Mexico’s Government Secretary has revealed that Congress has declared 2014 as “The Year of Octavio Paz.” Poet, writer, essayist and diplomat, Octavio Paz was born in Mexico City on the 31st of March 1914 and died on the 19th of April, 1998. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1990. The statement from the Mexican Government indicated that all official correspondence from the State will contain the footer or watermark “2014, Year of Octavio Paz.” This will go into effect on Saturday and last through to December 31.
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The Mexican Government has indeed already started celebrating the famed writer. It has organized a range of events in Paz’s honor which include presentations of his books, a stamp and lottery ticket bearing his face, a public reading of his poems outside of the Mexican Senate, the distribution of a free anthology to middle-school students, and a summit of intellectuals. Google also got in on the tribute; users in Mexico, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Spain were greeted with a “Doodle” homage to him.
Octavio Paz is remembered as one of Mexico’s most influential authors. Enrique Krauze wrote in the New York Times: “the intellectual wars that he fought so vigorously in life continue to be waged in his memory — which appears destined to never rest in the ‘peace’ that his name signifies.” Born in Mexico City in 1914, one of Paz’s most enduring preoccupations was that of national identity. His most famous book, “The Labyrinth of Solitude,” described and plumbed Mexican custom, from popular representations of death to distinctive usages like “chingar.”