|Poet, essayist Octavio Paz legacy celebrated
Mexico paid tribute to poet and essayist Octavio Paz, honoring the late Nobel literature prize laureate on the 100th anniversary of his birth.
He was born in Mexico City on March 31, 1914 and he published his first volum of poetry, “Sylvan Moon,’’ when he was just teen. In his youthful years he was a diplomat and was stationed in cities including Paris, France and New Delhi, India.
He was a socialist who condemned socialists, drew the wrath of leftists, and yet also supported free trade with America.
Mexico’s man of letters died at the age of 84 in 1998.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, speaking at a ceremony at the ornate Vasconcelos Library in Mexico City, hailed Paz as “the most clear, complete and brilliant Mexican mind of the 20th century.''
The author of “The Labyrinth of Solitude,'' his 1950 seminal essay on the history, culture and psyche of Mexico and its people, was eulogized in an event on Monday and included other Nobel winners, including France's Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio and Nigeria's Wole Soyinka.
The founder of the magazines Plural and Vuelta was a firm defender of democracy, said Pena Nieto, whose Institutional Revolutionary Party was known for its authoritarian ways while in power for most of the 20th century.
Paz defied the PRI when he resigned as ambassador to India following the military's massacre of student protesters in Mexico City in 1968. Officials say dozens were killed, while activists claimed hundreds of deaths.
Born in Mexico City on March 31, 1914, Paz died in the capital in 1998. Exhibits and forums have taken place in his honor in the past week, along with the publication of new editions of his works.—AFP/The Standard