Octavio Paz and Elena Garro. File photo.
Octavio Paz and Elena Garro. Photo: EFE

Octavio Paz's love letters to Elena Garro become a book 

Esta carta está en tus labios is the name of a compilation of love letters written by Octavio Paz to Elena Garro.


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On Tuesday, Nov. 23, the book Esta carta está en tus labios was presented in Mexico City. It is a compilation of 23 love letters that Octavio Paz wrote to Elena Garro. These letters were sent in 1935 to the Mexican writer Garro, and are now the "most personal epistolary" of the Mexican Literature Nobel prize winner, Paz.

Esta carta está en tus labios has been published by Ediciones de Lirio, and collects 23 love letters that Paz (1914-1998) sent to Garro (1916-1998) during the Summer of 1935, when they began their courtship at 21 and 19 years old. The book includes manuscripts and transcriptions of the letters, and some studies on Paz and Garro, important figures in the history of Mexican literature. 

Historian Alberto Enriquez Perea was in charge of the study of the letters. During the book presentation event, he pointed out that "in those letters you can see that he could not live without her for a single minute." 

"He wanted to see her at dawn, he slept thinking about her, he woke up thinking about her," continued the historian.

According to Perea, in thw letters, Paz explores “intimate feelings such as passion and desire” that later permeates his poetic work.

"With Elena's love comes out all that was still missing: his amorous passion," he explained.

However, these letters in turn can shed light on how unhealthy (characteristic of the time), was the history of "love" between the two writers. 

The writers married in 1937, according to Garro, by Paz's decision and they had a daughter years later. They divorced in 1959 and ended up estranged.

"I married because (Paz) wanted to, but since then she never let me return to the university (she had entered the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at UNAM in 1936). I dedicated myself to being a journalist since 1940 because he earned very little money then and because that did not overshadow anyone, but produced money. And I dedicated myself to keeping quiet because I had to keep quiet," she said.

Among other things, in her biography, Yo, Elena Garro, the poet talks about the ban she had on writing poetry, because that would have been synonymous with competing with (and overshadowing) her then-husband. The co-writers of the book hope that one day Garro's responses to these love letters will come to light. 


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