Dinamicas culturales de los anos sesenta en Cuba: Ediciones El Puente y otras zonas creativas de conflicto

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Lillian Manzor - Committee Chair


The post-Revolution Cuban literary canon has been sometimes approached in a reductive fashion. It is a fact that since Padilla's case (1968) until the eighties the literary field underwent a process of a certain degree of censorship and homogenization. However, the first five years after the Cuban Revolution and even the years that followed are rather characterized by an intricate process of interactions, readjustments and negotiations between the cultural field and the field of power. A perfect example of these complexities is Ediciones El Puente, a publishing house that remained with some level of autonomy from the cultural institutions approximately for a period five years, until his cancellation on 1965.This dissertation explores the cultural dynamics of the sixties in Cuba, with a concentration on the work of Ediciones El Puente. Although it was impossible to analyze each one of the texts published by El Puente, there is an approach to a model text from every published genre (poetry, short fiction and drama) with the purpose of finding a common aesthetics to these authors in relation with the so called "aesthetic of the Revolution." We argue that this and other categories such as "committed literature" and "literary autonomy" were in some way based on false assumptions, and triggered a complex panorama for the young writers that were trying to define their aesthetics within the new revolutionary context.Since there is not too much literature about these years we decided to use the interview as a method to shed some light on the topic of our research. Interviewing the authors published by El Puente proved to be a great method, since it not only allowed access to information key to the investigation, but also provided an alternative approach for the study of literary processes. Oral history and memory were two categories at the core of this part of the research.The study of the historic and cultural field of the sixties, the analysis of El Puente's literary corpus and the revision of the information provided by the interviewees are fundamental to this work since they bring to light aspects that should be taken into account for a new and necessary approach to the Cuban literary cannon. I argue that not only political motives defined the literary habitus of Cuban literature. Personal and extra-aesthetic factors that in general have characterized Latin American cultural dynamics such as homophobia and racism, had also an impact on the establishment of an 'acceptable' cannon and on the cultural dynamics of the sixties. This dissertation strives to approach these topics with a renovating perspective that may be useful to other studies of cultural dynamics and processes of cannon formation.


Literature, Latin American; Literature, Caribbean

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