Here to Hear: You Can Listen to All the Great Latin Writers Via the Library of Congress

Library of Congress FB Latino Writers

“Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Escribir, por ejemplo: <<La noche está estrellada y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos.>>

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche. Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso”

Latino Writers
Pablo Neruda

Excerpt from Puedo Escribir, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

A poet writes of his sadness in losing a loved one. The angst of not having a love he once had by his side. Communicating a writer’s message into the English language can change the emotion but in this case, the melancholy translates well.

“Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, “The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.”

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”

The style of writers and poets of yesterday are timeless. Works of art that leave an imprint in our minds or create emotions to linger long after we have read their prose. Carving time to enjoy literature is sometimes a challenge due to the limited availability we have in our daily lives. 

However, the modern world is helping change accessibility to these beautiful writings.

The Library of Congress has audio recordings of Latino writers on magnetic tape reels going back to the year 1943. These tapes were digitized in recent years to create an Archive of Latino Literature that would impress the most sophisticated reader. The collection of over 700 recordings in various languages ranging from Spanish, French, English, Dutch, Portuguese, Catalan, Zapotec, and Aymara is extensive. It includes famous writers from 32 countries, some of which are the recipient of the prestigious Nobel prize. Among the Latino writers awarded the high achievement are Pablo Neruda, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Gabriella Mistral. Other works that can be found in the archives come from successful writers such as Jorge Luis Borges and Jorge Amado, just to name a few.

It is an amazing realization to have these writers’ works archived for our listening pleasure. Years past, the limited access might have discouraged some from seeking the material but having it to listen, changes the game. The older population will now be able to obtain recordings using additional resources facilitated by new world technology. While the young are introduced to the poets and writers of the romantic days of yesteryear. Hopefully, readers will take curiosity of the classics to help obtain an improved understanding of the wide array of perspectives that surrounds us.