This year marks the 100th birthday of Mexican poet-diplomat Octavio Paz. Litquake, the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco and The Mexican Art Museum proudly present this evening to celebrate his life and career, featuring Paz scholar Rafael Vargas in conversation with Ingrid Rojas Contreras.
Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was born in Mexico City, and under the encouragement of Pablo Neruda, began his poetic career by founding an avant-garde literary magazine, Barandal. In his youth, Paz spent time in Spain and the United States, including U.C. Berkeley, and was for many years a cultural attaché to France. His poetry and various collections of essays engage sexuality, anthropology, economics, politics, and history, with a level of originality and erudition that is unrivaled. Perhaps his best known work, the 1950 sociocultural analysis of Mexico, El laberinto de la soledad (The Labyrinth of Solitude), became standard reading for students of Latin American history and literature.