On Poets & Others

Octavio Paz, Author, Michael Schmidt, Translator
Octavio Paz, Author, Michael Schmidt, Translator Seaver Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-0003-0
Reviewed on: 12/01/1986
Release date: 12/01/1986
In these short, polemical, engaged essays, the noted Mexican critic and poet locks horns with writers, past and present. He calls Dostoyevski ""our great contemporary,'' a novelist who forces us to see our divided selves, our nihilism. Whitman, the sincere dreamer of utopian democracy, is contrasted with Poe, Melville and Dickinson, whose writings are ``more like attempts to escape from the American nightmare.'' Paz is disappointed in Sartre, a thinker who ``always preferred shadows to realities.'' While defending Solzhenitsyn's Christian humanism, he feels the novelist's ignorance of modern history amounts to arrogance``a very Russian trait.'' Paz investigates the act of seeing in Bunuel's cinema of disillusion, William Carlos Williams's search for American roots, Michaux's mescaline visions and Breton's magic surrealism. (September 19)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X