Discourse of self-concealment in the work of Virgilio Pinera

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Donald Randolph - Committee Chair


Virgilio Pinera is one of the most important Cuban writers of the XX century. He cultivated all the principal literary genres: novels, short stories, plays, essays and poetry. To date his literary work has not been sufficiently studied and researched in theses. Most of the essays and doctoral dissertations concerning him concentrate on his short stories or plays; and the ones in which Pinera's plays are analyzed basically emphasize the influence of the French authors of the Theatre of the Absurd.The purpose of this thesis is to analyze his work from a different perspective. Based on an exploration of the discursive act, the approach to be used in the thesis intends to view Pinera's literary work as a dialogue with a reader and discover the techniques used by the author in order to communicate messages.The primary intention of Pinera's discourse is self-concealment. This attitude of the writer involves all his literary production and reflects a number of personal and philosophical fears. His vision of the world he observed, an irrational world, made his discourse unique; yet he discovered a way to say his message in spite of the violent and convulsive political situation in which he found himself. He did this by criticizing the political system surreptitiously. Virgilio Pinera found a method of saying his truth using irrationality as a mask for self-concealment.Latin-American literature has been characterized by social criticism; the intentional absence of a point of view and an attitude of self-concealment in Pinera's literary work distinguish his work from the vast majority of the writers in XXth century Cuban literature.I intend to search out and analyze, therefore, this basic factor that is so distinctive in his writing in order to demonstrate the singularity of his highly personalized style. To accomplish this task I will study all his production written in prose, with emphasis on his creative works rather than on his essays. I have read and have available to me all the items in his literary production necessary for the successful carrying out of this project. I am also aware of the bibliography and studies made on his creative work and have them in my possession.


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

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