Quotes by: Octavio Paz

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Sensation is amphibious: at the same time it joins us to and divides us from things. It is the door through which we enter into things but also through which we come out of them and realize that we are not things.
Octavio Paz
As it defines itself, every society defines other societies. That definition almost always takes the form of a condemnation: the 'other' is the barbarian.
Octavio Paz
To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.
Octavio Paz
Changes in our aesthetic tastes have no value or meaning in and of themselves; what has value and meaning is the idea of change itself. Or, better stated: not change in and of itself, but change as an agent or inspiration of modern creations.
Octavio Paz
Abstract painting seeks to be a pure pictorial language, and thus attempts to escape the essential impurity of all languages: the recourse to signs or forms that have meanings shared by everyone.
Octavio Paz
For a man of my generation, our century has been a long intellectual and political struggle in favor of freedom.
Octavio Paz
Poetry is not a genre in harmony with the modern world; its innermost nature is hostile or indifferent to the dogmas of modern times, progress and the cult of the future.
Octavio Paz
Poetry, whatever the manifest content of the poem, is always a violation of the rationalism and morality of bourgeois society.
Octavio Paz
Surrealism is not a poetry but a poetics, and even more, and more decisively, a world vision.
Octavio Paz
Picasso is what is going to happen and what is happening; he is posterity and archaic time, the distant ancestor and our next-door neighbor. Speed permits him to be two places at once, to belong to all the centuries without letting go of the here and now.
Octavio Paz
In the works of Duchamp, space begins to walk and take on form; it becomes a machine that spins arguments and philosophizes; it resists movement with delay and delay with irony.
Octavio Paz
Human writing reflects that of the universe; it is its translation, but also its metaphor: it says something totally different, and it says the same thing.
Octavio Paz
Yes, I am well aware that nature - or what we call nature: that totality of objects and processes that surrounds us and that alternately creates us and devours us - is neither our accomplice nor our confidant.
Octavio Paz
Literature is the expression of a feeling of deprivation, a recourse against a sense of something missing. But the contrary is also true: language is what makes us human. It is a recourse against the meaningless noise and silence of nature and history.
Octavio Paz
All poems say the same thing, and each poem is unique. Each part reproduces the others, and each part is different.
Octavio Paz
Poetry is the experience of liberty. The poet risks himself, chances all on the poem's all with each verse he writes.
Octavio Paz
To us, the value of a work lies in its newness: the invention of new forms, or a novel combination of old forms, the discovery of unknown worlds or the exploration of unfamiliar areas in worlds already discovered - revelations, surprises.
Octavio Paz
In the United States, man does not feel that he has been torn from the center of creation and suspended between hostile forces. He has built his own world, and it is built in his own image: it is his mirror. But now he cannot recognize himself in his inhuman objects, nor in his fellows.
Octavio Paz
Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. A constant coming and going: wisdom lies in the momentary.
Octavio Paz
I think we all have our own personality, unique and distinctive, and at the same time, I think that our own unique and distinctive personality blends with the wind, with the footsteps in the street, with the noises around the corner, and with the silence of memory, which is the great producer of ghosts.
Octavio Paz
In antiquity, a woman might be an object of worship or desire, but never of love.
Octavio Paz
In each verse, a decision awaits us, and we can't choose to close our eyes and let instinct work on its own. Poetic instinct consists of an alert tension.
Octavio Paz
Little by little, not without astonishment, I rediscovered the great names of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, who had been the master thinkers of my grandfather and other Mexican liberals. They did no offer me a doctrine or a catechism: they were and they are a source, an inspiration.
Octavio Paz
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