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Octavio

Octavio

Paz, Octavio, 1914-98, Mexican poet and critic. A diplomat, he lived abroad many years. Paz's books—revealing depth of insight, elegance, and erudition—place him among his generation's ablest writers. His works include the poetry collections La estación violenta (1956), Piedra de sol (1957), Alternating Current (tr. 1973), Configurations (tr. 1971), Early Poems: 1935-1955 (tr. 1974), and Collected Poems, 1957-1987 (1987); the volumes of essays The Labyrinth of Solitude (tr. 1963), The Other Mexico (tr. 1972); and El arco y la lira (1956; tr. The Bow and the Lyre, 1973); criticism; and studies of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Marcel Duchamp (both, tr. 1970). In 1971-72 Paz delivered the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard; they are collected in Children of the Mire: Modern Poetry from Romanticism to the Avant-Garde (1974). In 1990 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

See I. Ivask, ed., The Perpetual Present (1974).

Octavio Paz shortly after receiving his Nobel Prize, 1990

(born March 31, 1914, Mexico City, Mex.—died April 19, 1998, Mexico City) Mexican poet, writer, and diplomat. Educated at the University of Mexico, Paz published his first book of poetry, Savage Moon, in 1933. He later founded and edited several important literary reviews. Influenced in turn by Marxism, Surrealism, existentialism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, his poetry uses rich imagery in dealing with metaphysical questions, and his most prominent theme is the human ability to overcome existential solitude through erotic love and artistic creativity. His prose works include The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950), an influential essay on Mexican history and culture. He was Mexico's ambassador to India (1962–68). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.

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Octavio Paz shortly after receiving his Nobel Prize, 1990

(born March 31, 1914, Mexico City, Mex.—died April 19, 1998, Mexico City) Mexican poet, writer, and diplomat. Educated at the University of Mexico, Paz published his first book of poetry, Savage Moon, in 1933. He later founded and edited several important literary reviews. Influenced in turn by Marxism, Surrealism, existentialism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, his poetry uses rich imagery in dealing with metaphysical questions, and his most prominent theme is the human ability to overcome existential solitude through erotic love and artistic creativity. His prose works include The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950), an influential essay on Mexican history and culture. He was Mexico's ambassador to India (1962–68). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990.

Learn more about Paz, Octavio with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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