Octavio Paz Famous Quotes & Sayings

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100 Octavio Paz Famous Sayings, Quotes and Quotation.

Octavio Paz Sayings: A saint speaks with God or with himself, two forms of silence. A saint speaks with God or with himself, two forms of silence.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: A work survives its readers; after a hundred or two hundred years, it is read A work survives its readers; after a hundred or two hundred years, it is read by new readers who impose on it new modes of reading and interpretation. The work survives because of these interpretations, which are, in fact, resurrections: without them, there would be no work.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: You are you and your body of steam,you and your face of night,you and your You are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival. Beyond myself, somewhere, I wait for my arrival.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Poetry is not truth, it is the resurrection of presences. Poetry is not truth, it is the resurrection of presences.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: An understanding of Sor Juana's work must include an understanding of the prohibitions her work An understanding of Sor Juana's work must include an understanding of the prohibitions her work confronts. Her speech leads us to what cannot be said, what cannot be said to an orthodoxy, the orthodoxy to a tribunal, and the tribunal to a sentence.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Man is alone everywhere. But the solitude of the Mexican, under the great stone night Man is alone everywhere. But the solitude of the Mexican, under the great stone night of the high plateau that is still inhabited by insatiable gods, is very different from that of the North American, who wanders in an abstract world of machines, fellow citizens and moral precepts.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: The American: a titan enamored of progress, a fanatical giant who worships "getting things done" The American: a titan enamored of progress, a fanatical giant who worships "getting things done" but never asks himself what he is doing nor why he is doing it.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Writers, you know, are the beggars of Western society. Writers, you know, are the beggars of Western society.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: In the United States, man does not feel that he has been torn from the 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.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: [Eroticism is] the poetry of the body, the testimony of the senses. Like a poem, [Eroticism is] the poetry of the body, the testimony of the senses. Like a poem, it is not linear, it meanders and twists back on itself, shows us what we do not see with our eyes, but in the eyes of our spirit. Eroticism reveals to us another world, inside this world. The senses become servants of the imagination, and let us see the invisible and hear the inaudible.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: The past reappears because it is a hidden present. The past reappears because it is a hidden present.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Distraction is our habitual state. Not the distraction of the person who withdraws from the Distraction is our habitual state. Not the distraction of the person who withdraws from the world in order to shut himself up in the secret and ever-changing land of his fantasy, but the distraction of the person who is always outside himself, lost in the trivial, senseless, turmoil of everyday life.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: No one behind, no one ahead. The path the ancients cleared has closed. And the No one behind, no one ahead. The path the ancients cleared has closed. And the other path, everyone's path, easy and wide, goes nowhere. I am alone and find my way.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: When we learn to speak, we learn to translate. When we learn to speak, we learn to translate.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: CodaPerhaps to love is to learnto walk through this world.To learn to be silentlike the Coda
Perhaps to love is to learn
to walk through this world.
To learn to be silent
like the oak and the linden of the fable.
To learn to see.
Your glance scattered seeds.
It planted a tree.
I talk
because you shake its leaves.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the Love is an attempt at penetrating another being, but it can only succeed if the surrender is mutual.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Despite the often illusory nature of essays on the psychology of a nation, it seems Despite the often illusory nature of essays on the psychology of a nation, it seems to me there is something revealing in the insistence with which a people will question itself during certain periods of its growth.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Revolt is the violence of an entire people; rebellion the unruliness of an individual or Revolt is the violence of an entire people; rebellion the unruliness of an individual or an uprising by a minority; both are spontaneous and blind. Revolution is both planned and spontaneous, a science and an art.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Changes are inseparable from democracy. To defend democracy is to defend the possibility of change; Changes are inseparable from democracy. To defend democracy is to defend the possibility of change; in turn, changes alone can strengthen democracy.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Today we all speak, if not the same tongue, the same universal language. There is Today we all speak, if not the same tongue, the same universal language. There is no one center, and time has lost its former coherence: East and West, yesterday and tomorrow exist as a confused jumble in each one of us. Different times and different spaces are combined in a here and now that is everywhere at once.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: The American War of Independence is the expulsion of the intrusive elements, alien to the The American War of Independence is the expulsion of the intrusive elements, alien to the American essence. If American reality is the reinvention of itself, whatever is found in any way irreducible or unassimilable is not American.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us
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Octavio Paz Sayings: The Mexican succumbs very easily to sentimental effusions, and therefore he shuns them. The Mexican succumbs very easily to sentimental effusions, and therefore he shuns them.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Two opposing forces inhabit the poem: one of elevation or up-rooting, which pulls the word Two opposing forces inhabit the poem: one of elevation or up-rooting, which pulls the word from the language: the other of gravity, which makes it return. The poem is an original and unique creation, but it is also reading and recitation: participation. The poet creates it; the people, by recitation, re-create it. Poet and reader are two moments of a single reality.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Tradition is no longer a continuity but a series of sharp breaks. The modern tradition Tradition is no longer a continuity but a series of sharp breaks. The modern tradition is the tradition of revolt.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Que busca? Tal vez busca su destino. Tal vez su destino es buscar. ... what Que busca? Tal vez busca su destino. Tal vez su destino es buscar.
... what is he searching for? Perhaps he searches for his destiny. Perhaps his destiny is to search.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: In order for sensation to accede to the objectivity of things, it must itself be In order for sensation to accede to the objectivity of things, it must itself be changed into a thing. The agent of change is language: the sensations are turned into verbal objects.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: I do not condemn the cult of pleasure; I lament the general vulgarity. I do not condemn the cult of pleasure; I lament the general vulgarity.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Grace is gratuitous; it is a gift. Grace is gratuitous; it is a gift.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: If each of my words were a drop of water, you would see through them If each of my words were a drop of water, you would see through them and glimpse what I feel: gratitude, acknowledgement.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: History has the cruel reality of a nightmare, and the grandeur of man consists in History has the cruel reality of a nightmare, and the grandeur of man consists in his making beautiful and lasting works out of the real substance of that nightmare. Or, to put it another way, it consists in transforming the nightmare into vision; in freeing ourselves from the shapeless horror of reality
if only for an instant
by means of creation.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: The beloved is already in our being, as thirst and "otherness." Being is eroticism. Inspiration The beloved is already in our being, as thirst and "otherness." Being is eroticism. Inspiration is that strange
voice that takes man out of himself to be every thing that he is, everything that he desires; another body,
another being. Beyond, outside of me, in the green and gold thicket, among the tremulous branches,
sings the unknown. It calls to me.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and By suppressing differences and peculiarities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Whatever is not stone is light Whatever is not stone is light
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Octavio Paz Sayings: No one is alone, and each change here brings about another change there. No one is alone, and each change here brings about another change there.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: Better the crime,the suicides of lovers, the incest committedby brother and sister like two mirrorsin Better the crime,
the suicides of lovers, the incest committed
by brother and sister like two mirrors
in love with their likeness, better to eat
the poisoned bread, adultery on a bed
of ashes, ferocious love, the poisonous
vines of delirium, the sodomite who wears
a gob of spit for a rose in his lapel,
better to be stoned in the plaza than to turn
the mill that squeezes out the juice of life,
that turns eternity into empty hours,
minutes into prisons, and time into
copper coins and abstract shit
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Octavio Paz Sayings: To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is To read a poem is to hear it with our eyes; to hear it is to see it with our ears.
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Octavio Paz Sayings: It is not proper to project our feelings onto things or to attribute our own It is not proper to project our feelings onto things or to attribute our own sensations and passions to them. Can it also be improper to see in them a guide, a way of life?
Octavio Paz Sayings: The truth is that the history of Mexico is a history in the image of The truth is that the history of Mexico is a history in the image of its geography: abrupt and tortuous. Each historical period is like a plateau surrounded by tall mountains and separated from the other plateaus by precipices and divides.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Poetry, whatever the manifest content of the poem, is always a violation of the rationalism Poetry, whatever the manifest content of the poem, is always a violation of the rationalism and morality of bourgeois society.
Octavio Paz Sayings: It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever succeed in doing It is always difficult to give oneself up; few persons anywhere ever succeed in doing so, and even fewer transcend the possessive stage to know love for what it actually is: a perpetual discovery, and immersion in the waters of reality, an unending re-creation.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two. Wisdom lies neither in fixity nor in change, but in the dialectic between the two.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers ... Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers ... What we call art is a game.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Self-discovery is above all the realization that we are alone. Self-discovery is above all the realization that we are alone.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Between going and staying the day wavers,in love with its own transparency.The circular afternoon is Between going and staying the day wavers,
in love with its own transparency.
The circular afternoon is now a bay
where the world in stillness rocks.
All is visible and all elusive,
all is near and can't be touched.
Paper, book, pencil, glass,
rest in the shade of their names.
Time throbbing in my temples repeats
the same unchanging syllable of blood.
The light turns the indifferent wall
into a ghostly theater of reflections.
I find myself in the middle of an eye,
watching myself in its blank stare.
The moment scatters. Motionless,
I stay and go: I am a pause.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Even though the society that Marx foresaw is far from being an historical reality, Marxism Even though the society that Marx foresaw is far from being an historical reality, Marxism has penetrated so deeply in history that we are all Marxists, one way or another, even unknowingly.
Octavio Paz Sayings: We go along, without a fixed itinerary, yet at the same time with an end We go along, without a fixed itinerary, yet at the same time with an end (what end?) in mind, and with the aim of reaching the end. A search for the end, a dread of the end: the obverse and the reverse of the same act.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Drugs are nihilistic: they undermine all values and radically overturn all our ideas about good Drugs are nihilistic: they undermine all values and radically overturn all our ideas about good and evil, what is just and what is unjust, what is permitted and what is forbidden.
Octavio Paz Sayings: In antiquity, a woman might be an object of worship or desire, but never of In antiquity, a woman might be an object of worship or desire, but never of love.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Words are things, but things which mean. We cannot do away with meaning without doing Words are things, but things which mean. We cannot do away with meaning without doing away with signs, that is, with language itself. Moreover, we would have to do away with the universe. All the things man touches are impregnated with meaning.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Man, even man debased by the neocapitalism and pseudosocialism of our time, is a marvelous Man, even man debased by the neocapitalism and pseudosocialism of our time, is a marvelous being because he sometimes speaks. Language is the mark, the sign, not of his fall but of his original innocence. Through the Word we may regain the lost kingdom and recover powers we possessed in the far-distant past.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Art for Duchamp, all the arts, obey the same law: meta-irony is inherent in their Art for Duchamp, all the arts, obey the same law: meta-irony is inherent in their very spirit. It is an irony that destroys its own negation and, hence, returns in the affirmative.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The woman who died night after night and her dying was a long goodbye, a The woman who died night after night
and her dying was a long goodbye,
a train that never left.
Octavio Paz Sayings: To become aware of our history is to become aware of our singularity. To become aware of our history is to become aware of our singularity.
Octavio Paz Sayings: What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life What sets worlds in motion is the interplay of differences, their attractions and repulsions. Life is plurality, death is uniformity. By suppressing differences and pecularities, by eliminating different civilizations and cultures, progress weakens life and favors death. The ideal of a single civilization for everyone, implicit in the cult of progress and technique, impoverishes and mutilates us. Every view of the world that becomes extinct, every culture that disappears, diminishes a possibility of life
Octavio Paz Sayings: Everything is language. Everything is language.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Perhaps things are not things but words: metaphors, words for other things. Perhaps things are not things but words: metaphors, words for other things.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Deserve your dream. Deserve your dream.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Light is time thinking about itself. Light is time thinking about itself.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Contemporary man has rationalized the myths, but he has not been able to destroy them. Contemporary man has rationalized the myths, but he has not been able to destroy them.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The modern tradition is the tradition of revolt. The French Revolution is still our model The modern tradition is the tradition of revolt. The French Revolution is still our model today: history is violent change, and this change goes by the name of progress. I do not know whether these notions really apply to art.
Octavio Paz Sayings: I don't believe that there are dangerous writers: the danger of certain books is not I don't believe that there are dangerous writers: the danger of certain books is not in the books themselves but in the passions of their readers.
Octavio Paz Sayings: I think we all have our own personality, unique and distinctive, and at the same 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 Sayings: What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism. What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Enormous and solid but swaying, beaten by the wind but chained, murmur of a million Enormous and solid but swaying, beaten by the wind but chained, murmur of a million leaves against my window. Riot of trees, surge of dark green sounds. The grove, suddenly still, is a web of fronds and branches.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But this wide-awake thinking has Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But this wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeated in the mirrors of reason. When we emerge, perhaps we will realize that we have been dreaming with our eyes open, and that the dreams of reason are intolerable. And then, perhaps, we will begin to dream once more with our eyes closed.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The religion of art, like the religion of politics, was born from the ruins of The religion of art, like the religion of politics, was born from the ruins of Christianity. Art inherited from the old religion the power of consecrating things and endowing them with a sort of eternity; museums are our temples, and the objects displayed in them are beyond history. Politics
or more precisely, Revolution
co-opted the other function of religion: changing human beings and society. Art was an asceticism, a spiritual heroism; Revolution was the construction of a universal church.
Octavio Paz Sayings: It is the Revolution, the magical word, the word that is going to change everything, It is the Revolution, the magical word, the word that is going to change everything, that is going to bring us immense delight and a quick death.
Octavio Paz Sayings: We are condemned to kill time, thus we die bit by bit. We are condemned to kill time, thus we die bit by bit.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Reversibility: seeing through opaqueness, not-seeing through transparency. The wooden door and the glass door: two Reversibility: seeing through opaqueness, not-seeing through transparency. The wooden door and the glass door: two opposite facets of the same idea. This opposition is resolved in an identity: in both cases we look at ourselves looking. Hinge procedure. The question "What do we see?" confronts us with ourselves.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The universe unfolds in the body, which is its mirror and its creature. The universe unfolds in the body, which is its mirror and its creature.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Futurists wanted to suggest movement by means of a dynamic painting; Duchamp applies the notion Futurists wanted to suggest movement by means of a dynamic painting; Duchamp applies the notion of delay - or, rather, or analysis - to movement.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Language lies outside of society because it is its foundation; but it also lies within Language lies outside of society because it is its foundation; but it also lies within society because that is the only place where it exists and the only place where it develops.
Octavio Paz Sayings: For the Chinese, the Greeks, the Mayans, or the Egyptians, nature was a living totality, For the Chinese, the Greeks, the Mayans, or the Egyptians, nature was a living totality, a creative being. For this reason, art, according to Aristotle, is imitation; the poet imitates the creative gesture of nature.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Like a mountain path that ends at a cliffI travel along the edge of your Like a mountain path that ends at a cliff
I travel along the edge of your thoughts,
and my shadow falls from your white forehead,
my shadow shatters, and I gather the pieces
and go with no body, groping my way
Octavio Paz Sayings: If we are a metaphor of the universe, the human couple is the metaphor par If we are a metaphor of the universe, the human couple is the metaphor par excellence, the point of intersection of all forces and the seed of all forms. The couple is time recaptured, the return to the time before time.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Horror immobolizes us because it is made of contradictory feelings: fear and seduction, repulsion and Horror immobolizes us because it is made of contradictory feelings: fear and seduction, repulsion and attraction. Horror is a fascination ... Horror is immobility, the great yawn of empty space, the womb and the hole in the earth, the universal Mother and the great garbage heap ... With horror we cannot have recourse to flight or combat, there remains only Adoration or Exorcism.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Changes in our aesthetic tastes have no value or meaning in and of themselves; what 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 Sayings: When hypocrisy is a character trait, it also affects one's thinking, because it consists in When hypocrisy is a character trait, it also affects one's thinking, because it consists in the negation of all the aspects of reality that one finds disagreeable, irrational or repugnant.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Surrealism is not a school of poetry but a movement of liberation ... A way Surrealism is not a school of poetry but a movement of liberation ... A way of rediscovering the language of innocence, a renewal of the primordial pact, poetry is the basic text, the foundation of the human order. Surrealism is revolutionary because it is a return to the beginning of all beginnings.
Octavio Paz Sayings: All of us, at some moment, have had a vision of our existence as something All of us, at some moment, have had a vision of our existence as something unique, untransferable and very precious. This revelation almost always takes place during adolescence.
Octavio Paz Sayings: It may seem paradoxical to say that we have been expelled from the present, but It may seem paradoxical to say that we have been expelled from the present, but it is a feeling we have all had at some moment. Some of us experienced it first as a condemnation, later transformed into consciousness and action. The search for the present is neither the pursuit of an earthly paradise nor that of a timeless eternity: it is the search for a real reality.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Solitude lies at the lowest depth of the human condition. Man is the only being Solitude lies at the lowest depth of the human condition. Man is the only being who feels himself to be alone and the only one who is searching for the Other.
Octavio Paz Sayings: In each verse, a decision awaits us, and we can't choose to close our eyes 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 Sayings: Every moment is nothing without end. Every moment is nothing without end.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The North American system only wants to consider the positive aspects of reality. Men and The North American system only wants to consider the positive aspects of reality. Men and women are subjected from childhood to an inexorable process of adaptation certain principles, contained in brief formulas are endlessly repeated by the Press, the radio, the churches, and the schools, and by those kindly, sinister beings, the North American mothers and wives. A person imprisoned by these schemes is like a plant in a flowerpot too small for it he cannot grow or mature.
Octavio Paz Sayings: It has always surprised me that in a world of relations as hard as that It has always surprised me that in a world of relations as hard as that of the United States, cordiality constantly springs out like water from an unstanchable fountain.
Octavio Paz Sayings: It becomes clear that chronometric time is a homogeneous succession lacking all particularity. It is It becomes clear that chronometric time is a homogeneous succession lacking all particularity. It is always the same, always indifferent to pleasure or pain. Mythological time, on the other hand, is impregnated with all the particulars of our lives: it is as long as eternity or as short as a breath, ominous or propitious, fecund or sterile.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Without democracy freedom is a chimera Without democracy freedom is a chimera
Octavio Paz Sayings: What characterizes a poem is its necessary dependence on words as much as its struggle What characterizes a poem is its necessary dependence on words as much as its struggle to transcend them.
Octavio Paz Sayings: I thought that the world was a vast system of signs, a conversation between giant I thought that the world was a vast system of signs, a conversation between giant beings. My actions, the cricket's saw, the star's blink, were nothing but pauses and syllables, scattered phrases from that dialogue. What word could it be, of which I was only a syllable? Who speaks the word? To whom is it spoken?
Octavio Paz Sayings: By diminishing the value of silence, publicity has also diminished that of language. The two By diminishing the value of silence, publicity has also diminished that of language. The two are inseparable: knowing how to speak has always meant knowing how to keep silent, knowing that there are times when one should say nothing.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The blue light of the rising moon fell on the rocks and the scant forest The blue light of the rising moon fell on the rocks and the scant forest of the taiga, revealing each projecting rock, each tree in a peculiar fashion, different from the way they looked by day. Everything seemed real but different than in the daytime. It was as if the world had a second face, a nocturnal face.
Octavio Paz Sayings: There is nothing sacred or untouchable except the freedom to think. Without criticism, that is There is nothing sacred or untouchable except the freedom to think. Without criticism, that is to say, without rigor and experimentation, there is no science, without criticism there is no art or literature. I would also say that without criticism there is no healthy society.
Octavio Paz Sayings: The purpose of poetry is to restore to mankind the possibility to wonder. The purpose of poetry is to restore to mankind the possibility to wonder.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose Believing ourselves to be possessors of absolute truth degrades us: we regard every person whose way of thinking is different from ours as a monster and a threat and by so doing turn our own selves into monsters and threats to our fellows.
Octavio Paz Sayings: Death and birth are solitary experiences. We are born alone and we die alone. When Death and birth are solitary experiences. We are born alone and we die alone. When we are expelled from the maternal womb, we begin the painful struggle that finally ends in death.
Octavio Paz Sayings: To reduce poetry to its reflections of historical events and movements would be like reducing To reduce poetry to its reflections of historical events and movements would be like reducing the poet's words to their logical or grammatical connotations.
Octavio Paz Sayings: A human being is never what he is but the self he seeks. A human being is never what he is but the self he seeks.