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Literary time

“Paz’s realization that he lived in a place outside real time and history (this present was “somewhere else”) was succeeded by a sudden awareness of a schism in the world, which let to him to set out in search of the present: “The search for the present is not the pursuit of an earthly paradise or of a timeless eternity ; it is the search for reality…  we had to go and look for it and bring t back home” This quest was an attempt to find a way out of from the “fictitious time” reserved for national space into which he had been born and to gain entry into the real time of international life.””

Pascale Casanova, The World Republic Of Letters, translated by M.B. DeBevoise. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 2007, p93.

Casanova’s example of Octavio Paz’s realization of the literary schism  highlights  the difficulty to be modern, to belong and participate to the international literary life for an outsider of the international time because of the backwardness and remoteness he suffers- not to mention that he has to be aware of those facts in order to achieve it.

James on experience

“Experience is never limited, and it is never complete; it is an immense sensibility, a kind of huge spider-web of the finest silken threads suspended in the chamber of consciousness, and catching every air-borne particles in its tissue. It is the very atmosphere of the mind; and when the mind is imaginative-much more when it happens to be that of a man of genius- it takes to itself the faintest hints of life, it converts the very pulses of the air into revelations.”

Henry James, The Art of Fiction in Majors stories and essays. Literary classics of the United States, New-York, 1999, p580.