Hacia una poética del Neobarroco: La visión de la historia en José Lezama Lima, Reinaldo Arenas y Severo Sarduy

Carlos Sanchez-Garcia, Florida International University


Most of the critical studies of Baroque novels written in Spanish America during the 1960s and 1970s are characterized by a limited examination of their formal and stylistic representations. This dissertation explored the way in which certain writers developed a new Baroque tendency, the so-called Neobarroco, that presented a particular vision of history. José Lezama Lima, Reinaldo Arenas and Severo Sarduy developed innovative fictional and historiographic perceptions as alternative discourses to understand and perceive the cultural intricacies of Cuba and the New World. Their novels posited an elaborated poetic theory of history that can be summarized by the principle of supratemporal analogies, interweaved by a "metaphoric subject" that makes possible the conception of "imaginary eras". Since this poetry arises from a network of metaphoric correspondences, the image is conceived as a cultural creation that acts upon reality. Although this study traced the trajectory of their writings from the point of view of their own essays, our focus was on the act of recovering the past as reshaped forms that are present in the memory. Paradiso, El mundo alucinante and De donde son los cantantes exemplified the attempt to place Americanness within the realm of poetics and history as one single discourse constructed by a combination of self-consciousness and historiographic meditation. Basing my thesis on postmodernist theory (Ihab Hassan, Brian McHale, Linda Hutcheon) and philosophies of history (Michel Foucault, Hayden White, Keith Jenkins, Dominick LaCapra), I argued that the antagonistic paradoxes faced by postmodernism were reconcilable tendencies of the Neobarroco prior to the actual debate on the postmodern condition. The aesthetic trend initiated by these writers and their reading of history confronted the official historiographic discourse, thus empowering a contemporary voice in the current debate on historical skepticism.

Subject Area

Latin American literature

Recommended Citation

Sanchez-Garcia, Carlos, "Hacia una poética del Neobarroco: La visión de la historia en José Lezama Lima, Reinaldo Arenas y Severo Sarduy" (2006). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3217581.