Abstract

Reinaldo Arenas’s El palacio de las blanquísimas mofetas and Otra vez el mar, the second and third novels, respectively, of his pentagonía trace the stories of the highly imaginative, frustrated protagonists in the last moments of the Batista regime, just before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, and in the later years of the institutionalized revolutionary state. Like much of Arenas’s writing, these novels depict characters that are often viewed as escaping their material conditions of subjugation by means of the highly imaginative narrations. At the same time, much of the force of the novels stems from the corrosive negativity of the discourses. I argue that in these two novels, Arenas writes a negative that resists and escapes, but does not establish; it tries to be oppositional without, in the process, further defining that to which it is opposed. He does so, I would argue, by articulating in these works a form of discursive melancholy that serves as a means of both resistance and escape.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6598
Print ISSN
0026-7910
Pages
pp. 308-330
Launched on MUSE
2008-04-25
Open Access
No
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