The literary legacy of Octavio Paz It is celebrated not only in our country, but in different parts of the world, such as India and Japan. Undisputed poet, with masterpieces such as sun stone (1957), was an acute observer of his current situation, a thinker and an essayist who was extremely intelligent, but also an outspoken intellectual and, perhaps for this reason, controversial.
A fundamental referent in literature, with books in which he reflects on poetic creation, the poem and tradition, as in The bow and the lyre (1956) or the double flame (1993), was an author who publicly addressed essential issues, such as freedom and democracy, but also controversial ones such as power and politics.
Beyond the criticism that the figure of Octavio Paz has faced in recent years, the poets Alberto Ruy Sanchez and Roxana Elvridge-Thomas agree and emphasize that the author of The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950) you have to read him, get to know him through his texts and not in what is said, sometimes erroneously, about him.
“The best antidote against unfounded lies is to read it. All of his work is in the Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE), there are loose books, very cheap and accessible, there is his complete work and it is part of various anthologies ”, Ruy Sánchez pointed out in a brief interview.
“Nothing else is giving yourself the time to go to the bookstore, browse the books and see which one is best. First of all, I invite you to read his poetry. But if you want to read about the subject of power, I recommend the philanthropic ogre (1979), which brings together many essays on power and politics in Mexico, where you will see that there is criticism from people who are ignorant of his work. He pointed out that reading this work also offers many guidelines to understand the current context.
He considered that to get closer to the writer it is not necessary to separate the man from the work, but to remember that “each artist is complex and maintains relationships with his environment in a different way”, for which reason reading it also gives an account of his person.
The also author of the novel The Anna Akhmatova dossier recalled that Octavio Paz, with whom he collaborated on the magazine Lap, was a generous man: “My anecdotes with him are many. He was an extremely generous man, whom it is essential to read ”.
His poetic work is admirable
For her part, the poet Roxana Elvridge-Thomas explained that Octavio Paz is controversial for his actions: “In his favor, I must say that he acted like a man of his time (dark times in terms of human rights). However, we must save his work that, although in some appreciations he is far surpassed (especially the political ones), his poetic work is admirable.
“Currently not enough is read for many reasons and prejudices. In the first place, the political affiliation of his last years that makes the public question his vision and forget that he gave up continuing to work for a government that murdered his students, in 1968 ”, at which time Paz left the Embassy of Mexico in India, after learning about the events that occurred on October 2 of that year..
“On the other hand, there are his actions with Elena Garro. It is a very controversial topic. I myself deplore your sexism and lack of sensitivity in that regard. But this is one of the cases in which we must separate the human being from his work and realize that he is, above all, a lucid essayist and a poet of great quality.
The also professor highlighted that Octavio Paz has works that do not expire, such as the children of slime either The bow and the lyrewhere he develops his vision of poetry and poets, and considered that his translations contributed not only to making other types of literature known in Mexico, but also to making Mexican literature known abroad:
“His importance as a translator is great. He translated into our language poets and poems based on the current culture. His vision of the Orient impacted a generation who followed in his footsteps and created very interesting work. His action was also key for the poetry of our country to be known internationally ”.
the author of the second labyrinth he remembered the writer as a warm person: “Octavio Paz’s poetic and essayistic work has influenced my critical thinking about poetry and my poetic creation (…), since my master’s studies at UNAM.
“When I met him, in an interview for the program today in culture from Channel 11, was a warm and friendly person who spoke to me at length about poetry and essays. Her vision of her essay stuck with me and I still repeat it to my students.
“Therefore, from those dates (around 1993), I admire the work of Paz. I think he’s always been a great poet and his vision (taken from TS Eliot) of the critical poet has been definitive in my way of planting myself in the world as a poet”.
Finally, he recommended poetry as a way to delve into his work: the violent season and Salamander they are his favorite books. He finds the opening poems in these books wonderful and anyone can be drawn to them.
Octavio Paz was born on March 31, 1914, throughout his career wrote more than 50 works, between poetry, dramatic poetry, prose, lyrical prose, essay and translations. Starting in 1945, he served as Mexico’s ambassador to countries like France and India. In 1981 he was awarded the Cervantes Prize and in 1990 he received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his body of work. The author died on April 19, 1998 in Mexico City.
Within the framework of the 109th anniversary of the birth of the Mexican poet, Octavio Paz, the Marie José and Octavio Paz Housewhich has the vocation of preserving and disseminating the legacy of the first Mexican writer awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature 1990.