Octavio Paz

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Born March 31st of 1914 in Mexico City. Octavio was a Mexican writer, poet, diplomat and the winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature. He received an elementary education in English and French schools of the city. On his father’s side, his grandfather was a prominent liberal intellectual and one of the first authors to write a novel with an expressly Indian theme. Thanks to his grandfather’s extensive library, Paz came into early contact with literature. Like his grandfather, his father was also an active political journalist who, together with other progressive intellectuals, joined the agrarian uprisings led by Emiliano Zapata. From a young age Octavio started to collaborate in various magazines and already showed interest in the literary world, and in 1933 published his first book a book of poems, Wild Moon.


In 1937 he married the also very famous writer Elena Garro with whom he had a daughter they named Helena. They were invited to Spain in the middle of the civil war, to attend the Congress of Antifascist Writers. 1938 he went to Paris and is introduced to Alejo Carpentier, participating in the surrealist movement and the existentialist doctrine. Upon his return to Mexico in 1938, he became one of the founders of the journal, “Taller” (Workshop), a magazine which signaled the emergence of a new generation of writers in Mexico as well as a new literary sensibility. In 1944 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and he stayed a year in the United States, he returned to Mexico joined the diplomatic service: France, Japan and India, until he resigned in 1968. In 1959 Octavio and Elena were divorced, it is said that Elena never recovered from their divorce and obsessed over Octavio in her writings.


In 1959  he moved to Italy following his lover Bona Tibertelli an Italian Painter. In 1962 Octavio was named Mexico’s ambassador to India. While in India Octavio was involved with a group of writers called “The Hungry Generation” he had a very profound influence on them. In 1963 he broke of his relationship with Bona and he married Marie-José Tramini a French woman who was his wife for the remainder of his life. In October of 1968 , he resigned  from the diplomatic corps as a protest against the massacre of students and people of Mexico, October 2, ordered by President Díaz Ordaz in Tlatelolco Square. After this event he fled to Paris and did not return  until 1969. In 1970 Octavio founded the magazine “Plural” with a group of liberal Mexican and Latin American writers. From 1970 – 1974 he lectured at Harvard University, where he held the Charles Eliot Norton professorship. In 1975 he founded the magazine “Vuelta”, he was the editor of this magazine until his death.  In 1980 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard. Octavio Paz died of cancer in 1998.




1933 – Luna silvestre. México, Fabula.

1936 – No pasarán! México, Simbad.

1937 – Raíz del hombre. México, Simbad.

1937 – Bajo tu clara sombra y otros poemas sobre España. Valencia, Ediciones Españolas.

1941 – Entre la piedra y la flor. México, Nueva Voz.

1942 – A la orilla del mundo. México, ARS, 1942.

1949 – Libertad bajo palabra. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1951 – Águila o sol? México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1954 – Semillas para un himno. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1957 – Piedra de sol. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1958 – La estación violenta. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1962 – Salamandra (1958-1961). México, Joaquín Mortiz.

1965 – Viento entero. Delhi, The Caxton Press.

1967 – Blanco. México, Joaquin Mortiz.

1968 – Discos visuales. México, Ediciones ERA, (Arte de Vicente Rojo).

1969 – Ladera Este (1962-1968). México, Joaquín Mortiz.

1969 – La centena (1935-1968). Barcelona, Barral.

1971 – Topoemas, México, Ediciones ERA.

1972 – Renga. México, Joaquín Mortiz. Poema colectivo con Jacques Roubaud, Edoardo Sanguinetti y Charles Tomlinson.

1974 – El mono gramático.Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1975 – Pasado en claro. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1976 – Vuelta. Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1979 – Hijos del aire/Airborn. Con Charles Tomlinson. México, Martín Pescador.

1979 – Poemas (1935-1975). Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1985 – Prueba del nueve. México, Círculo de Lectores.

1987 – Árbol adentro (1976-1987). Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1989 – Lo mejor de Octavio Paz. El fuego de cada día. Selección, prólogo y notas del autor. Barcelona, Seix Barral.



1956 – “La hija de Rappaccini”. México, en la Revista Mexicana de Literatura.



1950 – El laberinto de la soledad. México, Cuadernos Americanos.

1959 – Segunda edición, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1956 – El arco y la lira. México, Fondo de Cultura Econ&oacutemica.

1957 – Las peras del olmo. México, UNAM.

1965 – Cuadrivio. México, Joaquín Mortiz.

1965 – Los signos en rotación. Buenos Aires, Sur.

1966 – Puertas al campo. México, UNAM.

1967 – Claude Lévi-Strauss o el nuevo festín de Esopo. México, Joaquín Mortiz.

1967 – Corriente alterna. México, Siglo XXI.

1973 – Marcel Duchamp o el castillo de la pureza. México, Ediciones ERA 1968. Incluido después en Apariencia desnuda; la obra de Marcel Duchamp. México, Ediciones ERA.

Conjunciones y disyunciones. México, Joaquín Mortiz.

1969 – México: la última década. Austin, Institute of Latin American Studies, University of Texas.

1970 – Posdata. México, Siglo XXI.

1971 – Las cosas en su sitio: sobre la literatura española del siglo xx. Con Juan Marichal. México, Finisterre.

1971 – Los signos en rotación y otros ensayos. Introducción y edición de Carlos Fuentes. Madrid, Alianza Editorial.

1971 – Traducción: literatura y literalidad. Barcelona, Tusquets Editores.

1973 – El signo y el garabato. México, Joaquín Mortiz.

1973 – Solo a dos voces. Con Julián Rios. Barcelona, Lumen.

1974 – Teatro de signos/Transparencias. Edición de Julián Rios. Madrid, Fundamentos.

1974 – La búsqueda del comienzo. Madrid, Fundamentos.

1974 – Los hijos del limo: del romanticismo a la vanguardia. Barcelona Seix Barral.

1978 – Xavier Villaurrutia en persona y en obra. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1979 – El ogro filantropico: historia y politica (1971-1978). México, Joaquin Mortiz.

1979 – In/mediaciones. Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1979 – México en la obra de Octavio Paz. Editado y con una introducción de Luis Mario Schneider. México, Promociones Editoriales Mexicanas.

1982 – Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz o las trampas de la fe. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica y Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1983 – Tiempo nublado. Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1983 – Sombras de obras. Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1984 – Hombres en su siglo y otros ensayos. Barcelona, Seix Barral.

1985 – Pasión crítica: conversaciones con Octavio Paz. Edición de Hugo J. Verani. Barcelona Seix Barral.

1987 – México en la obra de Octavio Paz (3 volumenes). Vol. I. El peregrino en su patria. Historia y política de México. Vol. II. Generaciones y semblanzas. Escritores y letras de México. Vol. III.Los privilegios de la vista. Arte de México. Edición de Luis Mario Schneider y Octa vio Paz. México, Fondo de Cultura Económica.

1988 – Primeras páginas. Edición e introducción de Enrico Mario Santí. Barcelona, Seix Barral y México, Vuelta.

1989 – Poes & iacutea, mito, revolución. Precedido por los discursos de Francois Mitterrand, Alain Peyrefitte, Pierre Godefroy. Premio Alexis de Tocqueville. México, Vuelta.

1990 – La otra vez. Poesía y fin de siglo. Barcelona, Seix Barral.


Some of the honors he was given :

1990 – Nobel Prize for Literature

1984 – Peace Prize of the German Book Trade

1985 – Oslo Poetry Prize

1981 – Cervantes Prize

National Literature Prize (Mexico)

Premio Mondello (Palermo, Italy)

Alfonso Reyes Prize

Neustadt International Prize for Literature

1977 – Jerusalem Prize

1987 – Menendez y Pelayo Prize

Alexis de Tocqueville Prize

Xavier Villaurrutia Award

1980 – Doctor Honoris Causa (Harvard)

Doctor Honoris Causa (National Autonomous University of Mexico)




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