Octavio Paz (1914-1998), Discos visuals (México: Ediciones Era, 1968). Edición de 1,000 ejemplares. Contents:, I. Juventud.—II. Pasaje.—III. Concorde.—IV. Aspa. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX), PQ7297.P285 D5
Octavio Paz (1914-1998) was an activist and a writer. During the 1960s, he served for six years as the Mexican ambassador in New Delhi before resigning in support of the student demonstrations at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics. His poem “The Shame of the Olympics” was translated by Mark Strand and published in the New York Review of Books.
That same year, Paz published the essay “Marcel Duchamp o el castillo de la pureza,” which was later translated by Donald Gardner and republished as “Marcel Duchamp, or the Castle of Purity.” His interest in concrete poetry and the role of chance in art led to experiments in graphic poetic devices. The visual artist Vicente Rojo helped Paz with the design of an edition of visual poetry discs, entitled Discos visuals.
These four overlapping cardboard circles, with openings top and bottom, can be turned in either direction revealing words and phrases written by Paz, creating poems by accidental combinations. Part scrabble and part Ouija board, these discs are now extremely rare.