Gorgeous Chilean bibliophile folio of Neruda’s most famous erotic poems, 1970 – ON HOLD


Pablo Neruda: 20 poemas de amor y una canción desesperada. With 21, where of 1 double-paged six colour offset plates after original water-colours by Mario Toral. № 3981 (of 4782) copies. Santiago de Chile, 1970

Pablo Neruda: 20 poemas de amor y una canción desesperada. With 21, where of 1 double-paged six colour offset plates as well as dust jacket after original water-colours by Mario Toral. Typographical design after 19th century types in gilt and black by Mauricio Amster. № 3981 (of 4782) copies. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Lord Cochrane (Antonio Escobar Williams), 1970.

Square folio (40:40 cm). 149 [3] (partly numbered) pages. Colour offset and offset on thick (180gr) paper, thread-stitched in the original publisher's pale grey cloth with blind embossed calligraphic title printing and in the original publisher's colour illustrated dust jacket with title on spine.

Copy № 3981 of a large-format bibliophile edition of Neruda's most famous erotic poems, here complete in the well preserved dust jacket.

Edition, Illustration, Contents: Present is one of 4782 copies of the trade edition numbered with stamp in the colophon, after 218 copies of different de luxe and h.c. states, adding to a total print run of 5120.

The inspiring water-colours originally painted for this book are by Mario Toral Muñoz (1934), a Chilean painter and photographer. Neruda himself admired Toral's art, which he even praised in verse: "Toral transforms his transformation, forms his form, expands his latitude... Toral explores the unknown universe that awaits us from the high towers".

Upon first publication in 1924, the explicitly erotic contents of »Veinte Poemas« lead to controversial reception. Neruda, who was nineteen years old at the time, defended his work in an open letter published in the journal »La Nacion«, referring to the struggle of completing his project: "Ten years of solitary labour, exactly half my life, have made diverse rhythms and contrary currents succeed one another in my expression... Disperse as thought in its elusive variation, I have made these poems and I have suffered much in making them" (quoted after de Costa, p. 21). Despite the initial reaction, Veinte poemas enjoyed a long-lasting success, and it remains Neruda's best known work.

Condition: Dust jacket in parts very slightly stained, with some very little wear and crease at margins and edges in particular; otherwise very well preserved copy of this gorgeous edition with explicit bibliophilic character.

Rarity, Holdings: Scarce in complete state. As of March 24, 2024, KVK locates only 3 more copies for Germany (Köln [Diözesan- und Dombibl.], München [BSB] and Stuttgart UB).

Reference: Costa, R de. The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, 1982; Inti : revista de cultura hispánica, no. 69-70, 2009. (Thanks to Peter Harrington, London).

Additional information

Weight 7 kg