RJC - Love in O. Paz

Anthropotes, anno X, n.2, December 1994.

(originale italiano)


Octavio Paz - Love, Family and Matrimony

Rafael Jiménez Cataño

It isn't often that a Nobel Prize Award winning writer dedicates a long treatise on love. Maybe it is just as much a rarity -- and in this I wish I were wrong -- that the anthropologist, the theologian, the moralist, would be expecting a speculative contribution from a writer, from a man of words. These pages are aiming to underline some important points of the vision of love as revealed in the latest book by Octavio Paz, The Double Flame (1), as well as mentioning other passages found here and elsewhere on family and marriage. Along with the intrinsic value of said concepts, is the added weight of the intellectual trajectory followed by Paz -- rooted in the liberal tradition and with a past, even if now far gone, of sympathy for Marxism -- and the extensive circles reached by his works (The Double Flame appeared in the month of November 1993, and was from the beginning at the top of the list of best-selling books in Spain, where it remained for more than six months). Since I foresee that this lecture might interest its readers primarily for the value of Paz's testimonial, I shall limit myself quite exclusively to introducing and connecting his texts, while formulating personal suggestions later in so far as they can be useful to illuminate the suggestions of Paz.



It is possible to distinguish in the book two great subjects: a historical explanation of our image of what love is and a reflection on the role which this plays in our society. I highlighted the words "our image" because they are shaping the subject of the essay: the physiognomy of love within western civilization. What is under concern is human love in its integrity, in contrast with mere eroticism, or mere sexuality. In completing this general presentation, it is appropriate to underline that the atmosphere dominating the nine chapters is born from a high sensitivity towards the unity of man, the sensitivity that comes from the wonder generated by the experience of the oneness of soul/body. An experience which in fact, has recourse to the testimony of the literature in this regard and which transpires here and there, a strong personal component.

The poetical experience is described in the opening as the "witnessing of the senses", a revelation of the unity of man: the sight the spirit finds, through the eyes of the flesh, "another world inside this world, the other world that is this world" (2). In the more orthodox meaning of "poetry", that experience is the re-creation of the poem, beginning with the written text itself; in the case of human love, it is the access to the person through their own body. After this introduction, Paz follows with a discussion of the distinction between sex and eroticism. "Nor is eroticism mere animal sexuality: it is a ceremony, a representation. It is sexuality transfigured, a metaphor" (3). Paz's attention is turned immediately to the element which determines the passage from eroticism to love: the person. In this regard, there isn't in ancient Greece any true philosophy of love. The "loved one" is an object, not a subject, a staircase towards contemplation, and its feelings never come to light. "In reality, love for Plato is not strictly speaking a whole relationship; it is a solitary adventure" (4). Nonetheless, Plato is to be retained among the founders of our philosophy on love thanks to the notion of the soul which is the basis of the person: "Without the belief in an immortal soul inseparable from a mortal body, neither the exclusive nature of love nor its consequence -- the transformation of desired object into desiring subject -- could have arisen. In short, love demands as its prerequisite the concept of the person, and the concept of the person requires a soul incarnated in a body" (5).

In the first four chapters the western idea of love is exposed; the evolution of the idea until its maturity in the XII Century. The essential notes are then summarized in the fifth chapter. These are: a) exclusivity; b) subversion; c) dominion and submission; d) fatality and freedom; e) the person:

The exclusivity is the first one from the point of view of the cognition, meaning from our point of recognition of that which is love, even if from the point of view of its foundation, the principal notion is the person;

The subversion alludes to the autonomy of the amorous passion with regard to the social order: of class, of race, of age, etc.;

Dominion and submission are evidencing that we are not talking any more of the erotic subject/object structure but indeed of the subject/subject one, meaning the rapport between two freedoms, so that love "does not deny the Other or reduce the Other to a shadow but is instead the negation of one's own sovereignty. This self-negation has a counterpart: the acceptance of the Other. (...) love is the search for a freely granted reciprocity (...); the giving up of personal sovereignty and the voluntary acceptance of servitude involves a genuine change of nature: by way of the bridge of mutual desire the object becomes desiring subject and the subject becomes desired object" (6);

Fatality and freedom constitute again an audacious entwining to reason. This is a very old fashioned idea, yet quite alive: "Love is a magic spell, and the attraction that unites the lovers is a bewitchment. What is extraordinary is that this belief coexists with its opposite: love is born of a free decision, the voluntary acceptance of fate" (7). In other words: "Love is the involuntary attraction toward a person and the voluntary acceptance of that attraction" (8);

The personal character of love, finally, is without doubt the central contribution of this essay.

The center of this testimonial is found in the above mentioned "wonder" in the unity of man, which is a challenge with regard to many of our rational structures, especially to those dualists of the modernity which are inviting us to take sides for either the soul or the body. The poetical experience, which in many other camps is lived as evidence of a sufficiently strong unity, enough to reject, with the authority of life, the reasons which impose a break-up of our being, is also here an appeal to give trust to our sensitivity.

By "sensitivity" it is meant here the immediate perception, unaltered by reasoned formulations, that capacity to understand which often does not come along with the capacity to justify that which has been comprehended. If it is possible to speak of sensitivity in this regard, and thus beyond a domain of strict sensitiveness, it is thanks to the unity of man. This intuition is what stays at the basis of Paz's essay: "When I speak of the human person, I am not evoking an abstraction but referring to a concrete totality. I have used the word soul a number of times, and confess that I have been guilty of an omission: the soul, or whatever one chooses to call the human psyche, is not only reason and intellect, it is also sensitivity. The soul is bodily: sensation, which becomes emotion, sentiment, passion" (9).

Every time we refuse the name love, for something which pretends to be such, what is involved is the absence of the person. If, for example, the partner may be replaced by another who just as well offers the same result, it is clear that the attention is not focused on a specific person. It is this, in fact, which is the "borderline that separates love and eroticism. Love is attraction toward a unique person: a body and a soul" (10). Thirty years before, Paz had described the difference with the following words: "Eroticism is an infinite multiplication of finite bodies. Love is the discovering of an infinite in one creature" (11). In another work, he completed this view: "eroticism tends to exalt not the unique character of the erotic object, but its singularities and eccentricities" (12). Paz is well aware of the implications in the expression "erotic object" and of the distance which this institutes between mere eroticism (13) and the personal characteristics of love: "The concept of the soul is the basis for the concept of the person, and without a person love regresses to mere eroticism" (14).

In The Double Flame we find two complementary affirmations of particular value because they are convergent within their formulation: "There is close, causal, necessary connection between the concepts of the soul, the person, human rights and love" (15), and "There is an intimate, causal relation between love and freedom" (16). From these premises can be inferred many relevant conclusions. A consequence of this nexus had been already enunciated by Paz in an interview released in 1978: "Neither the concept of soul, nor that of person, nor even less that of freedom appear in eroticism" (17). Why then is eroticism easily taken for freedom? It is one of the fallacies, one of the perverse effects of modernism -- the denaturation of the free market, of the political parties, of the mass media, etc. (18) -- which in this case consists in calling "erotic freedom" a form of servitude (19).

In my opinion, that which is underlined here, is freedom in a strong sense: freedom is true in so far as it displays itself in objective values. This position taken by Paz is clearly appreciable in the criticism of the pure market, of the relativism, to a certain conception of democracy. For this purpose, before turning to the lecture of what he explicitly says in regard to the family and the matrimony, I find it useful to present the content of these ideas of his.



The non-absolute character of freedom is the basis of Paz's critique as mentioned above (20). It is illusory and undesirable, a "freedom" deprived of any orientation. A similar freedom would be a condemnation, as Sartre had so lucidly seen, he whom, with memorable coherence, "in a moment of despair stated: 'The hell is the other'. A terrible statement because the others are our horizon: the world of humans. (...) Maybe he had forgotten that the us is a collective you: in order to love the others, one must first love the other, the close one. We the modern people need to discover the you (...)" (21).

In order to make this notion of freedom possible, there is the relational conception of the person as defined by Paz, even if it is not always applied in all its virtualities (22). El laberinto de la soledad contains, beginning with its second edition, an appendix which in the first paragraph, affirms: "Loneliness is the basis of the human condition. Man is the only being who feels alone and unique, and is search for the other. (...) Man is longing and is search of communion. Thus any time he feels himself, he feels itself as lacking of another, as loneliness" (23). Therefore he could say, by receiving the Cervantes award (1982), "the freedom, which begins to be the affirmation of my singularity, resolving in the affirmation of my singularity, displays itself in the acknowledging of it and of others: their freedom is a condition for mine. In his island Robinson is not really free; for although he is not subjected to a stranger's will and to anyone's constraints, his freedom is displayed in emptiness. The freedom of the loner is similar to the loneliness of the despot, crowded by specters. In order to fulfill itself, freedom must incarnate and put itself in front of a different conscience and to a different will: the other is, contemporaneously, the limit and the source of my freedom" (24). Thus Paz may finish the above mentioned comment to Sartre -- an homage in memoriam -- with a paraphrase: "the freedom is the others" (25).

This finite freedom, conditioned (26), which displays itself in front of other freedoms, seems destined to calculations, to an equilibrium of freedoms, to the agreement on spheres of action. But reality is different. The freedoms cannot be objects of additions and subtractions. In this consists Paz's criticism which turns to certain modes of conceiving democracy, which deforms its true meaning. "Democracy is not a panacea: it is a form of living together, a system for avoiding people killing each other, for making it possible for governments to change themselves peacefully and that the president enter the presidential palace via the votes. Democracy instructs us to live together and nothing else" (27).

The necessity that freedom have an objective criteria of action appears for some time, but above all in the later years, within Paz's reflections on democracy and market principles. Particularly important in this regard is Itinerario (28). In the autobiographical essay which provides the name for the book, he affirms that the dominating democratic system is countersigned by relativism, which among other things consists of not signaling to the society any aim or code of values. Thus "this system does not respond to the basic demands which humans have pondered since they came into existence on Earth. These are synthesized as follows: what is the purpose of my life and where am I going? In short, the relativism is the axis of the democratic society: it insures the civil co-habitation of the people, the ideas and the beliefs; at the same time, in the center of the relativist society there is a hole, an emptiness which incessantly enlarges and desolates the souls" (29).

To that paramount condition Paz referred to repeatedly in previous times. In Itinerario he descends in provocative particulars even (30), but here I would especially like to stress the recuperation of the connection between freedom and virtue (31), which had brought Paz to long for the times in which political sanity was based on the virtue of its citizens. The virtue "always denotes dominion over ourselves. When the virtue becomes weak and we become dominated by passions -- quite always the inferior ones: envy, vanity, avarice, luxury, laziness -- the republics end up perishing. When we cannot dominate our appetites any more, we become dominated by the exterior" (32).

Democracy cannot be in and of itself an ideal of life (33). Evidently, it cannot be a dry market either, where there is no pity (34). But we cannot think only of the tragedy of those who are condemned to living in misery, but also in the disgrace, not at all to be ignored, of those who in their sedentariness are herding in a subhuman life because, "along with the injustices and the inequalities which it is producing, the market morally and spiritually harms humans because it replaces an ancestral notion of valor with that of price. Now, the higher and better things -- virtue, truth, love, brotherliness, freedom, art, charity, solidarity -- do not have a price" (35).

Consider now that intimate connection between soul, person, human rights, love and freedom. Paz positions himself clearly in the counter-current when he connects public morality with human rights: "It is odd that in a time when there is so much talk of human rights, it is permitted to rent and sell and place on exhibit images of men's and women's bodies, not excluding their most intimate parts. What is scandalous is not that this is a universal practice accepted by everyone, but that no one is scandalized: our moral instincts have turned numb" (36).



Paz affirms that the family "is the nucleus and the soul of any society" (37), which is thus not able to survive without the family (38). On this particular characteristic of the family Paz is not elaborating because it appears to him to be an undoubtable principle, at least for the concerns of the social character of man. In my opinion, that which constitutes the most relevant contribution by Paz, is his consideration of family as a cultural vehicle. The humanization of man goes beyond the biological domain, and it is just for the family to be the ordinary means through which nature receives its product of culture which it intrinsically requires. On the specific case of Mexico Paz stated in 1975:

"Within the basis of the Mexican psyche, there are realities covered by both history and modern realities. Hidden but present realities. (...) The family is one powerful reality. It is the center in the original meaning of the word: a center for the reunion between the dead and the living, while at the same time an altar, a bed to make love on, an oven where to bake, ashes which are burying the forefathers. The Mexican family has crossed several centuries of calamities quite unharmed and only now is beginning to dissolve in the big city. Family has given to the Mexicans their own beliefs, values and concepts on life and death, on good and evil, on masculine and feminine, on beauty and ugliness, on that which must be done and that which is prohibited. In the center of the family: the father" (39).

Eleven years later Octavio Paz was stating his opinion on the family differently: "the Hispanic-Catholic society is community-based and its nucleus is the family, a tiny solar system which turns around a fixed star: the mother" (40). This change in his view is due to a deeper understanding on his part. The leading character of the father has a superficial value, corresponding with exterior factors on "who is in command". But those attitudes of commanding are not shaping the persons and the people as deeply as a mother's action. Paz believes that the family may be strong enough to preserve the identity of a people, as long as this were genuinely a true family. In regard to the Latinos living in the States, he writes: "The family is the cultural center; as long as there will be the Hispanic family, the Chicano family (41), the Puerto-Rican family and the Mexican family in the United States, there will also be the cultural survival of the Hispanic element in the United States" (42).

Regarding family values, one may also go overboard, but this alone should not be reason enough to completely wear out the institution of the family: "Even as far as economics go, it is also urgent to awaken and use energies and forces currently ignored. For example, the family. In Japan it has become a center for cultural and economic creation, it could be the same way in Mexico as well. It is true that in Mexico it has had some negative results because it was the origin of patrimonialism and nepotism. The family and friendship ties have been stronger than those of ideological and technical considerations. Our heroes have protected their relatives with positions and profits. But it is impossible to forget that the Mexican family has been the center of social solidarity and the depository of traditional values" (43).

The preceding texts, in the light of those on freedom, demonstrate a family concept based on the configuration given the human being, not a conventional configuration, one which creates culture, not one which is a product of it. Certainly, this is a peculiar nature which requires decisively a self-realization, a self-creation. This is so necessary that where it is absolutely impossible to find human nature in its pure state: men always appear re-created by themselves. The family role in this re-creation is well defined. The family offers varied structures according to cultures, but in and of itself, in general, belongs to that given from the configuration of man. Man is a being in whom the given includes the demands of the non-given, and the non-given forms a patrimony which may be transmitted in such a way that it is lived as given. The primary ring of this transmission is ordinarily the family. In it the given and the non-given are so completely intertwined they appear to be one and the same, as may be seen in the sexuality/eroticism/love dimensions of above, which are exactly that: dimensions of a unique reality. By saying that eroticism (culture) denies the sexuality (nature) is one way of talking about it: it denies it in the sense that it goes beyond it while in reality it is assuming it. The same process takes place in the transfiguration of eroticism by means of love. Paz is right when stating that we are not talking about a passage from a corporal to a spiritual domain, but rather to a personal one, consisting in the unity of soul/body.

At this point, a certain step is insinuated in our considerations which Paz is not mentioning, but which could make his song on the unity of the human being more convincing. The poetical experience allows him to surpass the rationalistic view of those who perceive sexuality to be only a biological reality or, by adding the cultural element, a subject/object rapport; he in fact surpasses it to consider the notion of love overexposed. Why not apply the same experience to the origin of every person? Confining reproduction to the biological nature, does it not mean removing humanity from the beginning of humanity? If the conjugal act is not only pure sexuality, but also eroticism and love, why think that the person comes only from the biological joining and not from all that unity?

The self-sufficience of biology to stimulate new human lives endorses the reductionist consideration. But is this really that which we call "bringing a child into the world"? If, on the contrary, we are adopting the unity of the person in its entirety, we realize that the person, whose essential constituent is the vocation to communion, has its origin, resplendent of beauty, in the communion of persons: love which, via the human condition -- body and soul, nature and culture --, is also eroticism and sexuality. "Bringing a child into the world" will thus encompass all of the three dimensions: communication of the biological life, transmittance of an identity -- an ethos -- and receiving it in a communion of persons.

The Double Flame says nearly nothing on children or parenthood. A passage which leads some readers to look for a discussion on children seems really to elude the question: "sex is the root, eroticism the stem, and love the flower. And the fruit? The fruits of love are intangible. This is one of love's mysteries" (44). In the logic of the book all of this is perfectly coherent: the author has repeatedly mentioned that his concern is not sex but love. The consideration of the oneness of a person in the origin of a person would make the child a love theme.



In the past Paz had considered the marital institution to be an enemy of love (45). In his most recent writings there are some important points which reflect his above mentioned concept of freedom, love and family. I shall discuss two of them.

On one hand, of his matrimony he does not speak in those terms. "India had allowed me to face love: for it is there that I met my wife" (46). A short sentence dropped in an interview, which in fact could not be any farther from the antagonistic postulate stated before. How could it be that he was put in front of love, already past his 50's, when it was never denied to him, that which anybody would call love? And it is that specific love which, adopted in the form of matrimony, he has been presenting since as a social reality, and at the same time as a center for his personal identity: "--Those years in India, what impact did they have on your life? --First of all they had a personal impact. In India I found my wife, Marie-Jo. Since being born, this is the most important thing that has happened to me. --Were you married there? --Yes, under a big tree. A very exuberant neem" (47).

A second point is the confluence between realism and the realization of love between man and woman, becoming society -- or in other words, the communion becoming community --, is a good thing. When in El laberinto de la soledad Paz was considering marriage an enemy of love, he was only formulating an experience, after all not only his: love and the matrimonial bond are not maintained in harmony without efforts. We are in front of a mystery, similar among other things to that signaled by Paz in describing the human condition: we are called to communion, but it seems to reveal itself as impossible. In this antinomy he had recognized a deep need for redemption. In the case of matrimony, the problem was not focused in the same terms, but it occurs when there are signaled the modalities of a possible solution. "Nor is the opposition between love and friendship absolute: not only do the two share many qualities, but love can turn into friendship. It is, I would say, one of its denouements" (48). "Friendship between husband and wife -- a fact we note every day -- is one of the features that redeem the marriage bond" (49).

The impression that friendship is able to redeem the bond denotes an optimism which has the force of experience. It is based on the poetical experience in its most open and profound meaning possible: a unity of man and of men, an experience of the possibility of a faithful love. All this is without doubt connected to two positions from The Double Flame which have marvelled many of Paz's readers: in favor of the spirituality of the soul and in favor of faithfulness in love. Their astonishment does not astonish me. The convictions of Paz are a surprise, even if in my opinion they are more of an evolution than an abrupt change of direction. Nor does it surprise me that the person strikes a blow in favor of the soul and of the faithfulness in love, and is able to offer alluring lights on freedom, on the person, and on the family.



(1) The Double Flame. Love and Eroticism, translated by Helen Lane, Harcourt Brace & Co., Orlando 1996, pp.276. Original edition: La llama doble. Amor y Erotismo, Seix Barral, Barcelona 1993, pp. 223. -^

(2) Ibid., p. 2. I have tried to grasp the way in which the poetical experience enlightens the being of man in my book Octavio Paz. Poética del Hombre, EUNSA, Pamplona 1992. -^

(3) Ibid., p. 3. -^

(4) Ibid., p. 50. -^

(5) Ibid., p. 157. -^

(6) Ibid., pp. 151-152. -^

(7) Ibid., p. 154. -^

(8) Ibid., p. 152. -^

(9) Ibid., p. 211. -^

(10) Ibid., p. 32. -^

(11) "El camino de la pasión: Ramón López Velarde", Essay dated August 4, 1963. I quote from Obras Completas, vol. IV, p.198. -^

(12) El ogro filantrópico, Joaquín Mortiz, México 1979, p. 233. -^

(13) The expression "mere eroticism" leaves open the possibility of conserving the term "eroticism" to signify, in an integral consideration of human love, its bodily dimension. The following text alludes to this nuance: "Without eroticism -- without a visible form that enters by way of the senses -- there is no love, but love goes beyond the desired body and seeks the soul in the body and the body in the soul. The whole person" (The Double Flame, p.33). -^

(14) Ibid., p. 157. -^

(15) Ibid., p. 157. -^

(16) Ibid., p. 194. -^

(17) Pasión crítica, Seix Barral, México 1985, p. 171. -^

(18) See above The Double Flame, p. 198. -^

(19) Paz signals three principal factors of crisis in our society, "The sexual license, sexual permissiveness: it has debased Eros, corrupted the human imagination, desiccated the sensitivity, and made of sexual freedom a mask for sexual servitude" (The Double Flame, p. 197-198). "Our societies have replaced (...) freedom with promiscuity". (Convergencias, Seix Barral, Barcelona 1991, p. 15). "In certain groups and environments [in the Europe of the 1920s and 1930s], promiscuity reigned, disguised as freedom. (...) There is nothing more difficult to defend than liberty from the libertines" (The Double Flame, p. 171). "I believe that libertinism, despite the root of its name, is a true and complete prison" ("Genealogía de un libro: Libertad bajo palabra", Vuelta, 145 [1988], p. 18; Vuelta is a magazine edited by Paz). -^

(20) "Right after freedom becomes an absolute, it ceases to be freedom: its true name will now be despotism" (Hombres en su siglo y otros ensayos, Seix Barral, México 1989, p. 14). -^

(21) Ibid., p. 123. -^

(22) The following text is a good example. The Double Flame offers other lucid formulas: "True love consists precisely of the transformation of the appetite for possession into surrender" (p. 143); "love (...) is a paradigm, a way of life founded on freedom and on self-surrender" (p. 201). In this second statement love is presented as the true remedy against AIDS ("i.e. against promiscuity", he says). Nonetheless Paz thinks that the specificity of the Christian notion of love resides in the unity of the soul/body. -^

(23) El laberinto de la soledad, Fondo de Cultura Económica, México 1950, p. 175. -^

(24) "La tradición liberal", in Hombres..., p. 14. -^

(25) Ibid., p. 125. -^

(26) "In all its versions, the idea of conditional freedom implies the notion of personal responsibility: any one of us conquers and, literally, does and undoes their freedom. A freedom always precarious" ("Tiempos, lugares, encuentros", Interview with Alfred MacAdam, Vuelta, 181 [1991], p. 15). -^

(27) Pequeña crónica de grandes días, Fondo de Cultura Económica, México 1990, p. 131. Underlining mine. -^

(28) Fondo de Cultura Económica, México 1993. -^

(29) Itinerario, p. 126. -^

(30) "The modern democracy postulates a cautious neutrality regarding faith and beliefs. Nonetheless, it is neither possible nor prudent to ignore the religions, nor to confine them to the dominion reserved by the individual conscience. The religions possess a public aspect which is essentially theirs, as seen in one of their most perfect expressions: the rite of mass" (Ibid., p. 135). -^

(31) "The virtue, no matter what meaning we attribute to the word, is first and foremost, a free act" (The Double Flame, p. 181). -^

(32) Itinerario, p. 132. -^

(33) "I don't have any illusions on democracy: it shall give us neither happiness, nor virtue" (Ibid., p. 270). -^

(34) "The triumph of the market economy -- a triumph for default -- cannot in and of itself be reason for excitement. The market is an efficient mechanism, but, as with all mechanisms, it has neither conscience nor pity" (Convergencias, p.20; it is the speech in Stockholm on the occasion of the Nobel Prize). -^

(35) Itinerario, p. 132. -^

(36) The Double Flame, p. 196. Here too Paz appeals to the oneness of the person: "Primitive man believed that paintings and sculptures were the magic doubles of real persons. Even today in certain remote corners of the world there are villagers who refuse to allow their photographs to be taken, believing that the person who possesses the image of their body also possesses their soul. In a way they are not mistaken: there is an indissoluble link between what we call the soul and what we call the body" (Ibid., pp. 195-196). Is it possible to sell the body and keep the soul? Adolfo Castañón, an author not suspicious of moralism (he declares himself agnostic), writes in a recension of Paz's book: "It remains clear that saving the love means saving the persons, that the persons can know how to be redeemed and ransomed, elevated toward the light, only through the respect to that which defines them. Thus, the restitution of the person, the resurrection of men's personal character, will carry us to understand that each face is a God, that each person is a religion and a temple, that the price of consuming bodies, of cohabiting with their reproductions through the pornography, is no less than the price of the soul itself" (Vuelta, 208[1994], p.44). -^

(37) Itinerario, p. 173. -^

(38) "In all societies there exists a series of prohibitions or taboos -- but also of stimuli or incentives -- whose purpose is to regulate and control the sexual instinct. These rules serve society (culture) and reproduction (nature) at the same time. Without all of them the family would disintegrate and with it all of society" (The Double Flame, pp. 11; underlining mine). -^

(39) El ogro..., p. 23 = Pasión crítica, p. 111. There is an interesting position on the role which could be developed by the family in the war against AIDS: "A specialist writes: '(...) Our only hope of containing AIDS lies in prevention (...); the only vaccine that we have available is education'. But today our society lacks the moral authority to preach continence, not to mention chastity. (...); At the same time family morality, usually closely allied to religious beliefs, has collapsed" (The Double Flame, p. 200-201). -^

(40) "Arte e identidad (los hispanos en los Estados Unidos)", in Convergencias, p. 109 (the essay was published in Nr. 126 of Vuelta, March 1986). -^

(41) The Chicanos where called those Americans of Mexican background and in time, by extension, the Mexicans residing in the United States. -^

(42) "Historias, tiempos, civilizaciones", in Krauze, Personas e ideas, Ed. Vuelta, México 1989, p. 160. The interview is from the year 1983. -^

(43) Pequeña crónica..., p. 138. -^

(44) The Double Flame, p. 38. -^

(45) "Society understands love, against the nature of this sentiment, as a stable union destined to create children. It identifies it with marriage. (...) The protection of marriage implies the persecution of love and the tolerance of prostitution, if not its official support" (El laberinto de la soledad, pp. 179-180). -^

(46) "Poesía de circunstancias", Vuelta, 138 (1988), p. 21. Paz was born in Mexico City in 1914; his travels to India include the years 1962-1969. -^

(47) Pasión crítica, p. 74. -^

(48) The Double Flame, p. 140. -^

(49) Ibid., p. 139. -^




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