Confieso que he vivido. Memorias
Biography / Memoirs , 1974
The classic and deeply moving memoir by Pablo Neruda
The 2017 new edition of Confieso que he vivido incorporates unpublished material from the Pablo Neruda Foundation.
Amongst this new material we can find: a notebook dated from June 1973 with handwritten notes about the subjects that Neruda wanted to include in his memoires. Also, the story of the poet’s return to his home town, where the only trace left is an old wooden horse. In some other texts, Neruda refers to one of his best friend’s intimate life, the Spanish poet Federico García Lorca; in those, Neruda reflects on religion and poetry and on the historical and political dimension of the southern land, where his poetry was born. We can find, as well, in this new edition, writings about two of his main political and literary adversaries.
The south of Chile was a frontier wilderness when Pablo Neruda was born in 1904. In these memoirs he retraces his bohemian student years in Santiago; his sojourns as Chilean consul in Burma, Ceylon, and Java, in Spain during the civil war, and in Mexico; and his service as a Chilean senator. Neruda, a Communist, was driven from his senate seat in 1948, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. After a year in hiding, he escaped on horseback over the Andes and then to Europe; his travels took him to Russia, Eastern Europe, and China before he was finally able to return home in 1952. The final section of the memoirs was written after the coup in 1972 that overthrew Neruda's friend Salvador Allende.
Many of the century's most important literary and artistic figures were Neruda's friends, and figure in his memoirs –Garcia Lorca, Aragon, Picasso, and Rivera, among them– and also such political leaders as Gandhi, Nehru, Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara. In his uniquely expressive prose, Neruda not only explains his views on poetry and describes the circumstances that inspired many of his poems, but he creates a revealing record of his life as a poet, a patriot, and one of the twentieth century's true men of conscience.