Opere by Publio Ovidio Nasone, a cura di Fabio Stok

By Publio Ovidio Nasone, a cura di Fabio Stok

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Like Paz, Breton returned to France soon after the conflict was over, but by this time a new literary movement had replaced Surrealism for the younger generation: this was Existentialism. In a similar way to the earlier movement, within a few years Existentialism came to mean almost anything to anyone, but in the immediate post-war years it was a response to the difficult questions thrown up by France’s experience between 1939 and 1945: questions of freedom, the morality of direct action, the struggle between good and evil and the contingency of human life.

In August 1939, the newspaper followed the orthodox Communist line of supporting the non-aggression pact signed 46 between Germany and the Soviet Union. Paz could not agree, and for him the newspaper’s position once again underlined the dangers of submitting to the dictates of a political party. He soon ceased to collaborate, although he did continue to write for literary magazines and the weekly Novedades, where some of his articles on life in Mexico were the germ of his El laberinto de la soledad, published at the end of the decade.

But 1930s Yucatán was one of the regions where the inequalities of life in Mexico were most evident. In the early years of the twentieth century, its capital Mérida was reputed to have more millionaires per head of population than anywhere else in the Americas. This was thanks to the boom in demand in Europe for sisal, the rope made from the henequen plant that grew on the haciendas, the vast agricultural properties situated in the otherwise barren landscape of the peninsula. It was here too that the local indigenous population, descendants of the Maya who had built the great pyramids and other ritual centres in the region, were still being employed in near-slave conditions.

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