Poems from the Canto General (Signed Limited)
New York: Racolin Press, 1968.
New York: Racolin Press, 1968. First thus. Out of a limitation of 235, one of ten lettered copies A-J (this copy being J), signed by the artist on the limitation page and on each of the 10 lithographs. A truly striking combination of poetry and visual arts, measuring an impressive 1040 x 600mm. Complete as issued in 63 pages with 10 lithographed and signed illustrations. Housed in the original publisher's linen clamshell with just a touch of fraying to spine ends. Of the 14 copies listed at institutions according to OCLC, only three are of the lettered limitation (B at Illinois, D at Hamilton, and G at Stony Brook). While individual lithographs frequently come up at auction, only one complete copy is documented in Rare Book Hub.
A collaborative masterwork, Poems from the Canto General pairs some of Neruda's most important political lyrics with muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros large-scale lithographs. Originally conceived as a more traditional livre des artistes, the scale of Siqueiros' contribution altered the production, leading to the lithographs being included as a separate suite of gently folded pages rather than intermixed with Neruda's text. Prior to the collaboration, the two artists had already achieved fame; they had also worked on earlier iterations of the Cantos. "The friendship between Neruda and Siqueiros was born in Mexico, when Neruda worked there as Chilean consul and the painter languished in jail after having organized an armed assault on the home of Leon Trotsky" (Trinity). From this "ideological affinity" as well as their shared "artistic and social sensibilities" that the groundwork of their friendship was laid (Trinity). Canto General was in many ways the most perfect outcome -- a complete artistic call for the liberation of all peoples on the continent. Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. (Item #5688)