Virgilio Piñera

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Virgilio Piñera Llera (Cárdenas, Cuba, August 4, 1912 – Havana, October 18, 1979) was a Cuban author, playwright, poet, short-story writer, and essayist.

Cárdenas, Cuba Municipality in Matanzas, Cuba

Cárdenas, Calle Calzada Cárdenas is a municipality and city in the Matanzas Province of Cuba, about 116 km (72 mi) by air [156 km (97 mi) by road] east of Havana. Cárdenas is the 15th most-populated Cuban city and the second most populated one not being a provincial seat, after Manzanillo.

Havana Capital city in La Habana, Cuba

Havana is the capital city, largest city, province, major port, and leading commercial center of Cuba. The city has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of 781.58 km2 (301.77 sq mi) – making it the largest city by area, the most populous city, and the fourth largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean region.

Cuba Country in the Caribbean

Cuba, officially the Republic of Cuba, is a country comprising the island of Cuba as well as Isla de la Juventud and several minor archipelagos. Cuba is located in the northern Caribbean where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean meet. It is east of the Yucatán Peninsula (Mexico), south of both the U.S. state of Florida and the Bahamas, west of Haiti and north of both Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Havana is the largest city and capital; other major cities include Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey. The area of the Republic of Cuba is 110,860 square kilometres (42,800 sq mi). The island of Cuba is the largest island in Cuba and in the Caribbean, with an area of 105,006 square kilometres (40,543 sq mi), and the second-most populous after Hispaniola, with over 11 million inhabitants.

Contents

Work

Among his most famous poems are "La isla en peso" (1943), and "La gran puta" (1960). He was a member of the "Origenes" literary group, although he often differed with the conservative views of the group. In the late 1950s he co-founded the literary journal Ciclón. Following a long exile in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Piñera returned to Cuba in 1958, months before the Cuban Revolution won.

Buenos Aires Place in Argentina

Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina. The city is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the South American continent's southeastern coast. "Buenos Aires" can be translated as "fair winds" or "good airs", but the former was the meaning intended by the founders in the 16th century, by the use of the original name "Real de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre". The Greater Buenos Aires conurbation, which also includes several Buenos Aires Province districts, constitutes the fourth-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas, with a population of around 15.6 million.

Argentina federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

His work includes essays on literature and literary criticism, several collections of short stories compiled under the title of Cold Tales, a great number of dramatic works, and three novels: La carne de René (Rene's Flesh), Presiones y Diamantes (Pressures and Diamonds), and Las pequeñas maniobras (Small Maneuvers). His work is seen today as a model by new generations of Cuban and Latin American writers. Some believe that his work influenced that of Reinaldo Arenas, who wrote in his memoir Before Night Falls of Piñera's time in Argentina and friendship there with Witold Gombrowicz.

Reinaldo Arenas was a Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright known as an early sympathizer, and later critic of Fidel Castro and the 1959 revolution, and a rebel of the Cuban government.

<i>Before Night Falls</i> book by Reinaldo Arenas

Before Night Falls is the 1992 autobiography of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas, describing his early life in Cuba, his time in prison, and his escape to the United States in the Mariel Boatlift of 1980. It received a favorable review from The New York Times and was on the newspaper's list of the ten best books of 1993. The book was adapted into a film of the same name in 2000, starring Javier Bardem and Johnny Depp.

Witold Gombrowicz Polish writer

Witold Marian Gombrowicz was a Polish writer and playwright. His works are characterised by deep psychological analysis, a certain sense of paradox and absurd, anti-nationalist flavor. As a leftist, bisexual, and anticlerical who defied all party lines, his books were banned in communist Poland. In 1937 he published his first novel, Ferdydurke, which presented many of his usual themes: problems of immaturity and youth, creation of identity in interactions with others, and an ironic, critical examination of class roles in Polish society and culture. He gained fame only during the last years of his life, but is now considered one of the foremost figures of Polish literature. His diaries were published in 1969 and are, according to the Paris Review, "widely considered his masterpiece".

The magazine Unión posthumously published autobiographical writing by Piñera in which he discussed how he concluded he was gay. [1] However, his work can not be reduced to his open discussions on homosexuality in a time when such a topic was taboo, especially in the Spanish Caribbean. Piñera's literary and cultural perspective went beyond sexuality, to express concerns on national and continental identity, philosophical approaches to theater, writing and politics. This focus drew fire from the Spanish American literary establishment of his time, including Cuban poets Cintio Vitier and Roberto Fernandez Retamar, and leaders like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.

Cintio Vitier was a Cuban poet, essayist, and novelist. Upon winning the Juan Rulfo Prize, the award jury called him "one of the most important writers of his generation".

Che Guevara Argentine Marxist revolutionary

Ernesto "Che" Guevara was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia in popular culture.

Due to Piñera's social points of view and especially to his homosexuality, he was censured by the revolution, and died without any official recognition. As more of his work has been translated into English, Piñera's work has been rediscovered by American academia as a testimony of 20th century resistance against totalitarian regimes.

Bibliography

Anderson, Thomas F. Everything in its Place: The Life and Works of Virgilio Piñera. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 2006.

Cabrera Infante, Guillermo. Mea Cuba. In Aviva Chomsky, Barry Carr and Pamela Maria Smorkaloff (eds.) The Cuba Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press (2004).

Chichester, Ana Garcia. "Virgilio Piñera and the Formulation of a National Literature." CR: The New Centennial Review, 2.2 (2002): 231-251.

Jambrina, Jesús. "Virgilio Piñera: poesía, nación y diferencias". Madrid: Editorial Verbum, 2012

López Cruz, Humberto, ed. Virgilio Piñera: el artificio del miedo. Madrid: Hispano Cubana, 2012.

Molinero, Rita (ed). Virgilio Piñera: la memoria del cuerpo. Editorial Plaza Mayor, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2002.

Translations

Electra Garrigó, translated by Margaret Carson. In Stages of Conflict: A Critical Anthology of Latin American Theater and Performance, ed. Diana Taylor and Sarah J. Townsend. Ann Arbor: U Michigan Press, 2008.

Related Research Articles

References

  1. Bobes, Marilyn (2002-04-01). "Homosexuality in Cuban Literature". La Jiribilla. Retrieved 2007-07-12.

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