Mexican Poetry by Octavio Paz
An Anthology

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Synopsis

The renowned Mexican poet and critic Octavio Paz assembled this important anthology—the first of its kind in English translation—with a keen sense of what is both representative and universal in Mexican poetry. His informative introduction places the thirty-five selected poets within a literary and historical context that spans four centuries (1521-1910). This accomplished translation is the work of the young Samuel Beckett, just out of Trinity College, who had been awarded a grant by UNESCO to collaborate with Paz on the project.

Notable among the writers who appear in this anthology are Bernardo de Balbuena (1561-1627), a master of the baroque period who celebrated the exuberant atmosphere and wealth of the New World; Juan Ruíz de Alarcón (1581?-1639), who became one of Spain’s great playwrights; and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695), the beautiful nun whose passionate lyric poetry, written within her convent’s walls, has made her, three hundred years later, a proto-feminist literary heroine.

This is a major collection of Mexican poetry from its beginnings until the modern period, compiled and translated by two giants of world literature.
 

About Octavio Paz

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Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was born in Mexico City. He wrote many volumes of poetry, as well as a prolific body of remarkable works of non ction on subjects as varied as poetics, literary and art criticism, politics, culture, and Mexican history. He was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 1977, the Cervantes Prize in 1981, and the Neustadt Prize in 1982. He received the German Peace Prize for his political work, and nally, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. Nobel Prize winner (1969) Samuel Beckett was born on April 13, 1906 near Dublin, Ireland into a middle-class Protestant family. As a boy, he studied French and enjoyed cricket, tennis, and boxing. At Trinity College he continued his studies in French and Italian and became interested in theater and film, including American film. After graduation, Beckett taught English in Paris and traveled through France and Germany. While in Paris Beckett met Suzanne Deschevaus-Dusmesnil. During World War II when Paris was invaded, they joined the Resistance. They were later forced to flee Paris after being betrayed to the Gestapo, but returned in 1945. Beckett and Deschevaus-Dusmesnil married in 1961. Samuel Beckett's first novel was Dream of Fair to Middling Women. Among his many works are Murphy; Malone Dies; and The Unnameable. His plays include Endgame, Happy Days, Not I, That Time, and Krapp's Last Tape. In 1953, the production of Waiting For Godot in Paris by director and actor Roger Blin earned Beckett international fame. Beckett was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969. His style was postmodern minimalist and some of his major themes were imprisonment in one's self, the failure of language, and moral conduct in a godless world. Despite his fame, Samuel Beckett led a secluded life. In his later years he suffered from cataracts and emphysema. His wife Suzanne died on July 17, 1989 and Beckett died on December 22nd of the same year.
 
Published January 1, 1985 by Grove Press. 213 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mexican Poetry

Los Angeles Times

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In celebrating the Mexican landscape, for example, Mexican poets adopted a baroque style, eloquent but formal, aloof and thus incompatible with its subject.

Sep 21 1986 | Read Full Review of Mexican Poetry: An Anthology
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