In a unique analysis of Cuban literature inside and outside the country's borders, Eduardo Gonzalez looks closely at the work of three important contemporary Cuban authors: Guillermo Cabrera Infante (1929-2005), who left Cuba for good in 1965 and established himself in London; Antonio Benitez-Rojo (1931-2005), who settled in the United States; and Leonardo Padura Fuentes (b. 1955), who still lives and writes in Cuba. Through the positive experiences of exile and wandering that appear in their work, these three writers exhibit what Gonzalez calls Romantic authorship, a deep connection to the Romantic spirit of irony and complex sublimity crafted in literature by Lord Byron, Thomas De Quincey, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In Gonzalez's view, a writer becomes a belated Romantic by dint of exile adopted creatively with comic or tragic irony. Gonzalez weaves into his analysis related cinematic elements of myth, folktale, and the grotesque that appear in the work of filmmakers such as Alfred Hitchcock and Pedro Almodovar. Placing the three Cuban writers in conversation with artists and thinkers from British and American literature, anthropology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and cinema, Gonzalez ultimately provides a space in which Cuba and its literature, inside and outside its borders, are deprovincialized.
EDUARDO GONZALEZ teaches literature and cinema at The Johns Hopkins University. He is author of three other books, including The Monstered Self: Narratives of Death and Performance in Latin American Fiction.