Octavio Paz


Octavio Paz Lozano (March 31, 1914 – April 19, 1998) was a Mexican poet and diplomat. For his body of work, he was awarded the 1981 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the 1982 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the 1990 Nobel Prize in Literature.  … In 1965, he married Marie-José Tramini, a French woman who would be his wife for the rest of his life. In October 1968, he resigned from the diplomatic service in protest of the Mexican government’s massacre of student demonstrators in Tlatelolco. After staying in Paris for refuge, he returned to Mexico in 1969. … A prolific author and poet, Paz published scores of works during his lifetime, many of which have been translated into other languages. His poetry has been translated into English by Samuel Beckett, Charles Tomlinson, Elizabeth Bishop, Muriel Rukeyser and Mark Strand. His early poetry was influenced by Marxism, surrealism, and existentialism, as well as religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. His poem, ‘Piedra de sol’ (‘Sunstone’), written in 1957, was praised as a ‘magnificent’ example of surrealist poetry in the presentation speech of his Nobel Prize. His later poetry dealt with love and eroticism, the nature of time, and Buddhism. He also wrote poetry about his other passion, modern painting, dedicating poems to the work of Balthus, Joan Miró, Marcel Duchamp, Antoni Tàpies, Robert Rauschenberg, and Roberto Matta. As an essayist Paz wrote on topics such as Mexican politics and economics, Aztec art, anthropology, and sexuality. His book-length essay, The Labyrinth of Solitude (Spanish: El laberinto de la soledad), delves into the minds of his countrymen, describing them as hidden behind masks of solitude. … In the prologue to Volume IX of his complete works, Paz stated that from the time when he abandoned communist dogma, the mistrust of many in the Mexican intelligentsia started to transform into an intense and open enmity. Paz continued to consider himself a man of the left, the democratic, ‘liberal’ left, not the dogmatic and illiberal one. He also criticized the Mexican government and leading party that dominated the nation for most of the 20th century. Politically, Paz was basically a social democrat, who became increasingly supportive of liberal ideas without ever renouncing to his initial leftist and romantic views. …”
Wikipedia
New Directions
Return (An Etching for Octavio Paz)
NYBooks: In a Cuban Prison – Jean-Paul Sartre, Michel Foucault, Simone de Beauvoir, Claude Roy, and Phillippe Sollers, et al.
W – The Labyrinth of Solitude, [PDF]
Bill Moyers – A Poet a Day: Octavio Paz (Video)

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