Octavio Paz and T. S. Eliot
Modern Poetry and the Translation of Influence
T. S. Eliot
Legenda: Oxford, 2012
Octavio Paz (1914-1998) declared that when he discovered The Waste Land in Spanish translation as a sixteen-year-old, it ‘opened the doors of modern poetry’. The influence of T. S. Eliot would accompany Paz throughout his career, defining many of his key poems and pronouncements. Yet Paz’s attitude towards his precursor was ambivalent. Boll’s study traces the history of Paz’s engagement with Eliot in Latin American and Spanish periodicals of the 1930s and 40s. It reveals the fault lines that run through the work of the dominant figure in recent Mexican letters. By reading Eliot in a Latin American context, it also offers new perspectives on relations between Anglo-American modernism and the international avant-garde.
Tom Boll is Lecturer in Spanish and Spanish American Studies and Translation at King’s College London.