Volume 18, Issue 1, Spring 2014

Aesthetics In The Latin American Tradition

Mario J. Valdés
Pages 42-64

Philosophical Hermeneutics and the Concept of Literary Art in Mexico

This essay deals with two poetics of distinctly different traditions that arrived at the same concept of literary art, one in which the reader of, or listener to, a poem shares in the creative process with the poet. The first tradition I will examine is the that of the pre-Hispanic Mexican poets of the Cantares mexicanos and the 20th- century appropriation of their work by two of Mexico's most distinguished poets, Octavio Paz (1914–1998) and ]ose Emilio Pacheco (1939–2014), both awarded the Premio Cervantes, and Paz, the Nobel Prize. The second part of this essay examines the contemporary Continental tradition of philosophical hermeneutics that began with Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) and Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900–2001) and culminated in the work of Paul Ricoeur (1913– 2005). Although Heidegger is now well known among philosophers throughout the world, it should be noted that ]ose Gaos of the National University of Mexico, an exile from Spain, completed the first translation of Heidegger's Sein und Zeit in 1951, more than a decade before the English and French translations appeared.