Modernismo y modernidad en la narrativa de Alfonso Hernandez Cata

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Committee Member

Kessel Schwartz - Committee Chair


The narrative works of Alfonso Hernandez Cata were almost unanimously acclaimed by his contemporaries, and many laudatory articles and doctoral dissertations have been written about him and his works. However, there are aspects of the literary production of this Cuban author which have not been studied in depth. Furthermore, some of the premises often repeated by critics regarding Hernandez Cata's works have not been properly documented. Almost as serious is the lack of attention given to Hernandez Cata in a number of histories of literature, and, particularly, in studies and anthologies of Modernism.The purpose of this study is to recognize Hernandez Cata's prose as among the best and most representative of the Modernist movement in Latin America. The first chapter offers a succinct view of Hernandez Cata's life, personality and times, since all were influential in his writings, and a summary of the most important critical studies on his works, as well as of the author's own literary theories. Next, this study presents an analysis, both of the themes and the style of his narrative, within the parameters of the Modernist movement. In subsequent chapters, certain aspects of his narrative are analyzed, particularly from a thematic point of view. This study aims to revise a recurring error on the part of critics who classify Hernandez Cata as an author writing only about neurotic characters within a bourgeois ambience, and who limit the study of his works by focusing only on its psychological aspects. On the contrary, the writer, in his works, reveals a deep sensibility towards humanity's sufferings. In the final chapter, the analysis of Hernandez Cata's last works discloses that his Modernism transcends his time, and becomes Modern, that is, perennial.This dissertation does not analyze the totality of Alfonso Hernandez Cata's works; it does, however, present them in a new light, and hopefully it will contribute to a reevaluation of the literary production of this Modernist author whose works remain current today.


Language, Modern; Literature, Latin American; Literature, Caribbean

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