Alberto Ruy-Sánchez Lacy, born in Mexico City in 1951, is one of the most influential authors of this generation.
He writes with the Baroque aim of “listening with the eyes, looking with the fingers and the ears, tasting with the smell, et cetera” and since 1988 has been influencing others to do the same as the chief editor and founding publisher of Artes de Mexico, a leading Latin America arts magazine.
Ruy-Sánchez writes with a reoccurring theme of searching, trying to unlock the unknown, sensing what cannot be sensed in the observed physical realm. He often would take stories told to him, often by women, and put them in a voice of his own to try and truly understand what they meant on a metaphysical level.
It was this that intrigued his mentor, Nobel-winner Octavio Paz, about him. Paz and Ruy-Sánchez worked together at Vuelta, with Sánchez as an editor and writer in the late 1980s.
“A true cosmopolitan poet telling stories from a territory wider than just a country because he is the poet from the Skin,” praised Paz about Ruy-Sánchez. “That is why his language is the ‘Touch,’ the sense that implies all the others.”
Paz is the reason Ruy-Sánchez was in Washington D.C. In celebration of what would have been Paz’s 100th birthday and in celebration of the 80th celebration of the Fondo de Cultura Económica, the most important Mexican publishing house, the Inter-American Development bank hosted Ruy-Sánchez to give a lecture on his relationship with Paz as well as the insights he gained as a result of their friendship over many years.
Ruy-Sánchez sat down with us to answer questions about Paz’s influence on Mexico, his own career and what inspires him to write.