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the Complete Review
the complete review - poetry

A Tale of Two Gardens

Octavio Paz

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To purchase A Tale of Two Gardens

Title: A Tale of Two Gardens
Author: Octavio Paz
Genre: Poetry
Written: 1952-95
Length: 111 pages
Original in: Spanish
Availability: A Tale of Two Gardens - US
Availability: A Tale of Two Gardens - Canada
  • Poems from India 1952-1995
  • "Edited and Translated by Eliot Weinberger, with additional translations by Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Blackburn, Lysander Kemp, Muriel Rukeyser, and Charles Tomlinson."
  • With an Introduction by Eliot Weinberger, and Notes by the Author.

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Our Assessment:

B+ : very good pieces, interesting perspective.

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The NY Times Book Rev. . 30/3/1997 Raleigh Trevelyan

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The complete review's Review:

       Octavio Paz first travelled to India in 1951, and served as Mexico's ambassador to the region in the 1960s. This collection, with pieces from across 40 years, presents the poems inspired by or in India and some of the countries surrounding it (notably Afghanistan).
       Varying in style, approach, and subject matter, it makes a fine overview of Paz's talents, from the longer first poem, "Mutra" to the numerous very short efforts. Well explained in the Author's Notes, the true value of the selection is in the unusual perspective on India that Paz offers. Always fascinated by the country and its culture, Paz nevertheless avoids some of the more obvious traps that so many Indiophile authors succumb to (as well as those that native writers succumb to). In many of the poems Paz compares and contrasts Mexico and India, a useful and illuminating exercise.
       An intellectual with a deep curiosity and willingness to examine art and society closer, Paz's poems are an excellent introduction to the country. Most of the pieces are also fine poetry, with Paz fairly well-served by his illustrious translators.
       A small but full book, it is certainly recommended to those with interest in India, or those who are interested in how cultures see one another.

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A Tale of Two Gardens: Reviews: Octavio Paz: Other books by Octavio Paz under review: Other books of interest under review:

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About the Author:

       Mexican poet and author Octavio Paz (1914-1998) won the Nobel Prize in 1990.

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