On Poets and Others

Translated by Michael Schmidt
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About The Book

The Nobel Prize–winning poet and man of letters Octavio Paz was also a brilliant reader of other writers, and this book selects his best critical essays from over three decades. In the sixteen pieces collected here, Paz discusses a wide range of poets and writers, both American and international, from Robert Frost and Walt Whitman to William Carlos Williams; from Fyodor Dostoevsky to Luis Buñuel to Alexander Solzhenitsyn; and from Charles Baudelaire to Jean-Paul Sartre, André Breton, and Henri Michaux.

Paz writes, “I believe that a writer’s attitude to language should be that of a lover: fidelity and, at the same time, a lack of respect for the beloved object. Veneration and transgression.” When this original thinker meets these writers, each essay is an adventure of the mind.

About The Author

Octavio Paz was born in 1914 in Mexico City and served as the Mexican ambassador to India from 1962 to 1968. He was the author of many volumes of poetry as well as literary and art criticism and works on politics, culture, and Mexican history. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990, he was also awarded the Jerusalem Prize, the Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, and the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade. He died in 1998.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Arcade (August 2014)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628723748

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Raves and Reviews

“Mr. Paz’s writing is full of vivid, compressed imagery. . . . Lucid.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Paz writes with winning informality, honoring the externals of life, its tone, it casual encounters, mocking the pomp with which many intellectuals handle ideas.”—Washington Post Book World
“Puts other collections of literary descriptions to shame.”—Choice

“Mr. Paz’s writing is full of vivid, compressed imagery. . . . Lucid.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Paz writes with winning informality, honoring the externals of life, its tone, it casual encounters, mocking the pomp with which many intellectuals handle ideas.”—Washington Post Book World
“Puts other collections of literary descriptions to shame.”—Choice

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