Octavio Paz and T.S. Eliot : a literary relation
This thesis applies a Reception Studies approach to the relationship between the works of T. S. Eliot and Octavio Paz. Although my introduction considers the influence theory of Harold Bloom and Julia Kristeva's 'intertextuality', it finds the methodology of Hans Robert Jauss a more appropriate model for the analysis of a literary relationship that spans two different languages and cultures. The study is divided into two parts. Part One, 'Mexican Horizons', asks what were the translations that first introduced Paz to Eliot and to which precursors and contemporaries in Mexico could Paz compare Eliot's work. Writers such as Ramon Lopez Velarde and Salvador Novo, while unaware of Eliot, shared influences with him, and so created a context in which he could be understood. Paz also read Eliot as a counterpart to St.-John Perse, whose Anabase appeared in Spanish translation in the Mexican literary magazine, Contempordneos, shortly after translations of The Waste Land and The Hollow Men. Part Two, '1930-1948', analyses Paz's use of Eliot in his own poems. It pays particular attention to the role that Eliot played in Paz's ambivalent relationship with the group of writers that contributed to Contempordneos. Paz's own poems experience a constant struggle between scepticism and the assertion of pseudo-religious political belief. He makes use of Eliot on both sides of this struggle. My conclusion takes Paz's last prose comments on Eliot as evidence of the final extent and limits of the relationship between the two authors. Paz continues to interrogate Eliot for conceptual expressions of belief, yet he acknowledges an experience of Eliot's poems which lies beyond the clarity of such formulations. Three appendices supplement the reception history with accounts of Eliot's role in Paz's reading of surrealism, his first substantial work of poetic theory, El arco y la lira, and his later poems.