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A Mestizo of the Mind: Maodun in the Writings of Octavio Paz

A Mestizo of the Mind: Maodun in the Writings of Octavio Paz e ugene eo yang A Mestizo of the Mind Maodun in the Writings of Octavio Paz1 In his Labyrinth of Solitude, Octavio Paz describes the pachuco as “a word of uncer- tain derivation, saying nothing and saying everything. It is a strange word with no den fi ite meaning; or, to be more exact, it is charged like all popular creations with a diversity of meanings” (Labyrinth 14). “e Th pachuco,” Paz tells us, “has lost his whole inheritance: language, religion, customs, beliefs. He is left with only a body and a soul with which to confront the elements, defenseless against the stares of everyone. His disguise is a protection, but it also die ff rentiates and isolates him: it both hides him and points him out” (15). e Th logic of “saying nothing and saying everything,” and of the pachuco’s disguise that “both hides him and points him out” is precisely the logic of non-contradictory opposites, the logic of maodun. Another example of maodun, both ontological as well as epistemological, is Paz’s analysis of pachuco fashion: “e Th pachuco carries fashion to its ultimate consequences and turns it into something aesthetic. One of the principles that rules in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

A Mestizo of the Mind: Maodun in the Writings of Octavio Paz

The Comparatist , Volume 33 – Jun 12, 2009

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887

Abstract

e ugene eo yang A Mestizo of the Mind Maodun in the Writings of Octavio Paz1 In his Labyrinth of Solitude, Octavio Paz describes the pachuco as “a word of uncer- tain derivation, saying nothing and saying everything. It is a strange word with no den fi ite meaning; or, to be more exact, it is charged like all popular creations with a diversity of meanings” (Labyrinth 14). “e Th pachuco,” Paz tells us, “has lost his whole inheritance: language, religion, customs, beliefs. He is left with only a body and a soul with which to confront the elements, defenseless against the stares of everyone. His disguise is a protection, but it also die ff rentiates and isolates him: it both hides him and points him out” (15). e Th logic of “saying nothing and saying everything,” and of the pachuco’s disguise that “both hides him and points him out” is precisely the logic of non-contradictory opposites, the logic of maodun. Another example of maodun, both ontological as well as epistemological, is Paz’s analysis of pachuco fashion: “e Th pachuco carries fashion to its ultimate consequences and turns it into something aesthetic. One of the principles that rules in

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 12, 2009

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