In Light of India by Octavio Paz

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“One of the most brilliant and original essayists in any language” (Washington Post Book World) reflects on the six years he spent in India as Mexican ambassador-and reveals how the people and culture of that extraordinary land changed his life. Translated by Eliot Weinberger.

About Octavio Paz

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Octavio Paz was born in 1914 and died in 1998. The author of eighteen books, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. Eliot Weinberger was born on February 6, 1949. He is a writer, editor and translator. His work has been published in 30 languages. He first gained recognition from his translations of Nobel Prize winner and poet Octavio Paz. These translations include Collected Poems 1957-1987 and In Light of India. He has also translated other writers such as Vicente Huidobro's Altazor. He received the National Board Critic's Circle Award for his edition of Borge's Selected Non-Fictions. Today Eliot Weinberger is mostly known for his essays and political articles focusing on U.S. politics and foreign policy. His literary writings include An Elemental Thing, which was selected by The Village Voice as one of the "20 Best Books of the Year for 2009. He is also the co-author of a study of Chinese poetry translations, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei. In 2000 he was the only American literary writer to be awarded the order of the Aztec Eagle by the government of Mexico.
Published March 25, 1997 by Harcourt. 224 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, Biographies & Memoirs, Nature & Wildlife, Literature & Fiction, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Neither a memoir nor a scholarly treatment, Paz's work is instead a meditative response to ``the question that India poses to everyone who visits it.'' The question for Paz in particular: ``How does a Mexican writer, at the end of the twentieth century, view the immense reality of India?'' Answer...

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Publishers Weekly

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Walking the teeming streets, Paz sees ""skeletal cows with no owners, beggars, creaking carts drawn by enervated oxen, rivers of bicycles"" and catches ""gusts of stench, decomposing matter, whiffs of pure and fresh perfumes."" ""Religions, Castes, Languages"" highlights rifts in Indian society, ...

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Los Angeles Times

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By his own admission, Octavio Paz's "In Light of India" is "not a systematic study, but a more or less ordered gathering of the reflections, impressions, and objections that India provoked in [him]."

Mar 30 1997 | Read Full Review of In Light of India

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