The Canto General, thought by many of Neruda’s most prominent critics to be the poet’s masterpiece, is the stunning epic of an entire continent and its people. Written in Neruda’s lyrical and mellifluous style, Canto General speaks with passion, lucidity, and even premonition of the heavy burden of social injustice and the brutality of tyrannical rule. But it also speaks with overflowing sensuality of love (for women, for the people, for his country). It would be unconscionable not to absorb and understand this book in its social and historical context, yet it would be a great mistake to view it uniquely as a political work of expression.
Pablo Neruda is regarded as the greatest Latin American poet of the 20th century. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, his breadth of vision and wide range of themes are extraordinary, and his work continues to inspire new generations of writers.