November Read: Translations of Mexican Poetry

This week’s read: Translations of Mexican Poetry, compiled by Octavio Paz and translated by Samuel Beckett. While reading Paul Theroux’s latest, On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey, I came across the story behind this collection. Had no idea it existed and immediately ordered a copy. This anthology originally appeared in 1958 and gathers poems from the period 1521 to 1910, the first year marking the Spanish conquest of Mexico, the second, the onset of the Mexican Revolution. The anthology began to take shape in 1950 when UNESCO commissioned Paz, then a financially strapped student in Paris, to gather 100 Mexican poems for publication. UNESCO then approached Beckett to serve as translator, himself fresh out of Trinity College. Read more about or purchase at Amazon.

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