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.
Comprising 15 sections and over 300 separate poems, this epic traces the history of Spanish America from the pre-Colombian innocence to present corruption. Despite the heavy-handed, overt, and somewhat dated Communist propaganda, the permanent value of this masterpiece lies in the personal prophetic vision, grandiose scheme, and heterogeneity of verse forms. Neruda coalesces contrasting styles, from the sublime, almost mystical lyricism of self-exploration in ``The Heights of Macchu Picchu'' to the prosaic, oratorical bombast of ``The Sand Betrayed.'' Although excerpts have been previously translated and regularly anthologized, this landmark edition, accurate and literal, marks the first time this monumental work appears in English in its entirety. Recommended.-- Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio