Celebrating 100 Years
|Octavio Paz 1914-1998|
A little bit of Mexican culture today for the 15th post of this month's A to Z Blogging challenge.
This year marks the Centennial of Mexican writer, poet, diplomat and Nobel laureate Octavio Paz. According to wikipedia he is considered one of the most influential writers of the 20th century and one of the greatest Hispanic poets of all time.
While I haven't read too much of his poetry I have read one of his most famous works "The Labyrinth of Solitude." It is a collection of nine essays analyzing the Mexican and his/her psychology, morality, relationship to other Mexicans, our history and our country.
He writes many of these essays as a Mexican that can observe other Mexicans from the outside. Working as a diplomat or any other occupation that has you living as an expat allows you to get some distance both figuratively and literally from you country and fellow countrymen. With this distance you are then able to observe the world with different eyes. Paz used this when trying to pinpoint what the Mexican identity was and created his famous book.
While I have met some people who aren't too fond of his work I still believe that "The Labyrinth of Solitude" is a must read for any Mexican and Mexican enthusiast. Hell, I believe Americans should read it as well because of the relationship we share.
So I do recommend this book to anyone who is interested in understanding Mexicans just a little bit better. If you have no interest in Mexico or it's people then it probably isn't the book for you.
Are there any books from your own respective countries that you feel should be read by fellow citizens or those interested in your culture?