Gabriela Mistral quotes
Birthdate: 7. April 1889
Date of death: 10. January 1957
Gabriela Mistral was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy y Alcayaga, a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and humanist. In 1945 she became the first Latin American author to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature, "for her lyric poetry which, inspired by powerful emotions, has made her name a symbol of the idealistic aspirations of the entire Latin American world". Some central themes in her poems are nature, betrayal, love, a mother's love, sorrow and recovery, travel, and Latin American identity as formed from a mixture of Native American and European influences. Her portrait also appears on the 5,000 Chilean peso bank note.
The image of Gabriela Mistral is the subject of a recent controversy. During the 1970s and 1980s, the image of Gabriela Mistral was appropriated by the military dictatorship of Pinochet presenting her as a symbol of "summission to the authority" and "social order". Views of her as a saint-like celibate and suffering heterosexual woman have been challenged by author Licia Fiol-Matta who contends that she was rather a closet lesbian. Chilean poet Volodia Teitelboim has however declared he has not found any traces indicative of lesbianism in her writings. As the thesis of the lesbianism of Mistral was put forward in the early 2000s some of her personal letters were published showing she had an exchange of love letters with a male poet.