Chilean poet physicist Nicanor Parra dies at 103
Nicanor Parra, a Chilean physicist, mathematician and self-described "anti-poet" whose eccentric writings won him a leading place in Latin American literature, died Tuesday. He was 103.
His death was confirmed by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, who expressed her condolences.
"Chile loses one of the greatest authors in the history of our literature and a singular voice in western culture," she said.
Characterized by wit and irreverence, Parra's works include "Poemas para Combatir la Calvicie" (Poems to Fight Baldness, 1993), and "La Montana Rusa" (The Roller Coaster, 1962), in which he says he wants to disturb the comfortable world of poetry with a ride that people take at their own risk.
While his poetry won him fame, Parra was a respected physicist, earning a degree from the University of Chile and then studying physics at Brown University and cosmology at Oxford University in England. He was a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Chile and taught at Columbia, Yale, New York University and Louisiana State University.
Parra brought the skepticism of science to his literary work, rejecting traditional poetic techniques and experimenting with prose-like styles, everyday images and grotesque humor in what he called "anti-poetry."....
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