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Octavio Paz

Born: 1914 AD
Died: 1998 AD, at 84 years of age.

Nationality: Mexican
Categories: Diplomat, Poets


1914 - Born in Mexico City on the 31st of March.

1931 - Published his first poems, like Caballera. Two years later, at the age of 19, Octavio Paz published Luna Silvestre, a collection of poems.

1932 - He founded his first literary review, Barandal. By 1939, Paz considered himself first and foremost a poet.

1937 - He abandoned his law studies and left for Yucatán to work at a school in Mérida for sons of peasants and workers.

         - Paz was invited to the Second International Writers Congress in Defense of Culture in Spain during that country's civil war, showing his solidarity with the Republican side and against fascism.

1938 - He co-founded a literary journal, Taller, and wrote for the magazine until 1941.

1943 - He received a Guggenheim fellowship and began studying at the University of California at Berkeley in the United States and two years later he entered the Mexican diplomatic service, working in New York for a while. I

1945 - He was sent to Paris, where he wrote El Laberinto de la Soledad, a groundbreaking study of Mexican identity and thought.

1952 - He travelled to India for the first time and, in the same year, to Tokyo, as chargé d'affairs, and then to Geneve, in Switzerland.

1954 - He returned to Mexico City, where he wrote his great poem Piedra de sol in 1957 and Libertad bajo palabra, a recopilation of his poetry to that moment.

1959 - He was sent again to Paris, following the steps of his lover, the Italian painter Bona Tibertelli de Pisis.

1962 - He is named Mexico's ambassador to India.

1968 - He resigned in protest of the Mexican government's repression of students who were fighting to achieve true democracy in the country, a movement that ended abruptly when the Mexican army opend fire against demonstrators in the Plaza de Tlatelolco.

1969 - He sought refuge in Paris for a while and returned to Mexico.

1970-1974 - He lectured at Harvard University in Cambridge, where he held the Charles Norton Chair.

1977 - He won the Jerusalem Prize for literature on the theme of individual freedom.

1980 - He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Harvard University.

1982 - He won the Neustadt Prize.

1990 - He was awarded the Nobel Prize.

1998 - Died in Mexico City, Mexico on the 19th of April.


Page last updated: 5:07am, 13th Apr '07