Miranda France

Great — but uneven like the Andes

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Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life

Adam Feinstein

Bloomsbury, pp. 497, £

Pablo Neruda had three houses in Chile, the most lovely of them at La Isla Negra, on the Pacific coast near Valparaiso. This house is Neruda’s love-song to the sea that inspired so many of his poems. Like a stranded boat on the beach, its timbers creak, a collection of figure-heads loom from the rafters and miniature ships in bottles are lined against the windows. Neruda inscribed on the beams the names of his greatest friends, including the murdered Spanish poet, Federico Garc