lunes, 11 de diciembre de 2017

LEEZAMA

The Son of the Zero or Eudoxia’s Way:
In Search of Lost Cuban Literature
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

         “The bathroom mirror is almost always the last memory of a suicide, or a person who dies without knowing it.”

         Mysterious words for a mysterious moment: Death, the end of Life or the beginning of Afterlife. It depends. Death itself depends. Death is always pending upon life. Not Death the leveler, then, but Death the raiser.

         Reflections on death, deaths reflected. The words of Ricardo Fronesis pretend to simply answer a question of Jose Cemí about Eugenio Foción: “Who is Foción, what’s his family like, what happened to him in his life that makes everything seem hidden?” (312).

         Fronesis, Foción and Cemí are not biographical beings. That’s why their respective biographies are so indelible. They are three literary characters who are the protagonists of Paradise,[1] the 1966 novel written over two decades by José María Andrés Fernando Lezama Lima, or just José Lezama Lima, one of the greatest of all Cuban authors.

         Paradise is a book which immediately became the epicenter—epic center?—of the Cuban literary canon, including a very early episode of censorship by the Cuban State, which ultimately led to the ostracizing of Lezama Lima until his death a decade later in Havana, in August 9, 1975.

         About this monumental novel, the Literature Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz[2] commented: “Paradise has transformed the world of preexisting symbols through an inventory of the past, altering history and even the orthography of Spanish language”[3] (316).

         The critic and professor Juan Pablo Lupi, in the 2011 book Foundational Texts of World Literature,[4] acknowledges that Lezama Lima has been “variously portrayed as paradigmatic representative of the Neobaroque, Catholic bellestrist, mystic, or postmodern and queer theorist avant la letter,” but in any case the Cuban poet, novelist and essayist for Lupi is “widely regarded as one of the greatest Latin American writers of all time,” “one of the major figures of the canon, both within and beyond the intellectual field of Latin American literature,” as well as “one of the most opaque and difficult writer in the Spanish language,” (215) in part because of Lezama Lima’s “highly imaginative mode of engaging with ‘worlds beyond his own place and time’” (225).  

         In his canonical 1994 book The Western Canon. The Books and Schools of the Ages,[5] Harold Bloom included Lezama Lima’s novel Paradise as part of “The Chaotic Age: A Canonical Prophecy” (560). While in his essay “Lezama Lima in the Paradise of Poetry,”[6] Jean Franco inserts this book in “a Latin American tradition that was initiated by modernism and German Romanticism in Europe:” that is, “the tradition that considers poetry to be a privileged genre, where language flees from utilitarian daily discourse” (240).

         Franco believes that “the theme of his novel Paradiso (1966) is the poet’s search for the ‘invisible’ world that is beyond the tangible” (239), in “an ascent toward poetry by way of the material world,” from the very “family placenta” to the “opening of an exterior world, the time of friendship,” and then to the final ascension “through an oneiric and symbolic landscape toward his encounter with poetic destiny” (241).

         Foción, Fronesis and Cemí are friends. Three imaginary young men in some time period impossible to define precisely, but certainly during the historic period called The Republic in Cuba, maybe not long before the communist Revolution of Fidel Castro, whose Rebel Army overtook power on January 1, 1959, only to remain in power for life.

         As with most classics, Paradise opened and closed a door. A secret door. Technically, a concealed one. An entry/exit made of mysterious words that Lezama Lima assembled as if it were literally—more than literarily—a hidden passage: Eudoxia’s way.

         For our purposes, it is of little use, for example, to google “Eudoxia’s way.” In fact, most web search engines will take us to modern vampires’ chronicles and related best-sellers of The New York Times, as well as to references to a Roman empress from the fifth century. Not a single hint or hit about any Eudoxia in a Cuban novel called pretentiously or perhaps pertinently Paradise. In this respect, the question of Jose Cemí that Ricardo Fronesis tries to answer could also be asked about “who is Eudoxia, what’s Eudoxia’s way, what happened to life that makes everything seem hidden?”

         Maybe not even Lezama Lima was fully aware of his own Eudoxia’s way when he was writing it down in a few paragraphs of Paradise. We can now envision his vision as an encrypted message that the author was perhaps unconsciously leaving for us. A miraculous bottle that Lezama Lima tossed into the sea of his future’s readers—i.e., today’s readers—with some symbolic keys inside impossible to decode as much as to deconstruct.

         At the turn of the 1970s in Cuba, more than censored and ostracized, Lezama Lima was being spied on and harassed by the Cuban government. They were listening to his conversations and at least once they interrogated him, humiliating the novelist by making obvious that they had complete access to his private life. They took private documents from his own apartment, the emblematic home at Trocadero #162, in Centro Habana. And a file with Lezama Lima’s supposedly disaffected opinions and disloyal actions even managed to reach the archives of the Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service in the German Democratic Republic: the much-feared Stasi which, like every Soviet-like intelligence organization, was in practice the bedrock of all socialist societies[7].

        Lezama Lima can be read as the most prolific perpetrator of permutations in Cuban literature. His author’s alchemy can be compared with a labyrinthine game of beheadings. Consequently, we cannot expect Eudoxia to be Eudoxia from the beginning. In fact, she was simply Celita, a very common Cuban name for quite a common Cuban woman from early-20th-century Cuba: Celita, the tender diminutive nickname of Celia, who almost without knowing how ended up sexually involved with two men who happened to be brothers.

         Celita’s―not yet Eudoxia’s―men were Juliano Foción, the younger, and Nicolás Foción, her own husband. In Paradise,1 both brothers had been silently in love with Celita since her family moved next to their home, in Centro Habana, where “the two of them lived in Industria, almost at the corner of Neptuno. Their house, on one side, faced a street with a lot of movement from morning on; on the other corner, a neighborhood of a strange silence” (313).

         The home of the Foción family was soon to become the vortex of the founding event of Paradise that we are trying to reimagine or reinvent with our peculiar approach to this novel. As expected, such a literary house had to be located by its author only a few blocks away from Lezama Lima’s real address, for the continuous connection between life and language is intimately indistinguishable both in his fiction and his poetry. Perhaps the literary critic Jean Franco6 is somehow referring to this quality when he detects in Lezama Lima’s Paradise the “intention to hypostasize poetry” (244).

         Juliano and Nicolás Foción were supposed to be the uncle and the father, respectively, of the still unborn Foción about whom Fronesis and Cemí will talk many years later, in Chapter 10, in the middle of some highly sexualized chapters that immediately turned Paradise into a scandal for Fidel Castro’s quasi-Calvinist regime at that time, whose cultural authorities predictably accused the novel of being pornographic.

         In different moments of his life, Lezama Lima replied to such arguments in his private correspondence with his sister in exile[8]: “Some with insolence have affirmed that in my works there are pornographic elements, but not only this is unfair but it can also be vileness, since precisely if some author is characterized by the gravity of his works, that’s me. My work could be censored for flaws of style, but never for ethical reasons, as in its roots is essentially a sacramental act (21). And also to the Spanish intellectual Juan Goytisolo[9]: “The only pornographic books I have read are the Bible (Genesis) and Plato…” (783, 784).

         Sexuality always tends to be tragic in Paradise. Probably sex is meant to be tragic in all true-to-life paradise, where everyone lives at risk of being expelled at any time. The Cuban Utopia had thus its own share of dystopic para-paradise, particularly when it came to pleasure, maybe because of the competition for uniformed bodies in the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of the Armed Forces, which kept three armies running on the Island and exported thousands of troops to Africa, Asia and Latin America, in a sort of humanitarian imperialism officially called proletarian internationalism.

         The exception as always was Fidel Castro, who promiscuously violated his own dictum against literary sensuality, to the point of publishing two extensive interviews with the American magazine Playboy,[10] forbidden in Cuba for being American in general, for being specifically Playboy, and perhaps for being a magazine as such: a printed compendium of images and texts well outside the control of the P.C.C., the only political party which—according to the Constitution—is legal in Cuba until today.[11]

         “Smiling, with that semi-demoniacal malice that pleasure bestows,” only once Celita made love in Paradise1 to the younger brother Juliano of her husband Nicolás. That first time was also to be the last, for “they had both incorporated themselves as happiness in eternity.” Literally, in eternity: as “Celita was closing her eyes” and “ascended through ecstasy to sleep,” “moments later Juliano was opening his in death” and “descended to the cold grottoes of Persephone.” Just “after seeing her face,” “the face with red flowers in its hair,” “now he had to die” and, in fact, Juliano was definitely dead in Celita’s “serpent’s embrace,” probably while he was still inside her after their first and last fruitful orgasm: “the two sweats, the two salivas, the two essential dampnesses drowned in their complementarities” (316).

         This is a magical and intense instant of epiphany. It’s also the complicity of conception between two minor characters of Paradise, whose names and sagas seem unworthy of remembrance for most Cuban cultural experts, both locally and worldwide. A genital Genesis, a fertile fornication, a critical creation beyond Good and Evil, yet eluding none of either. And it is also the cruelest coda conceivable for love—and life—: a sort of Apocubalypse according to Lezama Lima, who tells us about this adulterous rapture that happened one instant before the fecundation of Foción, through the dialogue between Fronesis and Cemí many years later.

         It is implicit in this sensational scene of Paradise1 that we are witnessing the conception of the fetus of Foción:[12] “in the center of her tree Celita received the weight of imposing distances, agglomerations of ants, gloomy distributions of Mongolic emigrations, howling voices among snow animals, whispers turned into pounding tides,” while her lover “from the twilight’s swell he sprang like a titanic carpet that enveloped the moans and all those fragments of the moon as it splintered” (316).

         This brutal beauty crystalizes in its purest state as infinite wonder and infinite pity, in a reminiscence of Jorge Luis Borges’s short-story The Aleph,[13] where this Argentinian writer confesses that “I arrive now at the ineffable core of my story. And here begins my despair as a writer. All language is a set of symbols whose use among its speakers assumes a shared past.”

         In fact, in his unique enumeration of memories and objects that recombine past, present and future, Borges resembles Lezama Lima in naming “tides,” “all the ants on the planet,” “snow,” “multitudes,” a number of animals (“horses,” “tigers,” “bison”), “a ring of baked mud in a sidewalk, where before there had been a tree,” “daybreak and nightfall,” “the coupling of love and the modification of death,” and “unending eyes watching themselves in me as in a mirror:” indeed “all the mirrors on earth and none of them reflected me.”

         And, again, Borges’ enumeration in his aleph could then be read as a mirroring reminiscence, in return, of Lezama Lima’s paradise. At this point one is tempted to believe—without the vulgarity of further evidence—that both narrative passages were being written simultaneously by Jorge Luis Borges and José Lezama Lima, two procreators of alephs and paradises who never met each other in life but did so many times, unexpectedly, in their respective literatures.

         The lover triptych of Paradise1—Juliano/Celita/Nicolás—seems to move from delight to death to delirium, when we realize that “a third figure was lacking in that tragic composition: madness.” It all happened because the older brother, Doctor Nicolás Foción, arrived back home all of a sudden, from a medical trip to Mayabeque in order to consult a patient who coincidentally died that same day. Unavoidably, the doctor in his family house of Centro Havana was shocked to insanity as he opened the door of Juliano’s room, only to see two familiar bodies lying naked, in an almost posthumous peace. Instinct or premonition? In any case, there were two domestic bodies divinely asleep. But, given his proficiency in the medical profession, “the doctor interpreted his brother’s paleness correctly.” Nicolás knew before Celita did that Juliano had died while making love to her. A truth twice terrible for a doctor, so that “at the end of that labyrinth he would find the hammer blow that would destroy his life as a reasoning animal” (315, 316). He was suddenly out of his mind, from one of Paradise’s lines to the next.

         When Celita finally woke up, between the dead brother Juliano and the mad brother Nicolás, she was no longer Celita, of course, but already Eudoxia, even if she still ignored her transfiguration. The abrupt madness of Nicolás Foción rebaptized her as Eudoxia, while he still held “his brother’s pulse in his hand, shaking his head, facing up to the crisis with an incomprehensible scientific seriousness.” Nicolás just said to her: “Eudoxia—that was the name of his nurse—this patient has died in the office, he had a bad heart, take care of the patients who are waiting, tell them that I am indisposed, and then we’ll notify his family” (316, 317).

         Doctor Foción, as swift as his brother’s death, had simply “lost his mind.” “This time the bull wouldn’t sink its horns into the man’s groin, as if seeking out and enshrouding the secrets of his sperm, but it would proclaim that its horns were carrying off the trophy of his reason, which was kept in his horns from supporting the balance of the stellar collections.” It was a kind of kind madness—maybe Horace’s amabilis insania?—that in the surviving doctor “took the form of receiving non-existent patients in his office in the morning,” always accompanied by Celita, who “had to play her role as the nurse Eudoxia to perfection” (315, 317).

         From then on, every single day, during two whole decades, “shut up in his office at ten in the morning,” the doctor unfailingly “would talk to Celita, transformed now forever into Eudoxia the nurse, and tell her: ‘Bring in the first patient.’” And then he would carry out a detailed clinical questioning, evaluation, and finally a precise diagnosis of the virtual disease affecting each and every one of his imaginary patients during each day (317).

         Over and over, concise and touching: “Bring in the next patient.” And Eudoxia would obey out of mercy, maybe also out of love. In any case, she “had to follow all the details of that madness with tersest sanity.” “In that way he had ten consultations in the morning and another ten in the afternoon,” so that “every day twenty people who didn’t exist would file through; he spoke to the air.” At the end of his office hours, “at seven or eight at night, depending on how much time he had given each of the patients,” then Doctor Foción “would get his reason back” for the rest of the evening, and only during those hours his wife “became Celita again,” relieved from her daytime incarnation in the nurse Eudoxia (317).

         The doctor “was that way for twenty years, seeing patients created by his madman’s imagination, changing Celita into nurse Eudoxia from ten in the morning until eight in the evening and the nurse into his wife for the remainder of the day, changing the starched cap for the flowers in Celita’s damp hair.” In Lezama Lima’s Paradise, Dr. Foción even personalizes each of his twenty daily patients, shaking “hands with space” while talking to them with absolute normality, charging them nothing for his specialized services. For example: “I find you improved, your blood pressure is near normal, keep talking the pills, most of all, don’t use any salt on your food, come back at the end of the week” (317, 318), as if he meant come back at the end of the century. Or at the end of life.

         Only “after twenty years in that office of shadows,” the doctor “reached retirement.” And, “since he no longer had to see patients, his madness and his reason were the same.” Reality had been restored. And the doctor dedicated himself peacefully to practicing “chess,” to read devotedly the “Alexandrine Gnostics,” and to taking care of his son’s education “with extreme zeal,” although Foción Jr. was never sent to school. His father “himself took charge of teaching him, from the history of zero to the variations of functions in trigonometry, passing through an extensive cultural, metaphysical, and theological landscape, as he fit in those variations between zero and infinity” (318).

         Father Foción used to say to his son Foción during all those years of truncated lucidity intertwined with terminal lunacy: “Between the zero, which I am, and infinity, which, according to the Greeks, I don’t want you to be, without exhausting all the knowledge of the possible finite” (318).

         His growing son, Eugenio Foción, as he “was opening his eyes” surrounded by an interminable exercise of phantoms,” “hearing his mother sometimes called Eudoxia and other times Celita,” precisely for being so innocently “surrounded by madness,” then “grew up without original sin.” And what happened was that “the nurse’s cap and the flowers in the hair came to be like a clock to him which warned of dementia and recovery, silence and chattering, minute reason put to the service of madness and madness working with great care, with a slow zeal, as if in the fullness of reason attained by the Greek.” So that Eugenio Foción, the son of the zero Nicolás Foción, had but zero choice in this respect: “his senses didn’t segregate concupiscent material, but data of knowledge that advanced or retreated toward the image, floating like the peduncles of a Gorgon that never learned to decipher the river’s clay” (318).

         The conclusion of Foción’s two friends, Fronesis and Cemí, is that Foción had an “abstract development of his childhood and adolescence.” They imagine that fatally for Foción all “those phantoms incubated a crystal homunculus who lives inside Newton’s binomial or Pascal’s triangle and who breathes quicksilver.” Until, of course, one day, when “suddenly the homunculus launches a clandestine harangue into his subterranean palace and temptations begin to arise. The larvae throw themselves onto a skeleton in the desert, leaving a calcinated track where a cactaceous plant begins to bloom.” And thus “the homunculus begins to play with the cactus, a rain of sand falls” (318, 319).

         For them this would explain why Foción from very early on “suffered from the complex of the toothed vagina.” That is, “he saw a woman’s vulva as an immense mouth that devoured the phallus.” For the son of the zero, “the edges of the feminine cistern were converted into an infernal lagoon where a froth boiled up that gave off monstrous little horns, now the tails of Neapolitan sirens, now centaurs with prepotent members erect to the requirements of the god Pan” (319). There was no paradise possible for Foción, according to his two friends in Paradise.

         Thus, Fronesis and Cemí assume that their mutual friend Foción is doomed: despite being “in the bloom of adolescence,” he was “ending up in a noble cynicism,” as when “he fell into homosexuality, led by the hand of that old connoisseur of sexual relations between man and man.” The son of the zero, “without knowing the penetrating energy, was an object penetrated by someone else’s barb,” in part “because nature had given him a chaos but didn’t give him enough strength to fight against it. He feels destroyed, but he has no destructive force” (320).

         This is why that, when later in his “abnormal marital situation,” Eugenio Foción finally managed to beget a son with his wife, despite his persistent practice of “interfemoral copulation, as the Romans of the decadence said,” Fronesis and Cemí again agree that this new Foción III, the grandson of the zero, will “be a new homunculus, in the midst of mirrors, quicksilver, and sexual terrors” (320). It’s called faith in fate, an abyss from which we cannot escape no matter which role we are bound to play in the novel of our lives: reader, character, author.

         Beyond the applicability or not of Eric Berne’s sentence that “it takes three generations to make one neurotic,” let’s imagine the environment of the Foción family for a moment in Lezama Lima’s Paradise. Let’s stop for a while rereading Cuban literature and let’s start once and for all rewriting the whole of it:

         Twenty patients a day, during five working days, as it was usual in Cuba during the capitalist period (after 1959, the Revolution was to force “volunteer works” during most weekends). A hundred patients a week, during a whole year of incessant illnesses in Havana arrived from anywhere on the Island (all of them dwelling exclusively in the demented mind of Doctor Nicolás Foción, the zero). Over fifty hundred patients a year, during two disproportionate decades, a whole chaotic age during which other medical colleagues warned Celita/Eudoxia “to be very careful in the distribution of the ideal consultations given,” because “one mistake, the penetration of light into that errant mentality,” could clinically cause a catastrophe: an “explosive attack,” an “ax blow,” the “interrogation of a scalpel on her rosy flesh” (317).

         In total, over a hundred thousand patients, generously created and graciously cured by the zero man. A deathless universe, myriads of unexplored biographies. An allegorical aleph, a hermetic history with no hermeneutics. Error, Eros. Awe, horror, awerror.

         When one realizes the poetic and political power of such a generator—and such a formidable reserve— of characters for the Cuban literary canon that never was, other literatures seem to faint in frustration, and not only in the Caribbean and Latin American, where the most Cuban novel of Lezama Lima hardly belongs, for its true tradition―like the 100,000 patients lost in our Paradise―is made of air.

         These are the thousand-and-one nights in which Cubans haven’t yet recreated a Cubanness that was not, that is not ever to be, that is only becoming. Such is also the innumerable number of doors and the undecidability of all exits and returns to the Island: a panoply of plots to perform. A wasted territory so far, forgotten out of fear of not knowing what to do with such a fundamental freedom, such a plea to explode from within this novel condemned to constitute a complete cosmology in itself.

         Maybe this is connected in a paradoxical way, to what Raymond D. Souza[14] has seen as Lezama Lima’s anxiousness to build Paradise in “a denial or randomness and time” (21), combining “metaphoric and metonymic processes in his creation of poetic figures” (36). Others authors[15] have ascribed to Lezama Lima the term “aposiopesis (the interruption of discourse, reticence, ellipsis)” (129) in order to signify his “letting others do the political talk,” as a “rhetorical figure of the unrepresentable” or “the poetic mark of that which cannot be presented” (131). Still others[16] assume that Paradise is but “the fixation of an intangible otherness, authentic and truthful in itself” (134) but, “above all, an allegory of the poetic recovery” of an “absolute and immobile Presence” as well as a “logos independent from the universe, but which is at the same time its creator and its reason for being” (137). And, of course, some[17] also claim that “the elaborate hermeneutics needed to explicate some of Lezama’s dense imagery and quirky metaphysics help reinforce the idea that to read Lezama well one must choose to enter a Delphic circle which one may not choose to leave” (44).

         In any case, José Lezama Lima at least must have known one thing from the beginning, even unbeknownst to himself: the pristine perfection of his Paradise will be reached only when its readers start to turn Eudoxia’s way into a cosmopolitan cathedral built upon a magnificent zero. Not before, not after.

         To imagine and to incarnate, both in text and in the flesh, where might be wandering around all those inconceivable Cuban characters is more urgent that, for example, to describe the destiny of our nation after the death of Fidel Castro and the concomitant disappearance of the Revolution. Politics as a footnote of fiction: the dreams of reason may produce monsters, yes, but a monster of dreams―like the author of Paradise still is―can only produce reason.







[1] Lezama Lima, José. Paradise. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Normal, IL: Delkey Archive Press, 2000.

[2] Paz, Octavio. In: José Lezama Lima, valoración múltiple. Casa de las Américas. La Habana, 1970.

[3] Paradiso ha transformado el mundo de los símbolos preexistentes inventariando el pasado, alterando la historia y hasta la ortografía de la lengua española.”

[4] Lupi, J. P. “(Mis)readings as Engagement: Some Thoughts on World Literature and José Lezama Lima.” Foundational Texts of World Literature. Edited by Dominique Jullien. New York, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Bern, Frankfurt, Berlin, Brussels, Vienna and Oxford: Peter Land, 2011. 215-228.

[5] Bloom, H. The Western Canon. The Books and Schools of the Ages. New York, San Diego and London: Harcourt Brace & Co., 1994.  

[6] Franco, J. “Lezama Lima in the Paradise of Poetry.” Critical Passions. Selected Essays. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1999. 239-258.

[7] Documents about José Lezama Lima in the Stasi archives (Documentación sobre José Lezama Lima en los archivos de la Stasi). Uploaded by DIARIODECUBA. SCRIBD. 2 Jun 2014. https://www.scribd.com/doc/227574444/Documentacion-sobre-Jose-Lezama-Lima-en-los-archivos-de-la-Stasi

[8] Lezama Lima, Eloísa. “Mi hermano”. José Lezama Lima, cartas (1939-1976). Colección Tratados de Testimonio. Editorial Orígenes. Madrid, 1979. 11-40. “Algunos insolentes han afirmado que en mi obra hay elementos pornográficos, pero no solamente es una injusticia sino que hasta puede ser una canallada, porque precisamente si algún autor se ha caracterizado por la gravedad de su obra he sido yo. Mi obra podrá ser censurada por defectos de estilo, pero jamás por motivos éticos, puesto que su raíz es esencialmente la de un auto sacramental.”

[9] Goytisolo, Juan. “La metáfora erótica: Góngora, Joaquín Belda y Lezama Lima.” Desidencias. Barcelona: Seix Barral, 1977. “Los únicos libros pornográficos que he leído son la Biblia (Génesis) y Platón…”

[10] The Playboy Interview. “A Candid Conversation with the Bellicose Dictator of Communist Cuba.” Playboy, Jan 1967.
  Jeffrey M. Elliot and Mervyn M. Dymally. “Fidel Castro, On Reagan and Revolution.” Playboy, Aug 1985.

[11] P.C.C.: in Spanish, Partido Comunista de Cuba. The Constitution of the Republic of Cuba in its Article 5 establishes that: “The Communist Party of Cuba, Martian and of Marxist-Leninist, the organized vanguard of the Cuban nation, is the superior leading force of the society and the State, organizing and guiding the common efforts aimed at the highest goals of the construction of socialism and advancement toward the communist society.” https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Cuba_2002.pdf?lang=en

[12] The author José Lezama Lima at some point hesitates on what his own novel Paradise makes obvious about the paternity of Eugenio Foción, the friend of Fronesis and Cemí: “When Celita turned out to be pregnant, it was impossible to tell which of the brothers had been the archer” (318).

[13] Borges, Jorge Luis. “The Aleph.” Translation by Norman Thomas Di Giovanni. 1945. http://web.mit.edu/allanmc/www/borgesaleph.pdf

[14] Souza, R. D. The Poetic Fiction of José Lezama Lima. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1983.

[15] Matos, J R. José Lezama Lima and the End of Time. New York, Fordham University Press, 2017.

[16] Ríos-Arila, R. R. A Theology of Absence: The Poetic System of José Lezama Lima. 1983 Ph.D. Thesis, Cornell University. University Microfilms International, Dissertation Information Service, 1989.

[17] O’Connor, P. Latin American Fiction and the Narratives of the Perverse. Paper Dolls and Spider Women. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2004.

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