In Light of India

ISBN-10: 0156005786

ISBN-13: 9780156005784

Edition: 1998

Authors: Octavio Paz Lozano

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Description:

“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.
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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 1998
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date: 4/1/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Octavio Paz's poetic roots are in romanticism and such neoromantics as D. H. Lawrence, but he has been profoundly influenced by Mexican Indian mythology and oriental religious philosophy, particularly Tantric Buddhism. The latter influence came about while he was serving as Mexico's ambassador to India (1962-68), when he resigned to protest the government's treatment of students demonstrating prior to the Olympic Games in Mexico City. He conceives of poetry as a way of transcending barriers of world, time, and individual self. Through poetry he seeks to achieve a state of innocence and an euphoria of the senses bordering on the mystical, and he expresses anguish when language fails him. Much of Paz's poetry is erotic, with women being the vehicle across the abyss to "the other side of the river," where union with universal consciousness is possible. This element in his poetic vision has of late left him open to acerbic feminist readings. Paz constantly experiments with form in an effort to break down the traditional forms of poetry; several of his long major works are circular and have coexisting variant readings, and Renga is a collaborative poem by poets in four languages. Poetry for Paz is necessarily in conflict with society because of its potential for transmuting and reforming it, and the poetic imagination is a valuable tool for understanding society. His essays on the Mexican character, history, and traditions, such as The Labyrinth of Solitude (1950) and The Other Mexico (1969), are fundamental to understanding Mexican society. He has also written extensively on aesthetics, poetics, and the nature of language and poetry.

Bombay
Delhi
Return
Rama and Allah
The Cosmic Matrix
Babel
Feasts and Fasts
The Singularity of Indian History
Gandhi: Center and Extreme
Nationalism, Secularism, Democracy
The Apsara and the Yakshi
Chastity and Longevity
The Critique of Liberation
The Contraptions of Time
Farewell
Acknowledgments
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