Liminality in Cuba's Twentieth-Century Identity

August 2019
224 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Monografias A
ISBN: 9781855663343
Format: Hardback
Tamesis Books

Liminality in Cuba's Twentieth-Century Identity

Rites of Passage and Revolutions

Stephen M. Fay

Presents research conducted in three difficult-to-access Cuban archives with rare textual resources, upon which very little analysis has ever previously been published.
This book offers an innovative and provocative analysis of the much-studied Cuban Revolution by reminding us that Fidel Castro's was actually the second of the island's twentieth-century revolutions. By bringing 1959 into critical communication with the revolution of 1933, the book explores Cuba's trajectory from colony to republic to revolution, not as a linear inevitability (as much cultural historiography on and off the island has contended), but as a rite of collective passage punctuated by turning points in which public debate turned to almost obsessive reflection on national 'identity' and national 'destiny'. In re-reading important works of many of Cuba's most significant intellectual and political figures, whilst also revealing little known but truly transcendental contributions to the collective narrative during both revolutionary periods, this book makes a major contribution to a more complex, nuanced and sophisticated understanding of Cuban cultural history and Cuban national identity in the twentieth century. In both periods, the book reveals heroic ardour coming up against intractable ambivalence, determined historical nihilism challenged by dogged remembrance, teleological readings of Cuba's path towards coherence and conclusion undercut by provocative re-readings of the collective rite of passage as suspended indefinitely on a margin of innervating flux, or what the book proposes as Cuba's 'limen'.

Stephen M. Fay is a Lecturer in Spanish, Aston University.

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Table of Contents

1923: Annus mirabilis
1927: Nihil admirari?
1933: Un dérèglement de tous les sens
1953: José Martí and Cuba's Centennial conciencia
1957: A moment in and out of time
1959-60: The turning of all tides
1965: Post-liminal Cuba?

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