El vacío habitado: Poesía, nación y diferencias en Virgilio Piñera
The main goal of this dissertation is to recontextualize Virgilio Piñera's poetry taking into account all the information we have today about both his life and works. In Cuba and throughout Latin America, Piñera (1912-1979) is mainly known as a playwright, novelist and short story writer. However he published several books of poetry and also a considerable number of essays. Piñera was a controversial figure from the beginning of his intellectual career due to his critical views on the historical and cultural reality of his time.
This thesis returns to Piñera's original texts and contrasts them with other poetic discourses of the 1940s and 50s. The period of the 1960s and 70s, when the revolutionary government officially censored his works, is also examined. The aim is to underline the subjective forces that move this author's poetry, which are in constant tension not only with the public sphere, but also with the poetics of other authors, especially those who belong to the generation of Orígenes (1944-1954).
The first two chapters explore Piñera's poetry criticism and the poetic voice he created. He started publishing criticism in the late 30s, and until 1943 reflections on the genre were his main artistic concerns. His poetic subject manifests itself as the representation of the ideas he expressed regarding other authors' works. The poetry and the criticism are complementary and express his perspectives on poetic creation. The debates on national culture between Piñera and Cintio Vitier (in the third chapter), and the representation of civil society in Piñera's poetry (in the fourth), are then analyzed. The third chapter rereads Vitier's articles on Piñera where he criticized the emptiness of Piñera's works; the study unveils Vitier's attempts to neutralize the corrosive aspects of Piñera's views on Cuban national and cultural history. The final chapter examines how Piñera's poetry evolves into a closed system of references that retreats from an aggressively ordered public sphere.
0360: Caribbean literature