Octavio Paz was born in 1914 in Mexico City. His writing skill came from his fatherâ€™s side it would seem. His grandfather was a prominent liberal intellectual and one of the first authors to write with a Indian theme. His grandfather also had an extensive library so Paz read very often in his childhood and had a good knowledge of different types of literature. His father also wrote newspaper articles for a political magazine.
He traveled a lot during his life. In 1937 Paz traveled to Valencia, Spain, to participate in the Second International Congress of Anti-Fascist Writers. In 1943, He traveled to the USA on a Guggenheim Fellowship where he was fascinated by Anglo-American Modernist poetry. .
Two years after returning from his trip to America, he entered the Mexican diplomatic services. He was then sent to France, where he wrote a study of Mexican identity, the Labyrinth of Solitude. .
In 1962, Paz was appointed Mexican ambassador to India: an important moment in both the poet's life and work, as witnessed in various books written during his stay there, especially, The Grammarian Monkey and East Slope.
In 1968, however, he resigned from the diplomatic service in protest against the government and how they did things about student demonstrations in Tlateloco during the Olympic games in Mexico. After that time he continued his work as an editor and publisher. He had two magazines at that time dedicated to art and politics. They were called Plural (1971-1976) and Vuelta, which he has been publishing since 1976.
In 1980 he was named honorary doctor at Harvard. He also got many award the recent ones include Cervantes award in 1981. This is the most important award in the Spanish-speaking world. He also received the American Nuestadt Prize in 1982.
He also received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1990. â€œFor impassioned writing with wide horizons, characterized by sensuous intelligence and humanistic integrityâ€ those were the words that the presenter used to say why he deserved such a prize.