Octavio Paz - poeta w labiryncie świata
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Though he is one the lost important writers of the Spanish language, Octavio Paz is not well known in Poland. From his abundant literary production only two volumes of essays and three small books of poetry have been translated into Polish. Octavio Paz tackles the complexities of human destiny in its various historical manifestations, both in individual and social dimensions. He received the lobel of "Universal Mexican" for transgressing eurocentric interpretations and taking into account other cultures in particular those of the Far East, and at the same time merging universal values with deeply felt Mexican experiences. His work corroborates the well known argument that only literary output deeply rooted in native tradition can become universally meaningfull. Octavio Paz is one of those many Latin American writers who live the problems of modern art. His work is an example of understanding the world as "totality" embracing history, culture and induviduality. Recognition of those values brought him the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature. His intelectual and political biography covers most of the whole century. He believed in the Mexican Revolution; a Marxist in the thirties, he fought in the Spanish Civil War on the side of the Republicans. In the 1940-s, however, he distanced himself from Socialist Realism and slowly drifted towards liberal positions tinged with romantic anachronisms. His artistic biography, on the other hand is closly connected with the main literary trends of our century, from Surrealism to Structuralism. Octavio Paz essays and articles are creative interpretations of XX-century ideas and science, in particular when it comes to Mexican and Latin American problems. He understands poetry to be an attempt at opening the frontiers of human existence, as the highest inspiration of every human activity. The purpose of poetry is not to dominate language and subject but set them free and recover their original magic. The presence and importance of various philosophical themes is evident in Octavio Paz poetry. Solitude and efforts to defeat it with the help of love and poetry; the dialectical tension between solitude and solidarity with others, life and death. Those and many other problems are present in the poet's lirical works and in his essays, in particular in The Labyrinth of Solitude.