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Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life

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Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Adam Feinstein's book is the first English-language biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Relating Neruda's remarkable life story and delving into the literary legacy of the man Gabriel Garcia Marquez called "the greatest poet of the twentiehth-century-in any language," Feinstein uncovers the details of this icon's artistic output, political engagement, friendships with a pantheon of important 20th-century artistic and political figures, and many loves.

Adam Feinstein is a writer, translator, and broadcaster who has written about Spanish and Latin American literature for many newspapers and magazines. He has published a number of short stories, as well as translations of poetry by Federico García Lorca and Mario Benedetti. Feinstein has also worked for the Latin American Service of the BBC and has been a London correspondent for El Mundo.
This first authoritative biography of Pablo Neruda, the Chilean poet and Nobel laureate, illuminates the remarkable life of a beloved literary hero. Born into a poor family in southern Chile in 1904, Neruda achieved early fame with his celebrated book Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, and quickly gained prominence as a political figure as well. While he was Chilean consul in Spain, he became an active supporter of the Republican cause; within ten years, his outspoken criticism of González Videla's regime in Chile put him at risk in his own country. He lived underground for a year before finally fleeing Chile in a dramatic escape into exile.

As his poems made him a household name throughout the Spanish-speaking world and won him considerable international acclaim—he was given the 1971 Nobel Prize for Literature—Neruda married three times and endured the early death of a daughter, finally finding a domestic idyll at Isla Negra with his third wife. He also forged close friendships with some of the greatest writers and artists of his time, including Lorca and Picasso. And he maintained a controversial loyalty to Stalin even after the horrors of the gulag were revealed.

Adam Feinstein draws on revealing interviews with those who knew Neruda best, including his closest friends and surviving relatives, as well as newly discovered documents in South America, the United States, and the former Soviet Union. Published on the occasion of Neruda's centenary year, this biography provides the first full portrait of a man whose dramatic times, dynamic poetry, commitment to social justice, and joie de vivre made him an icon of the twentieth century.

"His research is scrupulous. He has explored every aspect of Neruda's life with care and attention to detail, talking with countless friends, acquaintances and specialists (he is especially influenced by the Oxford don Robert Pring-Mill, one of Neruda's unheralded champions). He records the poet's bohemian years in the '20s, his immersion in poetry as an adolescent and the writing of his popular Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (which Neruda himself believed was mediocre), his diplomatic service in Burma and Sri Lanka, his witnessing of the Spanish Civil War as well as his misguided Stalinism and support of Fidel Castro. Also brought to light are details time has managed to eclipse, such as his fascinating relationship with his half-sister Laurita, his ambivalence toward his daughter Malva Marina Trinidad (whom Neruda infamously described as 'a kind of semi-colon, a three-kilo vampire') and his love of the early-17th-century Iberian poet Quevedo."—lan Stavans, The Washington Post Book World
 
"[Feinstein's] book turns Neruda's life into an opera—blend of aria and recitative."—Andrew Motion, The Guardian (UK)
 
"Neruda, who died in 1973, was considered among the greatest poets of the past century and a man full of passions and contradictions who, despite his efforts to sing his political views, is also remembered as a poet of love. This biography follows Neruda from his precocious poetic beginnings to his wanderings as a diplomat in Asia, Argentina, France, Spain, and Mexico. Journalist and translator Feinstein recounts how Neruda saved the lives of many republicans during the Spanish Civil War and how his activism in Chile's Communist Party forced him into exile in 1948. Neruda crossed the Andes to travel yet more through Europe and America, where he befriended such famous men as Lorca and Picasso. Back in Chile in 1952, after writing many great books, Neruda ran for the presidency and his commitment to social justice strengthened. But Feinstein also examines the other constant in the poet's life, love, detailing his three marriages and innumerable love affairs, including plenty of bittersweet stories in an attempt to clarify the often fantastic versions of Neruda's own memories. Feinstein undoubtedly researched every existent source and found new ones, and the result is a detailed and accurate biography . . . This is a necessary book, with many beautiful photos."—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

Adam Feinstein's book is the first English-language biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Relating Neruda's remarkable life story and delving into the literary legacy of the man Gabriel Garcia Marquez called "the greatest poet of the twentiehth-century-in any language," Feinstein uncovers the details of this icon's artistic output, political engagement, friendships with a pantheon of important 20th-century artistic and political figures, and many loves.

About the Author

Adam Feinstein is a prize-winning translator of Spanish and Latin American poetry, as well as a journalist and broadcaster specializing in foreign affairs. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781582345949
Subtitle:
A Passion for Life
Author:
Feinstein, Adam
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Biography
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20050808
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
510
Dimensions:
7.75 x 5.17 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

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Product details 510 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781582345949 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Adam Feinstein's book is the first English-language biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Relating Neruda's remarkable life story and delving into the literary legacy of the man Gabriel Garcia Marquez called "the greatest poet of the twentiehth-century-in any language," Feinstein uncovers the details of this icon's artistic output, political engagement, friendships with a pantheon of important 20th-century artistic and political figures, and many loves.

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