Quotes by: Octavio Paz

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Octavio Paz
Born Octavio Paz Lozano
(1914-03-31)March 31, 1914
Mexico City, Mexico
Died April 19, 1998(1998-04-19) (aged 84)
Mexico City, Mexico
Occupation Writer, poet, diplomat
Nationality Mexican
Period 1931–1965
Literary movement Surrealism, existentialism
Notable awards Miguel de Cervantes Prize
1981
Nobel Prize in Literature
1990

An understanding of Sor Juana's work must include an understanding of the prohibitions her work confronts. Her speech leads us to what cannot be said, what cannot be said to an orthodoxy, the orthodoxy to a tribunal, and the tribunal to a sentence.
Octavio Paz
A society is defined as much by how it comes to terms with its past as by its attitude toward the future: its memories are no less revealing than its aims.
Octavio Paz
Fixity is always momentary. But how can it always be so? If it were, it would not be momentary - or would not be fixity.
Octavio Paz
It is not proper to project our feelings onto things or to attribute our own sensations and passions to them. Can it also be improper to see in them a guide, a way of life?
Octavio Paz
Art for Duchamp, all the arts, obey the same law: meta-irony is inherent in their very spirit. It is an irony that destroys its own negation and, hence, returns in the affirmative.
Octavio Paz
To be a great painter means to be a great poet: someone who transcends the limits of his language.
Octavio Paz
Self-discovery is above all the realization that we are alone: it is the opening of an impalpable, transparent wall - that of our consciousness - between the world and ourselves.
Octavio Paz
Our judgment and moral categories, our idea of the future, our opinions about the present or about justice, peace, or war, everything, without excluding our rejections of Marxism, is impregnated with Marxism.
Octavio Paz
The presence and the present of America are a future; our continent is, by its nature, the land which does not exist on its own, but as something which is created and invented.
Octavio Paz
Even though the society that Marx foresaw is far from being an historical reality, Marxism has penetrated so deeply in history that we are all Marxists, one way or another, even unknowingly.
Octavio Paz
The minority of Mexicans who are aware of their own selves do not make up a closed or unchanging class. They are the only active group, in comparison with the Indian-Spanish inertia of the rest, and ever day they are shaping the country more and more into their own image.
Octavio Paz
Futurists wanted to suggest movement by means of a dynamic painting; Duchamp applies the notion of delay - or, rather, or analysis - to movement.
Octavio Paz
In order for sensation to accede to the objectivity of things, it must itself be changed into a thing. The agent of change is language: the sensations are turned into verbal objects.
Octavio Paz
Any reflection about poetry should begin, or end, with this question: who and how many read poetry books?
Octavio Paz
Literatures, like trees and plants, are born of a land and in it flourish and die. But literatures, also like plants, may be carried abroad to take root in a foreign soil.
Octavio Paz
The Mexican succumbs very easily to sentimental effusions, and therefore he shuns them.
Octavio Paz
Technology is neutral and sterile. Now, technology is the nature of modern man; it is our environment and our horizon. Of course, every work of man is a negation of nature, but at the same time, it is a bridge between nature and us. Technology changes nature in a more radical and decisive manner: it throws it out.
Octavio Paz
It has always surprised me that in a world of relations as hard as that of the United States, cordiality constantly springs out like water from an unstanchable fountain.
Octavio Paz
We go along, without a fixed itinerary, yet at the same time with an end (what end?) in mind, and with the aim of reaching the end. A search for the end, a dread of the end: the obverse and the reverse of the same act.
Octavio Paz
The work of art is always unfaithful to its creator... Art lays at a higher level; it says something more, and almost always, it says something different from what the artist wanted to say.
Octavio Paz
Walt Whitman is the only great modern poet who does not seem to experience discord when he faces his world. Not even solitude - his monologue is a universal chorus.
Octavio Paz
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