corresponding certificate she figures with some how many years less: nobody, in reality, gave her the almost sixty that she had.
That same year Neruda gives up to their functions and returns to Chile. They settle in Santiago, in the house of the Lynch street. The political activity, the disposition of the Communist Party for undertaking tours, organize concentrations, prepare discourses, took they dedication and time.
Neruda is elected senator, and his confrontations with the government are worth a political judgement and an order of detention.
Before that it is made effective, he and his wife begin a succession of secret lodgings that succeeds in maintaining them occult of the authorities during a year. The PC collaborated with a strategy that carried them from one department to another, and that long time living with the secret left its marks in the bond of two beings done for the liberty.
By means of a complex and well planned operative, the poet succeeded in leaving from the country for the mountain range and travel to Paris, where Delia reunited two months later. Together they traveled to the Soviet Union, Rumania and Hungary.
The Latin American Congress of Partisan of the Peace carried them again to Mexico, where a tromboflebitis that Pablo suffered oblige them to prolong their stay. A Chilean, Matilde Urrutia, stay some days to look after him and deal with domestic details, nobody in the group, much less Delia, assign to her done too much importance.
Neruda settles in Capri, for reasons of health and for being devoted to write. Delia returns to Chile, to the house at Lynch Street. It was 1952. The climate in Santiago was of dissatisfaction during the last period of the government of González Videla.
The Senate had solicited the amnesty for Neruda, and the same did Gabriela mistral, that knew and supported him from his youth, and others.
Finally, the poet returns to his country, amid the happiness of many people, the one which makes him untouchable for the government.
Pablo and Delia dedicate great part of their time to work for the candidacy of Salvador Allende, surged from an agreement between the parties of left. But also had returned Matilde, and the tactics of Neruda for their encounters turn out to be complicated; they needed accomplices among their friends.
Like is accustomed to occur, the secret quits being such. That year, Neruda interrupts a stay in Moscow, guest with Delia at Second Congress of Writers, and return Santiago yielding to the threats watched over of Matilde, willing to abandon him.
Like him, her life had begun in the poverty; the study and the vocation for the song had carried her to act in several tours, and she was not willing to yield the place that had earned in the life of Neruda.
He fixed it in order to stay in a situation that many suspected, starting from the publication of Los versos del capitán as anonymous author.
Circulate comments directed to discredit Matilde. Neruda fears a scandal, but Delia apparently remain irrelevant to everything. She travel to Paris in order to deal with the publication of Canto general.
Neruda concludes his Odas elementales in Isla Negra. Some people know that also Matilde had been there.
Finally, it is a letter found in a pocket the one that puts it brutally to the certain amount of what occurs. She collapse. She refuse to accepting the situation, like Neruda propose, and she announce her decision of separating.
Gradually she goes knowing the true circumstances of her life during the last years: the blow is the revelation of the deceit, the infidelity, the unforgivable extends to the friends that had maintained her in the ignorance, leaving her make the ridicule.
She renew in Paris, with Bill Hayter, her learning in the hard work of engraving. Enrique Zañartu, assistant of Hayter, remembered to helped her in her beginnings: Not for friendship, simply in order to avoid the disaster. She was capable of putting the hand in the acid and didn't realize the danger.
Back to Santiago, now with the white hair- she has given up to the tincture- and a recovered serenity, she was devoted to the engraving in the shop of Nemesio Antunez, where she found affections in people's of all age.
She had much intuition and learned to take advantage of the chance in benefit of their work.
After arduous negotiations, Delia recovered the house of the Lynch Street, which had found leased by the party to a school.
In 1947, Delia had canceled the debt contracted by Neruda six years before and the house was to their name. She ignored that it had been donated to the party in 196l. She was devoted to repairing it and settled there with Ramón González, architect, and his wife, Sonia Muñoz.
Again friends came for lunch, like the writer José Santos González Vera, Margarita and Alexander Lipschutz, the writer Manuel Rojas, Tomás Lago and Delia Soliman; it was renewed the political discussion, appeared youngest people.
September 24, 1971 died Pablo Neruda. her friends found her in the bed, crying, wondering if he had loved her.
July 26 of 1989 Delia del Carril died in Santiago.
By Fernando Sáez, born in Chile, author of:
Delia del Carril. The Argentine wife of Pablo Neruda (South American Editorial, l998)
Allegro [ma non troppo] (theater) and The invisible air (South American,