Graduation Year

2008

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Spanish

Major Professor

Pablo Brescia, Ph.D.

Keywords

Cronotopo de la memoria, Metaforización de la realidad, poesía y remembranza, representación de la geografía urbana

Abstract

In my thesis I endeavor to examine the influence and impact of memory -the mental and psychological processes of recollection-on the writings of three Cuban authors of the twentieth century. I have chosen José Lezama Lima, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and Eliseo Diego because of their particularly vast and evocative literatures about the city: la Ciudad de La Habana. One of the main objectives of this work is to suggest the cultural predisposition of a twentieth century Cuban Literature that is consequential on its authors' recollections and reminiscences about the city. But, does this mnemonic-literary tendency truly exist in contemporary Cuban Literature? To answer this question and to sustain my argument I endeavor in a socio-historic analysis on the aesthetics of the literary work of these afore mentioned authors.

I examine Diego's book En la calzada de Jesús Del Monte, in his book the poet writes about his memories and experiences while living in a quinta alongside the calzada Del Monte. The poet writes his memoirs about the grandiose, mythic, and metaphoric essence of this postcolonial vicinity and the people that inhabited it. From Lezama Lima I have chosen his monumental novel Paradiso to examine his symbolic and distinctive method of writing about the life of José Cemí, young writer on his journey to become a full-grown philosophical poet. José Cemí is this writer's semi-autobiographical character. In Paradiso the effect of memory is fabulously intertwined with Lezama's employment of an exceptional language of fiction. Extraordinarily, this author associates his frequent representations of the city to expand the labyrinthical aspects of his novel.

Finally, I have selected the prolific literary work of Guillermo Cabrera Infante -a Cuban writer on exile-to expand my analysis on the topic of writing a Literature about the city as the result of memory and recollection. I will mainly analyze Cabrera Infante's Tres tristes tigres, and I will make reference to other of his literary works to support the thesis of this essay. Tres tristes tigres is an important work because Infante's narrative unfolds his personal, nocturnal, and nightly erotic adventures in La Habana.

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