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Figures & Figurations, one of the last works completed by the great late Mexican poet Octavio Paz before his death in 1998, is a stunning collaborative project with his wife, the acclaimed artist Marie Jose Paz. In response to ten of her collage-constructions, he wrote ten new short poems; she in turn created two new artworks in response to two of his earlier poems. In addition to the gorgeous full-color art, this bilingual edition features Eliot Weinberger's excellent translations, as well as an essay by Octavio Paz on Marie Jose Paz's work, "The Whitecaps of Time," in which he relates how her friendship with Joseph Cornell became a stimulus for her assemblages and how she was further spurred on by other friends, such as the linguist Roman Jakobson and Elizabeth Bishop. "These objects sometimes surprise us," he writes, "and sometimes make us dream or laugh (humor is one of the poles of her work). Signs that invite us on a motionless voyage of fantasy, bridges to the indefinitely small or galactic distances, windows that open on a nowhere. Marie Jose's art is a dialog between here and there." An illuminating afterword by the eminent French poet Yves Bonnefoy completes this edition.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780811217590
ISBN-10: 0811217590
Format: Paperback
(221mm x 150mm x 7mm)
Pages: 64
Imprint: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publish Date: 16-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Marie Jose Paz

Marie Jose Paz began working as an artist in 1972, encouraged by artists like Joseph Cornell, Mark Strand and Robert Gardner. She was Octavio Paz's loving companion for more than thirty years. Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was born in Mexico City. He wrote many volumes of poetry, as well as a prolific body of remarkable works of nonfiction on subjects as varied as poetics, literary and art criticism, politics, culture, and Mexican history. He was awarded the Jerusalem Prize in 1977, the Cervantes Prize in 1981, and the Neustadt Prize in 1982. He received the German Peace Prize for his political work, and finally, the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. Eliot Weinberger is an essayist and translator, the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry, and the series editor of Calligrams: Writings from and on China (New York Review Books and Chinese University of Hong Kong Press). He lives in New York City.