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Nobel Prize–winning Mexican poet Octavio Paz published his first poems as a teenager. He studied law and worked as a diplomat, spending six years as the Mexican ambassador to India. He is considered a truly international writer, influenced by literary and philosophical traditions from all over the world. Polylingual, he wrote with a fluid, individual style that blurred the lines between the genres of poetry and prose. He published dozens of books in his lifetime, including more than twenty volumes of poetry as well as works of cultural history, literary scholarship, and art criticism. He is widely considered the most important Mexican poet of the twentieth century.

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