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The Social Life of Literature in Revolutionary Cuba

Narrative, Identity, and Well-being

Authors: Kumaraswami, Par

  • Takes a new approach to the understanding of literature in revolutionary Cuba that goes beyond the usual art vs politics vs market paradigms
  • Utilizes methods not usually used in literary or cultural studies to examine literature as an everyday mass activity, in terms of its social functions
  • Based on sustained and in-depth fieldwork over nearly a decade
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eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-55940-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £60.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56963-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This study explores the social functions of literature from the perspective of policymakers, writers, readers and residents in contemporary Cuba. It provides a new perspective on post-59 Cuban literature that underlines how cultural policy has made literature a hybrid activity between elite and mass culture, with inherent social, rather than aesthetic or political, value. Whilst many traditional studies of Cuban literature assume either its subjugation to politics and ideology or, conversely, its role in resisting political discourse via a rather naïve notion of artistic freedom, this project explores the varied, dynamic and multiple ways in which literature works in Cuban society: as a catalyst for identity construction aimed at consensus and belonging, but also as an instrument of self-differentiation and self-definition, even in the more recent context of a more market-oriented system. The study reviews policy from 1959 to the present, and presents contemporary case studies exploring the social functions of literature for writers, readers and ordinary Havana residents. 

About the authors

Par Kumaraswami is Associate Professor in Latin American Cultural Studies at the University of Reading, UK. She has published extensively on Cuban cultural policy and practice, including her monograph Literary Culture in Cuba: Revolution, Nation-building and the Book (2012), co-authored with Antoni Kapcia. 

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  • Introduction: The Social Life of Literature in Contemporary Cuba: Negotiating Identity, Attaining Well-Being, and Surviving Social Change

    Kumaraswami, Par

    Pages 1-18

  • Culture, Identity, and Well-Being: Reviewing the Possibilities

    Kumaraswami, Par

    Pages 19-46

  • Social Change, Cultural Policy, and the Functions of Literature: Understanding Culture and Revolution in Cuba, 1959–1989

    Kumaraswami, Par

    Pages 47-90

  • “La cultura es lo primero que hay que salvar”: Writers, Literature, and Well-Being in the Período Especial, 1990–2000

    Kumaraswami, Par

    Pages 91-121

  • “La cosa esta que vino después”: Reading Testimonial Literature, Well-Being, and Narrative During the Batalla de Ideas

    Kumaraswami, Par

    Pages 123-160

Buy this book

eBook £47.99
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-55940-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover £60.00
price for United Kingdom (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-56963-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Social Life of Literature in Revolutionary Cuba
Book Subtitle
Narrative, Identity, and Well-being
Authors
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-55940-1
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-55940-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-56963-9
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 222
Topics