22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Adolfo Castañón

Adolfo Castañón was born in Mexico City in 1952. He studied literature and philosophy at the autonomous university UNAM and was then engaged in literary research at the Institute for Philology. Since 1975 he has worked for the Mexican publisher Fondo de Cultura Económica (FCE), which he headed from 1985 to 2000. From 1992 to 1997, in cooperation with UNESCO, he directed the project »Periolibros« to publish the poetic and literary masterpieces of modern Iberoamerican writing. Over this period he coordinated the Mexican edition of the complete works of Octavio Paz in 15 volumes, which together with the Spanish »Círculo de Lectores« is published in Barcelona. He has worked as the editorial advisor on 12 Latin American cultural and literary magazines, including »Plural« (Mexico, from 1975), »Gradiva« (Columbia, 1986–89), »Vuelta« (Mexico, 1988–98) and »Letras Libres« (Mexico, since 1999). As guest editor, he has published dossiers on Mexican literature in the French magazine »Nouvelle Revue Française« (2000, 2001). Adolfo Castañón is also a prolific and gifted writer whose work includes stories, essays, poetry and translations from both English (George Steiner) and French (Jean-Jacques Rousseau) as well as literary criticism. His love of transgression has led him to work with various literary genres like the fable, portrait, parable, legend, fragment and prose poem. His outstanding poetry collections include »La batalla perdurable« (1996, t: The Permanent Fight), a benchmark in Mexican modern prose poetry, as well as »Tránsito de Octavio Paz/The Passing of Octavio Paz (1914-1998)«, a poetic-essayistic homage to the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, where the following is elegiacally and concisely stated: »No one knows how to explain his poems: the poet is dead.« He has recently published his collected poetry »La campana y el tiempo«. »Por el país de Montaigne« (t: Through Montaigne’s Country) is the name of his new book of essays, which was reprinted five times between 1995 and 2000. The geographic location of Perigord and the Loire area in France ,as well as the work of Michel de Montaigne as space and metaphor, are his accomplices in the wandering work of his essays.

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