In this comprehensive examination of the work of Octavio Paz - winner of the 1990 Nobel Prize for Literature and Mexico's important literary and cultural figure - Jose Quiroga presents an analysis of Paz's writings in light of works by and about him. Combining broad erudition with scholarly attention to detail, Quiroga views Paz's work as an open narrative that explores the relationships between the poet, his readers and his time. This text provides a thorough reading of Octavio Paz's poetry, essays and autobiographical works within their historical, political and aesthetic contexts. Quiroga begins with a broad outline of Paz's life, which he examines in greater detail throughout the following chapters. Scrutinizing Octavio's most important collection of poetry Libertad bajo palabra , Quiroga takes into account the series of revisions to which Paz submitted his poetic works. In readings regarding society and politics, he focuses on The Labyrinth of Solitude , which has grown to include Octavio's last observations on Mexico and the Mexican state. Quiroga also examines Paz's work on aesthetics and poetics, with chapters devoted to poetry and works published before and after the poet's stay in India during the 1960s, and Paz's longer poems written in the 1970s and 1980s.