Octavio Paz (1914–1998), the eminent Mexican poet and critic, attempted to evaluate the neglected role of poetry in the twentieth century in terms of a liberating, semi-religious vocation. Jason Wilson, in this study, approaches Paz's poetics through his close relationship with André Breton (1896–1966), the surrealist leader. This is a 'spiritual biography' of a poet-thinker (Paz); a study of a fertile relationship (Paz and Breton); a re-evaluation of surrealism itself and, finally, a coping with those acute problems that all poets and readers of poetry must face in an age lacking an acceptable cultural tradition: why write? What is a poem? Who are the genuine poets? Who am I? Wilson analyses Paz's reaction to these related concerns in the poet's examination of 'the values of poetry' in terms of a liberating poetics.
Preface; Introduction, 1a. Octavio Paz and surrealism: attitude versus activity; 1b. The Marquis de Sade, surrealism and Paz's 'El prisonero'; 2. Mentalist poetics, the quest, fiesta and other motifs; 3. The nature myth; 4a. The East; 4b. A reading of Paz's Le Singe grammairien; 4c. A reading of 'Vuelta'; Notes; Bibliography; Index.
Jason Wilson approaches Paz's poetics through his relationship with André Breton, the surrealist leader. This is a 'spiritual biography' of a poet-thinker; a study of a fertile relationship; a re-evaluation of surrealism and, finally, a coping with those acute problems that all poets and readers of poetry must face in an age lacking an acceptable cultural tradition.
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