Southern Lights: Octavio Paz’s “Glimpses of India” and the Art of Relation
This article analyzes the articulation of south-south relation in Octavio Paz’s In Light of India (1995) and A Tale of Two Gardens: Poems from India, 1952-1995 (1997), works of prose and poetry that traverse the antipodes of Mexico and India. These works emphasize partial viewing, repeated comparison, and cultivated sense-perception. They model a poetics of the glimpse, an effect of the play of light and shadow and a privileged mode of seeing for Paz. To glimpse is to see without clarity, control, or complete knowledge. It is to find oneself in the other. Paz’s writing anticipates twenty-first-century projects that relate artists and intellectuals in the global south such as the School of the South (2022) programs of the Johannesburg Contemporary Art Foundation inspired by Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García’s formulation from 1935. His comparative method suggests new directions for global art history and postcolonial critique.
ARTMargins Online, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp. 31-42.
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