Pablo Neruda, one of the most renowned poets of the twentieth century, was born in Farral, Chile, in 1904. His first volumes of poetry were published when he was a student in Santiago (1923-1926). Mr. Neruda served as Chilean consul in Rangoon, Madrid, Colombo, Batavia, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Paris, and Mexico City. After the Spanish Civil War, he returned to Chile via Macchu Picchu (Peru) in 1943, joined the Communist Party of Chile, and became a senator in 1945. Mr. Neruda was persecuted as a Communist and forced underground in 1948 escaping into exile in Mexico. In 1950 he shared the World Peace Prize with Paul Robeson and Pablo Picasso, and after returning to Chile in 1952, he was awarded the Stalin Prize the following year. In 1965 he became the first Latin American literary figure to receive an honorary degree from Oxford University. In August 1966 Pablo Neruda made his second visit to the United States as a delegate to the world congress of the P. E. N. He was the Chilean ambassador to France during the early 1970s, and in 1971 he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. Mr. Neruda died in 1973.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux first published Alastair Reid’s translation of Extravagaria in 1974, Hardie St. Martin’s translation of Memoirs in 1977 and Margaret Sayers Peden’s translation of Passions and Impressions in 1983. Other FSG bilingual editions include The Heights of Macchu Picchu, translated by Nathaniel Tarn (1966); Splendor and Death of Joaquin Murieta, translated by Ben Belitt (1972); and Isla Negra, translated and with an introduction by Alastair Reid, was published in 1981.