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Octavio Paz Nobel Lecture

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Octavio Paz Nobel Lecture

Giovanni Ramos

Farleigh Dickinson University

Literature and Composition II

Octavio Paz Nobel Lecture

The speech that has been presented by Octavio Paz can be considered as a revolutionary breakthrough in terms of the redefining of different forms and type of literature as they apply to the places they originate from.

One of the opinions that clearly demonstrates the perspective that has been presented by Paz is that literature irrespective of the nation or region that they belong to must not comprise of intangible objects or subjects, instead the key characters that comprise the integral nature and essence of the literary elements of the literature of the region must be tangible in nature through which the different members of the society can easily relate themselves to.

Shifting towards the idea of modernity then Paz accentuates that the term modernity and the way it is applied is quite paradoxical because of its restricted level of scope and application. According to Paz the meaning of modernity varies from society to society and since literature of any place is basically a reflection of the societal members, the meaning of modernity for the people of Latin America will be different from the people of Europe.

In another area of his presentation Paz emphasizes upon the misconceptions that have been integrated in the mind of human beings regarding the infinite existence and sustenance of man as projected by the teachings of St. Augustine and Saint Thomas. In rebuttal to this claim he says that the two destructive that humans and their history has passed through that the life of man and the resources that he possess all comprise a finite nature.

He further says that since a person belonging to the field of literature is more sensitive than the rest of the members of the society, the very idea of war, life, death and destruction imposes severe effects on the ways he develops the idea and subsequently frames it into a literary piece of work.

Towards the conclusive phase of the presentation Paz says that human beings have come a long way and that modernity is nothing but the instincts and characteristics that define us. It is important that we pay heed to these instincts that can help us in developing a better understanding about ourselves and our environment. (Paz, 1990)


Paz, Octavio 1990 'In Search of the Present' published on December 8, 1990, retrieved on May 17,



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