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Review: The Unknown Neruda, by Pablo Neruda

[...]It is probably not an exaggeration to say that Neruda's poetry is not greatly well represented among British publishers. There is, for fairly obvious reasons, much more interest in North America. Globally Neruda has very high recognition. He began writing poetry early in his teens, and many of his younger efforts were love or erotic poems. His Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Santiago, 1924) made his name in emphatic fashion, with as Adam Feinstein points out, also Neruda's biographer, sales of some seven million copies by the time of Neruda's centenary in 2004. His receiving the Nobel Prize in 1971 was marked with a national holiday.

[...]Stephen Hart has said that Neruda is 'Latin America's arguably most important poet' (Cambridge Companion to Latin American Poetry, Preface, pxiii), and that might bestow on him the kind of stature a Hugo has for France or a Pushkin for Russia.

[...]Feinstein knows his Neruda well, and if these are overlooked pieces, nonetheless they do still reward the attention. As his introductory note says, may 'this collection' 'sweep you, the reader, on this same exhilarating journey' (p9) as Neruda's eventful life that Feinstein has so vividly previously chronicled.