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The Complete Memoirs

Expanded Edition

Pablo Neruda; Translated from the Spanish by Hardie St. Martin and Adrian Nathan West

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Complete Memoirs Download image

ISBN10: 0374538123
ISBN13: 9780374538125

Trade Paperback

496 Pages



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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.


Praise for The Complete Memoirs

"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West offer a new edition, adding 19 sections of material from lectures, travel notes, and hitherto lost, unfinished, or unpublished fragments, along with editorial notes about where the material was found and why it was included .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


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About the author

Pablo Neruda; Translated from the Spanish by Hardie St. Martin and Adrian Nathan West

Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), one of the most renowned poets of the twentieth century, was born in Parral, Chile. He shared the World Peace Prize with Paul Robeson and Pablo Picasso in 1950, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971. His books include Residence on Earth, Canto General, Extravagaria, and Isla Negra.

Hardie St. Martin translated work by Vincente Aleixandre, Roque Dalton, Enrique Lihn, Nicanor Parra, and Luisa Valenzuela, among others. He was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship in 1965, a P.E.N. International Translation Award, and an ALTA award for excellence in editing and translation. His anthology of Spanish poetry, Roots and Wings, is still considered a literary landmark. Hardie died September 3, 2007.

Adrian Nathan West is the author of The Aesthetics of Degradation. He is a contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and the Literary Review; his essays, short fiction and translations have also appeared in the New York Review of Books, McSweeney's, the London Review of Books and other publications. He has translated books from German, Catalan, Spanish and French by authors such as Josef Winkler, Pere Gimferrer and Marianne Fritz.

Pablo Neruda