Consul Gabriela Mistral in Portugal, 1935-1937: "Un policía en la esquina y dos o tres espías adentro del hotel"

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Portugal is a turning point in Gabriela Mistral's consular and literary careers1. Her convalescence in Lisbon was transformed by the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, as she worked to evacuate endangered Spanish academics, artists, and doctors. When Chilean authorities sought her transfer, her friends issued a storm of invitations from Geneva and Paris, which enabled her to continue contributing to humanitarian relief from Portugal, where she reoriented her interests towards America and increased her work's visibility by obtaining recognition in Europe. Careful study of her actions from Lisbon reveals their impact, which extended past her own life: the emigrants whom she helped contributed to universities and other institutions in Mexico, the U.S., and Argentina. Uncovering these actions comes from engaging in an accurate identification and sequencing of her published and unpublished writings, which reveals how she failed and recovered from her first two consular assignments.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)401-434
Number of pages34
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009


  • Biography
  • Chile
  • Correspondence: literary and diplomatic
  • Gabriela mistral
  • Mexico
  • Portugal
  • Spanish civil war

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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