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By Octavio Paz

Engrossing essays that replicate the author’s substantial and refined wisdom of the realm. themes diversity from the non secular rites of the Aztecs to fashionable american portray, from japanese artwork and faith to like and eroticism. Translated via Helen Lane.

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As we pass up and down we go through a gift that vanishes, an imminence that evaporates. Many will ask themselves if it is attainable to construct something in any respect at the eternally transferring sands of the current. Why now not? chinese language civilization was once in-built identical to a fantasy­ ical prior no much less imaginary than the eternity of medieval Christianity or the futures of the 20th century. occasions— all of them—are no longer unreal yet impalpable: nobody will contact the next day; nobody can contact this day. each one civilization is a metaphor of time, a model of switch. The preem­ inence of the current second may well possibly reconcile us with a truth that the faith of development has attempted to conceal and hide: demise. The time of affection is the time of the physique, however the imaginative and prescient of the physique we like is additionally a imaginative and prescient of its loss of life (otherwise we wouldn’t love it). the specified physique and the wanting physique recognize one another to be mortal our bodies; within the notv of affection, as a result of its very depth, one hundred forty The New Analogy: Poetry and expertise the information of demise is current. Why no longer think a civilization within which people, capable eventually to stand their mortality with no worry, rejoice the life/death conjunction no longer as adversarial ideas yet as a unmarried truth? A metaphor of switch, now dissolves the prior and the long run and therefore dissolves itself Dissolution of time, no longer into an immeasurable eternity yet into an both immeasurable vivacity. each period chooses its personal definition of humanity. I be­ lieve this to be the definition of our time: a individual is an emitter of symbols. between those symbols, are the start and the top of human language, its plenitude and its dissolution: the embody of our bodies and the poetic metaphor. within the first are the union of sensation and snapshot, the fragment apprehended as a cipher of the totality, and the totality shared out in caresses that remodel our bodies right into a fount of instant correspondences. within the sec­ ond are the fusion of sound and that means, the wedding of the intelligible and the practical. The poetic metaphor and the erotic include are examples of that nearly ideal co­ prevalence among one image and one other that we name analogy, although its precise identify is felicity. This second is yet an annunciation, a presentiment of different rarer, extra overall moments: contemplation, liberation, plenitude, emp­ tiness. a majority of these states, from the main available and such a lot common to the main tough and entire, have in com­ mon the abandonment of self, the entrusting of oneself to the present: the reward of self, and in severe circumstances its obli­ teration. no matter if it lasts for a century or for the blink of an eye fixed, this fast is immeasurable. it's the one paradise open to all, provided that they fail to remember themselves. it's the second of the good abstraction and the good distrac­ tion: we're the glint of a shar d of glass struck by means of a ray of 141 Convergences solar at noon, the rustle of darkish foliage as we stroll within the geographical region, the creak of wooden on a chilly evening.

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