Advertisement

Mapping the Field: Paz, Politics, and Little Magazines, 1931–1968

  • John King
Chapter
  • 30 Downloads
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)

Abstract

In September 1974, Octavio Paz published in issue 38 of Plural an autobiographical poem, “Nocturno de San Ildefonso” (“Nocturne of San Ildefonso”), in which a mature poet—Paz was sixty at the time of writing—looks back, through a memory tunnel, to Mexico City, circa 1932 and discovers his seventeen-year-old self walking from the Zócalo in central Mexico City to the Preparatory School in San Ildefonso. Paz adds a footnote to the title and explains that, “In 1932, The National Preparatory School was housed in San Ildefonso, a building that that formerly been a Jesuit school.”1 We will see later in this book that in 1974 Paz was immersed in a very intense reappraisal of the impact of revolutionary thought in Mexico and in the wider world, in particular pointing out the harmful effects of Soviet communism which, he felt, still beguiled the young. This poem therefore, is an attempt to explore—on a sleepless night, as his wife lies sleeping by his side—his own personal political (and poetic) journey that had begun some forty years earlier.

Keywords

Late Fifty Cuban Revolution Young Writer Early Forty Mexican Revolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

1 Mapping the Field: Paz, Politics, and Little Magazines, 1931–1968

  1. 1.
    Octavio Paz, “Nocturno de San Ildefonso,” Plural 38 (September 1974): 24–27.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Enrique Krauze, “Octavio Paz: Facing the Century. A Reading of Tiempo nublado,” Salmagundi 70–71 (1986): 130.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Enrique Krauze, “Octavio Paz. Y el mantel olía a pólvora …,” in Mexicanos eminentes (Mexico City: Tusquets, 1999): 154.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The best single guide to the world of Vasconcelos is Claude Fell, José Vasconcelos: los años del águila (1920–1925) (Mexico City: UNAM, 1989).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lorenzo Meyer, “Mexico in the 1920s,” in Mexico Since Independence, ed. Leslie Bethell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), 207–210.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Guillermo Sheridan, Poeta con paisaje: ensayos sobre la vida de Octavio Paz (Mexico City: Ediciones Era, 2004), 126.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Octavio Paz, “Itinerario,” in Ideas y costumbres I. La letra y el cetro. Obras Completas 9 (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1995): 20.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    For Paz’s views on Gide and an analysis of this episode, see Octavio Paz, “La verdad frente al compromiso,” introduction to Alberto Ruy Sánchez, Tristeza de la verdad: André Gideregresa de Rusia (Mexico City: Joaquín Mortiz, 1991).Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    See in particular Sebastiaan Faber, Exile and Cultural Hegemony: Spanish Intellectuals in Mexico, 1939–1975 (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  10. 11.
    Diana Ylizarriturri, “Entrevista con Octavio Paz, editor de revistas,” Letras Libres 7 (July 1999): 54.Google Scholar
  11. 13.
    Octavio Paz, “Profesión de fe,” in El peregrino en su patria, Obras Completas 8 (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994): 569.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Octavio Paz, “Poesía de soledad y poesía de comunión,” El Hijo Pródigo 5 (15 August 1943): 278.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Octavio Paz, “Un catálogo descabellado” and “Cronología del surrealismo,” Plural 17 (February 1973): 36–42.Google Scholar
  14. 18.
    Octavio Paz, ¿Aguila o sol? (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1951): 117.Google Scholar
  15. 19.
    Kristal argues that one must see Paz’s writings in their totality at every stage in his career. Here he teases out the affinities between Paz’s own poetry and his reading of the paintings of Rufino Tamayo. See Efraín Kristal, “La palabra y la mirada de Octavio Paz: eros y transfiguración,” Boletín de la Fundación Federico García Lorca 9 (June 1991): 125.Google Scholar
  16. 21.
    Quoted in Mariella Balbi, Szyszlo: Travesía (Lima: Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, 2001), 55.Google Scholar
  17. 24.
    For an excessive and passionate account of the Paz-Garro-Bioy triangle from a daughter’s point of view, see Helena Paz Garro, Memorias (Mexico City: Océano, 2004).Google Scholar
  18. 25.
    Octavio Paz, “De Octavio Paz,” Sur 346 (January-June 1980): 92.Google Scholar
  19. 30.
    Elena Poniatowska, Octavio Paz: Las palabras del árbol (Barcelona: Plaza Janés, 1998), 58.Google Scholar
  20. 32.
    Quotations from José Luis Martínez, “Esquema de la cultura mexicana actual,” Revista Mexicana de Literatura 8 (November-December 1956): 39–45 and 55–56.Google Scholar
  21. 33.
    José Emilio Pacheco, “El Puente de Nonalco y el avión de balderas,” La Jornada, 8 October 1995.Google Scholar
  22. 35.
    T. Segovia, “Periodistas y escritores,” Revista de la Universidad de México 12, 10 (June 1959): 28.Google Scholar
  23. 37.
    Gabriel Zaid, “Tres momentos de la cultura en México,” Plural 43 (April 1975): 14.Google Scholar
  24. G. Zaid, Como leer en bicicleta: problemas de la cultura y el poder en México (Mexico City: Joaquín Mortiz, 1975), 189.Google Scholar
  25. 39.
    Annick Lempérière, Intellectuels, États et Sociétéau Mexique. Les Clercs de la Nation (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1992).Google Scholar
  26. 43.
    For an analysis of the Joaquín Mortiz publishing house, see Danny J. Anderson, “Creating Cultural Prestige: Editorial Joaquín Mortiz,” Latin American Research Review 31, 2 (1996): 3–37.Google Scholar
  27. 44.
    Juan García Ponce, Pasado presente (Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993).Google Scholar
  28. 45.
    For an account of the activities of the Centro Mexicano de Escritores, see Martha Domínguez, Los becarios del Centro Mexicano de Escritores (Mexico: Aldus, 1999).Google Scholar
  29. 46.
    Huberto Batis, Lo que ‘Cuadernos de Viento’ nos dejó (Mexico City: Diógenes, 1984), 27.Google Scholar
  30. 47.
    Michael K. Schuster, Elenísima: Ingenio y figura de Elena Poniatowska (Mexico City: Diana, 2003).Google Scholar
  31. 48.
    Carlos Monsiváis, La Cultura en México 202 (1965): 4.Google Scholar
  32. Kristine Vanden Berghe, “Los mafiosos del boom. Literatura y mercado en los años setenta,” in Literatura y dinero en Hispanoamérica, eds. N. Lie and Y. Montalvo Aponte (Brussels: Vlaams kennis-en Cultuurforum, 2000), 54–55.Google Scholar
  33. 52.
    For a thorough study of the development of counterculture in Mexico, see, Eric Zolov, Refried Elvis: The Rise of Mexican Counterculture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  34. 53.
    Gerald Martin, “The Boom of Spanish American Fiction and the 1960s Revolutions,” in The Blackwell Companion to Latin American Culture and Literature, ed. Sara Castro Klaren (New York: Blackwell, 2007, forthcoming).Google Scholar
  35. 54.
    Mario Vargas Llosa, García Márquez: historia de un deicidio (Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1971).Google Scholar
  36. 55.
    Marshall Berman, All That is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (London: Verso, 1983), 33.Google Scholar
  37. 56.
    Mario Vargas Llosa, Making Waves (London: Faber and Faber, 1996), 73.Google Scholar
  38. 57.
    Jean Franco, The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002). For an analysis of U.S. cultural policies toward the arts in the sixties, see, J. King, El Di Tella.Google Scholar
  39. 58.
    Quoted in Valerie Fraser, Building the New World: Studies in the Modern Architecture of Latin America, 1930–1960 (London: Verso, 2000), 244.Google Scholar
  40. 59.
    Angel Rama, “El boom en perspectiva,” in Más allá del boom. Literatura y mercado (Mexico: Siglo XXI, 1981), 98.Google Scholar
  41. 60.
    Gabriel García Márquez, Vivir para contarla (Barcelona: Mondadori, 2002), 137–138.Google Scholar
  42. 61.
    José Donoso, Historia personal del boom (Barcelona: Anagrama, 1972), 113.Google Scholar
  43. 64.
    For extracts from this correspondence see María Eugenia Mudrovcic, Mundo Nuevo: Cultura y guerra fría en la década del 60 (Rosario: Beatriz Viterbo, 1997), 11–13.Google Scholar
  44. 69.
    Octavio Paz and Arnaldo Orfila, Cartas cruzadas (Mexico City: Siglo XXI, 2005), 145. I am very grateful to Adolfo Castañon for sending me this book and other material relating to Plural.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John King 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • John King

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations