En el centenario del nacimiento de Octavio Paz (1914-1998), Premio Nobel de 1990 y figura de proa de la literatura mexicana del siglo XX, la Cámara de Diputados de México ha creado un sitio de homenaje al autor, en:


Este sitio abarca una impresionante colección de materiales relativos al gran poeta y ensayista (biografía, artículos críticos, reseñas, entrevistas, etc).

Me es grato informar que en la página « Reseñas »:


hay un vínculo:


a un texto de mi autoría de 1995 sobre Octavio Paz, en la cual reseñé su libro del mismo año acerca de la cultura de la India, país donde fue embajador de México, ‘Vislumbres de la India’. Estoy, evidentemente, muy agradecido a quien colocó ese enlace, que me permite ser partícipe en las conmemoraciones del centenario del inolvidable poeta mexicano.

Octavio Paz Vislumbres de la India


2014 marks the birth centenary of Octavio Paz (1914-1998), the 1990 Nobel laureate and standard-bearer for Mexican literature in the 20th century. In commemoration, the Mexican Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the national parliament) has created a site paying homage to the writer, at:


This site (in Spanish only) brings together an impressive collection of material on the great poet and essayist (biography, critical artícles, reviews, interviews, etc).

I am pleased to note that the page « Reseñas » (« Reviews »):


includes a link:


to a text (in Spanish) of my authorship from 1995 on Octavio Paz, in which I reviewed his book of the same year on the culture of India, where he served as Mexico’s ambassador, ‘Vislumbres de la India’ (‘In Light of India’). I am of course most grateful to those who created this link, which enables me to be a participant in the commemorations of the centenary of the unforgettable Mexican poet.

NB – My review of Paz’s book is also available in English at: http://yatrarollason.info/files/PazEN.pdf


Published in France: new life of Sigmund Freud by Élisabeth Roudinesco

Roudinesco cover

Élisabeth Roudinesco, ‘Sigmund Freud en son temps et dans le nôtre’, Paris: Seuil, 2014, 582 pp.

 In the 21st century, Sigmund Freud remains a controversial figure, liable to criticism from both left and right but continuing to attract passionate defenders. At a time when hermeneutic models of reality such as those of both Marxism and Freudianism have ceased to be fashionable and postmodernism rules the roost in academia, the appearance of what claims to be the first-ever serious biography of Freud to be published in France should merit the attention not only of professional therapists but of anyone interested in psychology, philosophy, literature or the history of ideas.

 The task falls to Élisabeth Roudinesco, historian, director of research at the Université de Paris-VII and author of a long series of works on psychoanalysis, including a voluminous ‘Dictionnaire de la Psychanalyse’ (co-authored with Michel Plon, 1997) and the eloquent manifesto ‘Pourquoi la Psychanalyse?’ (‘Why Psychoanalysis?’, 1999).

 Roudinesco’s new book, whose title may be rendered ‘Sigmund Freud in his time and in ours’, draws on the author’s knowledge of Freud’s complete psychological works and correspondence, as well as the archive material held in London and Vienna, and includes a full bibliography with details of Freud’s writings, their translations into French and the archives consulted. It has a final chapter examining the vicissitudes of the reception of Freud and Freudianism in our day. What is visibly a scrupulously researched and intellectually rigorous study, from a scholar and defender of Sigmund Freud already known for her polemical force, is likely to prove a major literary and intellectual event.

The book is reviewed (in French) by Juliette Cerf in the magazine Télérama (20 September 2014), at:



Garcia Marquez2

The August 2014 issue of ‘Le Monde Diplomatique’ (No 725) includes one of the very last interviews with the late Gabriel García Márquez, conducted in Havana by Ignacio Ramonet, former editor of the prestigious French publication (‘Gabriel García Márquez: ultime rencontre’ – ‘Gabriel García Márquez: ultime rencontre’, p. 28).

 ‘Gabo’ offers opinions on a wide range of subjects ranging from Nicaragua to Cuba, affirming his political beliefs as trenchantly as ever while not neglecting literature: ‘N’oublie pas que l’imagination est clairvoyante. Elle est parfois plus vraie que la vérité. Regarde Kafka, ou Faulkner, ou tout simplement Cervantès’ (‘Don’t forget that the imagination is clairvoyant. It is sometimes truer than the truth. Look at Kafka, or Faulkner, or quite simply Cervantes’).

 Ramonet leaves the author of ‘Cien Años de Soledad/One Hundred Years of Solitude’ ‘silencieux et méditatif, fixant la pluie inépuisable’ (‘silent and meditative, staring at the unceasing rain’), like one of his own characters. The Nobel-winning novelist comes over as a universal intellectual unafraid to express his views on the world’s multiplicity – akin to his fellow Latin Americans such as the late Octavio Paz and Carlos Fuentes or the still living Mario Vargas Llosa, all writers of a breadth and sweep such as we are unlikely to see again so soon in these more limited and fragmented times.


Garcia Marquez1

El número de agosto de 2014 de ‘Le Monde Diplomatique’ (núm. 725) incluye una de las ultimísimas entrevistas que concedió el fallecido Gabriel García Márquez, realizada en La Habana por Ignacio Ramonet, antiguo director de la prestigiosa publicación francesa (‘Gabriel García Márquez: ultime rencontre’ – ‘Gabriel García Márquez: último encuentro’, p. 28).

 ‘Gabo’ expone sus puntos de vista en un amplio abanico de temas, desde Nicaragua a Cuba, afirmando sus creencias políticas de la forma tajante de siempre, y sin ignorar la literatura: ‘N’oublie pas que l’imagination est clairvoyante. Elle est parfois plus vraie que la vérité. Regarde Kafka, ou Faulkner, ou tout simplement Cervantès’ (‘No te olvides de que la imaginación es clarividente. A veces es más verdadera que la verdad. Piensa en Kafka, o en Faulkner, o todo sencillamente en Cervantes’).

 Ramonet se despide del autor de ‘Cien Años de Soledad’, ‘silencieux et méditatif, fixant la pluie inépuisable’ (‘silencioso y meditativo, fijándose en la inagotable lluvia’), como uno de sus propios personajes. El Nobel de Literatura se revela como un intelectual universal, pronunciándose impavidamente sobre la multiplicidad del mundo, en la corriente que comparte con sus congéneres latinoamericanos como los fenecidos Octavio Paz y Carlos Fuentes o el siempre activo Mario Vargas Llosa, todos ellos escritores de una visión amplia y abarcativa cuyo equivalente difícilmente volveremos a ver, en esta época más limitada y fragmentaria.


Indian novelist Manju Kapur, whose work has featured on various occasions on this blog, has just published an anthology of essays, edited by her and signed by 24 contemporary women writers from the subcontinent. The New Indian Express for 27 July 2014 includes a brief interview with the novelist by Supriya Sharma, ‘Gender Figures Because You Write From Who You Are’:


 Kapur names Jane Austen as one of her favourite writers, and advises intending novelists: ‘Read like mad and write every day’.



 In the wake of the recent sad decease on 17 April this year of Colombia’s Nobel Literature laureate Gabriel García Márquez, an aspect of his work which may have been unjustly overlooked is his impressive and remarkable influence in India.

 This is highlighted in an article by Kavita Punjabi, ‘Salaams Gabo’, in The Times of India, 20 April 2014:


 The author sees ‘Gabo’ as ‘a supreme architect’ who ‘through his tales he enabled the people of the North to see the South – us – as we see ourselves’, who worked to undo ‘the loss of cultural memory under colonialism’ and ‘drew us [Indians] close, very close, to Latin America’. She also states: ‘Three of the thirty languages that One Hundred Years of Solitude has been translated into are Indian. The Malayalam version is into the 13th edition, having sold over 25,000 copies; the Bangla and Hindi translations are also bestsellers’, and adds for our times that ‘never before, in the history of Facebook, have so many Indians grieved the passing away of a writer’.

 With this, the story of Gabo’s footprint in India should surely now be wide open for research!


En la estela del reciente triste fallecimiento, el 17 de abril de este año, del Nobel de Literatura colombiano Gabriel García Márquez, cabe traer a colación un aspecto de su obra que tal vez no haya recibido la atención que merece, concretamente las profundas huellas que ha dejado en India.

Este aspecto viene subrayado en un artículo de Kavita Punjabi intitulado ‘Salaams Gabo’, publicado en The Times of India el 20 de abril de 2014:


Para la autora, ‘Gabo’ fue ‘a supreme architect’ (‘un arquitecto supremo’) que ‘through his tales he enabled the people of the North to see the South – us – as we see ourselves’ (‘a través de sus relatos capacitó a los del Norte para poder ver al Sur – vernos a nosotros – como nosotros nos vemos’), que obró para deshacer ‘the loss of cultural memory under colonialism’ (‘la pérdida de la memoria cultural bajo el colonialismo’) y ‘drew us [Indians] close, very close, to Latin America’ (‘nos aproximó [a los indios], cerca, muy cerquita, a América Latina’). Añade: ‘Three of the thirty languages that One Hundred Years of Solitude has been translated into are Indian. The Malayalam version is into the 13th edition, having sold over 25,000 copies; the Bangla and Hindi translations are also bestsellers’ ‘Tres de los treinta idiomas a los que ha sido traducido Cien Años de Soledad son indios: la versión en malayalam ya ha llegado a 13 ediciones y ha vendido 25.000 ejemplares, y las versiones en bengalí e hindi también son éxitos de librería’), afirmando adicionalmente, para nuestra época, que ‘nunca antes en la historia de Facebook hubo tantos indios que lamentaron el fenecimiento de un escritor’.

¡Con todo esto, espérese ahora que el asunto de la influencia de ‘Gabo’ en India se abra plenamente como tema de investigación!

Journal of the Odisha Association for English Studies – Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2014)

Now published is Vol. 4, Issue 1 (2014) of the Journal of the Odisha Association for English Studies (ISSN 2249-6726), edited from Baleswar (Odisha/Orissa, India) by Dr Santwana Haldar.

Highlights of this 338-page issue include articles on Tagore (Rama Kindu), Telugu writer Vasireddy Sita Devi (Rajeshwar Mittapalli), Saswati Sengupta (Alessandro Monti), Arun Joshi (Pier Paolo Piciucco), Raja Rao and Indian English (Balabhdra Tripathy), Odiya/Oriya poet Jayanta Mahapatra (Bijay Kumar Dey; there is also a new poem by Mahapatra) and A.K. Ramanujan (Dipika Parmer); comparative studies of classic Odiya/Oriya writer Fakir Mohan Senapati with Mark Twain (Gananath Dash) and Thomas Hardy (Karuna Kara Roul); and reviews of books by Alice Munro (‘Dear Life’) and Jhumpa Lahiri (‘The Low Land’, both by Santwana Haldar.

The issue also includes my own article, ‘Salman Rushdie’s “Shalimar the Clown”: A Secularist Manifesto?’ (pp. 106-116). This article was originally given as a paper at the conference ‘Education and Secularism’, held at the University of Cergy-Pontoise (France) in 2013. A French-language version was subsequently published in the proceedings (see entry on this blog for 16 January 2014). This original English-language text is also available at: http://yatrarollason.info/files/RushdieShalimarCergyEN.pdf.

Dr Haldar can be contacted at: santwanahaldar2004@yahoo.com

Obra póstuma de Paco de Lucía

Honrado sea Paco de Lucía, el gran guitarrista del flamenco nacido en Algeciras en 1947 y recién fallecido en Playa del Carmen (México). el 25-II-2014.
En El País del 25-IV-2014 hay un texto sobre su cd póstumo, ‘Canción andaluza’, que promete ser excepcional. Los grandes artistas no mueren ..

‘La última copla de Paco de Lucía’, Amelia Castilla,