Southern Chile was an open frontier when the beloved poet Pablo Neruda was born there in 1904. A motherless, pensive child in the wild, he began writing poems long before quitting the countryside for Santiago, where he spent his bohemian student years. From there, his memoir follows his travels as a globetrotting Chilean consul—including a stint in Spain during its civil war, and in Mexico, where he attracted attention for aiding a man suspected of conspiring to assassinate Leon Trotsky—and his short-lived service as a Chilean senator. Neruda, a communist, was driven from his senate seat in 1948, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. After a year in hiding, he escaped on horseback over the Andes, then to Europe and Asia. The memoirs conclude shortly after the coup in 1972 that overthrew his close friend Salvador Allende, Chile’s first democratically elected president, as Neruda himself battled cancer.
Now expanded to include newly discovered material, The Complete Memoirs is the definitive edition of Neruda’s classic memoir—a moving, revealing record of his life as a poet, a patriot, and one of the twentieth century’s true men of conscience.
"Nearly 50 years after the posthumous publication of the memoir of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), translators St. Martin and West offer a new edition, adding 19 sections of material from lectures, travel notes, and hitherto lost, unfinished, or unpublished fragments, along with editorial notes about where the material was found and why it was included . . . The fresh material is skillfully woven into the original memoir, which Neruda called his 'journey around myself,' with evocations of his family and childhood, global travels, friends and foes, carnal desires, aspirations and achievements as a poet, and celebration of the natural world, which 'made me euphoric.' Overall, the selections round out Neruda’s image as a poet who strived 'to denounce what contributes to backwardness and lift up the hopes, open the possibilities, increase the joy of the human race.'"—Kirkus Reviews
Reviews from Goodreads
The Country Boy
THE CHILEAN FOREST
Under the volcanoes, beside the snow-capped mountains, among the huge lakes, the fragrant, the silent, the tangled Chilean forest … My feet sink down into...