Ottawa, Canada, April 15, 2014
The Ambassador of Mexico to Canada, Francisco Suárez Dávila, along with the Vice-Dean of the University of Ottawa, Andrew Taylor, and Acting Chairman of the Faculty of Arts, May Telmissany, inaugurated the International Colloquium "Octavio Paz: Labyrinths of the Poet". The event was coordinated by the University and the Embassy to commemorate the centennial of the birth of the great Mexican poet and Nobel laureate.
The symposium was attended by scholars from Venezuela, the United States, Canada and Mexico. Speakers covered various facets of the work of Octavio Paz. Dr. Javier Moreno Rico, a historian from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), recounted Paz’s life and how it relates to his poetry. A section of the conference was dedicated to Octavio Paz and Feminism, in which his writings on Malinche and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz were explored. There were also panels dedicated to his poetry and one dedicated to psychological studies on Mexican-ness and its relationship to the Labyrinth of Solitude.
During his presentation, Ambassador Suárez spoke about two aspects of the life of the great poet: his rich diplomatic career, and Octavio Paz as a visionary essay writer on modern Mexico. The Ambassador also highlighted the concept that Paz called the “revenge of particularisms,” which was a foresight of conflicts that arose following his death, such as the one involving the Tamils in Sri Lanka and the current conflict in the Ukraine.