Introduction & Overview of Duration by Octavio Paz

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Duration Summary & Study Guide Description

Duration Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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Octavio Paz's poem "Duration" was originally published in his 1962 collection Salamandra (1958- 1961) , later published in English as Salamander . It provides an excellent example of one of the twentieth century's most important poets working at his prime. In this poem, Paz, the 1990 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, shows his interests in writing poetry outside of the poetic tradition, in exploring new methods of using language on the page. The images that he uses here do not follow one another gracefully, but they do add up to a new way of looking at reality. By breaking reality into fragments and then putting them back together in careful arrangements, "Duration" is able to raise questions about the ways that the fragments of experience relate to one another.

Paz was an important world literary figure from the 1950s until his death in 1998 and is considered by many to be the most important and influential writer that Mexico has ever produced. Much of his most notable experimental poetry was produced while he worked for Mexico's diplomatic corps in the 1950s and 1960s. In addition to poetry, he is known almost equally well as a literary theorist, with numerous books of essays about the nature of art and the possibilities of language.

Today, "Duration" can be found in both English and Spanish in The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz, 1957-1987 , published by New Directions.

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