Roberto Fernandez Retamar (June 09, 1930 - ..)
Born: 9th June, 1930
Region: Havana, Cuba, "Ensayo de otro mundo", "Caliban"

Roberto Fernandez Retamar Facts

Biography

Roberto Fernandez Retamar, (born June 9, 1930, Havana, Cuba), Cuban poet, essayist, and literary critic and cultural spokesman for the regime of Fidel Castro.

After first studying art and architecture, Fernandez Retamar studied literature in Havana, Paris, and London. He later joined the faculty of the University of Havana and served as president of the Casa de las Americas, a government cultural organization. He also taught briefly at Yale University (1957-58) and lectured at several other universities in the United States.

Fernandez Retamar began to write poetry under the influence of Jose Lezama Lima and the group associated with the journal Origenes. After the Cuban Revolution, he became one of the most eloquent spokesmen of the new regime, censuring Origenes poets who failed to become actively involved in the revolution. Poesia reunida (1966; "Poetry Reunited"), a collection of his poetry written from 1948 to 1965, and A quien pueda interesar (1970; "To Whom It May Concern") maintain a balance between ideology and artistic expression. Other volumes of poetry included Buena suerte viviende (1967; "Good Luck in Living"), Que veremos arder (1970; "What We Will See Burning"), Cuaderno paralelo (1973; "Parallel Frame"), and Revolucion nuestra, amor nuestro (1976; "Our Revolution, Our Love").

Fernandez Retamar's greatest impact was as an essayist. Ensayo de otro mundo (1967; "Examination of Another World") redefines Modernismo by emphasizing its ideological content and its relationship to the writers of the Spanish Generation of 1898, the time of the earlier Cuban revolution. Modernismo, especially in its rebellious prose, is often interpreted as a denunciation of U.S. imperialism.

Fernandez Retamar's best-known work is a study of culture in Latin America, Caliban (1971), which refutes the ideas of the Uruguayan writer Jose Enrique Rodo. It also discusses Cuban writer and patriot Jose Marti, a frequent subject of Fernandez Retamar. Todo Caliban ("All Caliban") appeared in 2003. He also wrote such works of criticism as La Poesia contemporanea en Cuba (1927-1953) (1954; "Contemporary Poetry in Cuba [1927-1953]") and Para una teoria de la literatura hispanoamericana y otras aproximaciones (1975; "For a Theory of Latin American Literature and Other Approaches").

Fernandez Retamar's various honours included Cuba's National Prize for Literature (1989) and the International UNESCO/ Jose Marti Prize (2019).

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