jueves, 3 de mayo de 2018

A Parable Hunter Named Ricardo Pau-Llosa



A Parable Hunter Named Ricardo Pau-Llosa
Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo


“Next you’ll want to know how we lost a country.”
Frutas, by Ricardo Pau-Llosa. 

1.

          “We’ve lost Venice,” said to me Ricardo Pau-Llosa, in the summer of 2017. Then he just hung up, after an hour-long conversation.
         
       We used to talk a lot back then. I was translating some of his most political poems into a sort of Cuban argot, rather than into the Spanish language. He liked to call me an “absolute political animal.” And I liked to be called like that, particularly by a poet. Poetry, like heaven, can wait.

Pau-Llosa seemed to love my quite radical although rather rachitic results. I acknowledge they were my least faithful translations ever. It was all about me. Translating almost by heart, paying little attention to his Cuban-American original texts. I undertook the project as a “translation with heart.” Con corazón, sin coraza.

          Pau-Llosa didn’t need to mention who was we in his last phrase. I guess we both knew. And, of course, he didn’t need to mention the word Havana. For Venice was more than enough for us to understand what our conversation was all about.

          “We’ve lost Venice, haven’t we?” And I didn’t have the chance to answer him Yes or No or at least leave the question in blank. The Cuban-American poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa had just hung up. Farewell, farewell.

          We haven’t talked since that sudden significative small scene. I don’t know if we really want to talk to each other again, after that last telephone call from Miami to Missouri, now almost a full year ago. As exiled Cuban writers, we deeply care for each other. But, what else was there for us to say, both snugly stranded in the US? Now we belonged to the ages. Smile, silence, sadness: discourteous competitors when it comes to conquer the unknown human soul. After all, we had lost Venice. What else was to be said then?
     
      A virtual Venice indeed, which was the capital of a country that, according to “The Wages of Exile”, the essay by Ricardo Pau-Llosa included in the 2001 book ReMembering Cuba,[1] “was a unique civilization”―the “spirit” of which was “the mutual nurturing of culture and life at all levels at the same time” with a “dialogue between order and pleasure”―, as it was also “the setting of one of the renaissances of the modern world,” in fact “one of the four pillars of Hispanic culture (along with Spain, Mexico and Argentine),” so that “the loss of this civilization to totalitarianism in 1959 has had horrible consequences for the Hispanic world and for other cultures in this hemisphere and beyond.”
        
     No wonder that a German philosopher had once written in an early-20th-century Tractatus that “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen.” That is, “whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Speech then seen for us always as a sort of surrogate of hate speech. Subtle Stalinism or fascinating Fascism. Luckily, consuetudinary Castroism.

We were also aware that in the mid-20th-century another German thinker had decreed once and for all that “to write a poem after Auschwitz is barbaric,” for “that corrodes also the knowledge which expresses why it has become impossible to write poetry today.” Yet, poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa and translator Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo were only two Cubans, all too Cubans. We both came to America from a country where European philosophy is but an imported artifact. We both had seen things that Cubans wouldn´t believe. And, therefore, we both felt we had to say something anyway. Poets, unlike poetry, can´t wait.

2.

          The term parable is missing from The Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms.[2] In its 2016 edition, parable is an outcast concept in this reference book: a gap between the entries panegyric and paradox. The first is a sort of “praise”, while the second comprises the search for sense through “seemingly contradictory words” or a “daring statement,” used for the “expression of the unspeakable in religion, mysticism, and poetry:” a figure “that on closer examination proves to have unexpected meaning and truth.”

          From the strict academic viewpoint of a poetic dictionary, it is quite unlikely to be a hunter of parables. But perhaps the imprint of poetry is precisely to tempt the unattainable, to reach for the unreachable in order to recover―at least in part―the unrecoverable. To remain silently eloquent.

          Haunted by the impetus to be a parable hunter, the Cuban-American poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa, born in La Habana in 1954, is both trapped and emancipated by these two textual tensions along his successful career as writer in the United States: imagining myths, materializing imagination.
          
        The poems of Pau-Llosa have been published in many of the best literary magazines worldwide, such as Poetry, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Southern Review, New England Review, Boston Review, Massachusetts Review, The Missouri Review, Crazyhorse, TriQuarterly, Iowa Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Manhattan Review, among others. His lyric and narrative works have been included in literary anthologies of great prestige, such as ReMembering Cuba,1 Currents from the Dancing River,[3] Iguana dreams,[4] Paper dance,[5] Muy macho,[6] The Carnegie Mellon Anthology of Poetry,[7] The Norton Introduction to Literature,[8] and Sudden Fiction (Continued),[9] among others.

     Coming from a nation like Cuba, a country that like every “New World nation”―according to him―“continues to hunger for a national myth,” particularly after the Communist takeover of January 1959, from which Pau-Llosa’s family escaped as early as in 1960, this author wonders about the “exilio’s abysmal record of cultural preservation and transmission”, which is at the same time paradoxically “matched only by our political stupidity in matters that concern culture.”[10]

          Ricardo Pau-Llosa is proud of being exquisitely bilingual in conversation, although his verse and prose are written and published mainly in English. Being bicultural for him “entailed a far greater dilemma,” for how “could we have two masters and not lose our souls―or our minds, for that matter?” For him, “cultural hyphenation was not a cosmopolitan limbo, nor was it a door to mind-expansive dual citizenship.” In fact, “the hyphen felt like a double-tipped dagger that pinned to us to a unique orphanhood. We were being mugged by history. […] We were not at a crossroads; we were in a loop.”[11]

          Since the late sixties, Pau-Llosa has resided in Miami, Florida, from where he recalls in a 2015 interview, that his family had to be “switching between cultures and languages,” that is: “inhabiting two sets of priorities at the same time: the exilic journey and epic of recovery,” as much as “the immigrant ambition to take root in an adopted culture and succeed in native life.” Thus, for this Cuban-American author, “poetry was, and still is, the bridge between these two often-conflicting schemes of life and consciousness.”[12]

          At the turn of the new century and millennium, more than a decade before that 2015 interview, in a book dedicated “for Cuba’s exiled musicians, who keep the imagination alive,” Pau-Llosa had written that “language is less about distance / than about sutures.”[13] Being obsessed with detecting the dots dispersed, tantalized―if not traumatized―by narrating the nature of the Cuban loss, he somehow realizes that the dots are becoming more and more undetectable as time goes by, while the Cuban totalitarianism on the Island seems to become more visible and vigorous than ever, threatening to outlive each and every Cuban exile from Miami to Manhattan, from Mexico to Madrid, from Malaysia to Madagascar.

          Ricardo Pau-Llosa, a rara avis “more akin to a Minoan from Crete,” as well as “a man hailing from a place that has evaporated or has been destroyed by forces that we don’t understand or that are intentionally misrepresented to serve evil purposes,” has reflected many times on the phenomenological logic of this loss: Cuba as a “life that has been willfully and needlessly annihilated as a result of this tyrannical madness masquerading as ‘the Cuban Revolution,’” but then Cubanness also as a “very conflicting civilization that not only destroyed itself, but also killed the living memory of itself.” That is, his is the terrible tale of the formidable fall of an “entire unique, modern culture that was an undervalued glory of its time.”[14]

          As poet, Pau-Llosa can’t help but keep digging deep in despair, like an archeologist of art, in the tragic task of exposing the fossils of our fate―past, present, future, in any case: posthumous―, in the effort of diagnosing a disease that perhaps is now indistinguishable from the diseased. And the deceased. Because, despite all dreams and deceptions, Pau-Llosa still holds the hope of “understanding the incandescent solitude of the Cuban artist in exile” as a way of “understanding the brutal but soul-building soledad of the Cuban people.”10

          In this “articulation” of the “dialogue between order and pleasure,” the poet “drives all aspects of Cuba psyche and the culture it produced,”1 also criticizing the outcome of the experience―and expertise―of Cuban exiles. For such a protean purpose, Pau-Llosa recurs, of course, to his imaginary “memory, eternal infantry of exile,” in a “journey toward harmony” that is not only “the journey toward that other conquest of the self,”[15] but also “to know the difference between journey and flight.”[16]

          Some of the multiple books of poetry published by Pau-Llosa’s are Sorting Metaphors,[17] Bread of the Imagined,[18] Cuba,[19] Vereda Tropical,[20] Parable Hunter,[21] The Mastery Impulse,[22] and Man, this last one being a peculiar approach of 71 poems, each one describing a certain condition of man, whether “mediator, art collector, son, lover, and penitent,” while the poet “ponders ‘the simplest things’ in a variety of moods, and spread of human values, with unfaltering rhetorical grace.”[23]

          Early this year, Pau-Llosa published for the first time a luxury collection of 25 poems, comprising both translations and original texts: Intruder between Rivers / Intruso entre ríos (Madrid: Del Centro Editores, 2018). In an interview with Olga O’Connor for the Florida newspaper El Nuevo Herald, Pau-Llosa comments about his choice of the translator for this new book, which was Enrico Mario Santí, another historical Cuban exile: “When one is the translator of oneself, it is very difficult to reconstruct the labyrinths and the multiple meanings that perhaps a reader in English can glimpse. What one tries to do is to convert the conceptual map, because time has already passed, and then we just try to recreate that in another language when we are translating ourselves.”[24]

          Months before, after the monumental loss of Havana-Venice that we shared by phone, Pau-Llosa asked me not to publish online my pseudo-translations that he had enjoyed so much. It seems that Enrico Mario Santí wanted to preserve the exclusive privileges of the Spanish Pau-Llosa. Quite understandable.

I was satisfied, more than saddened. In a way, beyond all copyright and commercial considerations, I came to realize that my cannibal translations into Cuban were too much intimidating for a professional translator. I felt no offense. Furthermore, I was grateful that all of a sudden something was now crystal-clear to me: CUBA was one more time our tender and thanatic tetragrammaton, the ultimate cause of all misunderstanding and missing understanding among those Cubans without Cuba.

3.

          Two decades ago, Ricardo Pau-Llosa wrote: “I have sought, in part, to build a diaphanous cocoon whose walls are images but whose purpose is, like all cocoons, to shelter and nourish until the time comes to venture into a recovered landscape, a horizon which will have no right to expel or deny, where self and space will exist in mutual belonging.”[25]

          For this Cuban-American poet, poetry must possess this pose of impenetrability, while at the same time being preferentially permeable only to his own chosen people: the nation of his lost readers or perhaps the lost nation of his readers. Pau-Llosa has coined the term “oneiric luminism,” when referring to Latin American artists capable of “addressing the powers of the unconscious and the dream state without using representational imagery,” where light itself would function as “a symbol of the psychic energy which makes dreaming, imagining, and remembering possible,” as it “symbolizes the power of the mind to create a world for itself and thereby give meaning to experience.”[26]

          In this respect, Pau-Llosa believes that in his poems he aspires to obtain “that painterly sense of context that interests me more than simply having the persona spinning off opinions or ideas or memories”. He craves for “context functioning as a scenario,” which then “undermines or conditions what the persona is ‘saying.’” This is how the poet pretends to inhabit those spaces with an “oneiric, enveloping” and “theatrical presence.”14

          For Pau-Llosa, the halo of imagination is not “a faculty that replaces experience,” but a “faculty of the mind that can be disciplined in order to make you more in touch with the physical world than the average individual, who experiences the world in terms of identifiable things and their functions.” So that, “first through suspension and then reconstitution of everyday objects and events, the world becomes vivid and always new”[27] for the poet.

          For a parable hunter, contrary to the consensus of certain literary criticisms,[28] it’s not much what the figure of the literary critic can do for really “experiencing, without eccentricities, the state of mind relevant to the work of art.” In fact, for a parable hunter, being “needlessly ignorant of the general psychological form of the experiences with which he is concerned” could be assumed rather as a surprising asset, in the sense of favoring an array of speculative associations and creative exegesis. Luckily, also a set of speculative and/or creative translations.

          According to the back-cover note of Parable Hunter, along the “four movements” of this volume, Pau-Llosa endeavors to “explore the themes of need, instinct, fulfillment and transcendence―the cardinal points of the self.” These four parts of the book are identified as Without, Within, Round, and About, each including around a dozen of poems, and what they all “share is parable-making―the ground of all reflection. The identification of new vantage points on the world―in works of art, looking out of plane windows, or enveloped in nature and weather―itself becomes a parable for reflecting on the imagination, that stage where phenomenology and animism coalesce.”[29]

          The American writer Susan Hahn considers that “Pau-Llosa’s intense, multifaceted voice rises in Parable Hunter from a heat that fuses art, emotions, history, and the natural world into thoughtful, intricate, passionate designs.”[30] A rare remix that the poet and translator Richard Wilbur associates “with a flowing richness of language in which thing and thought are inextricably one. His poems are full of the roots and savors of words, yet he can be forcefully plain.”[31]

          Roots versus uprooting: the poet as the savior of savors once forcefully forgotten, left hanging on the plain hyphen of the Cuban-American condition. The poet imitating a messenger of elementary memories felt “how unnatural” in the poem, for they are condemned to be “foreign and dragged onto this soil / to decorate at first,” although they also behave much like a transplanted flower, which instinctively “knows its function / is to become the object of admired mistrust.”[32]

          No wonder why the book Parable Hunter is dedicated to the poet’s father and to “all other Cubans who have lived in Exile.” Having lost his homeland beforehand, Pau-Llosa is well aware that the wonders of the rest of the world will not fulfill him the same way, whether on a Flight to L.A.[33]―from where he sees “the pumice blues / whose mix with ochers and grays / make the desert plain. And terrible”―; or whether visiting Bogotá, Barrio Norte[34]―where “what civil war hasn’t sundered / gets ready for the theater, the café, / or slouches before the dozing news”―; or once more in a plane Flying Over The Bahamas[35]―from where “height opals life, / reduces it to vastness, / yet, yearning for particulars, / these premonitions of land / darken the sea in shapes / of what gathers there”―; or finally while watching Ibises, Miami[36]―those beautiful birds which in turn “watch the ruckus of world with an eye as keen / as any other bird’s, but when they launch / to flight it is not in fear but sadly sure / their act has not a single sigh procured.”

          The ominous parable of the constant Cuban outcasts. An insular swan song to riddle the runaways of the Revolution and the pariahs of paradise. Isn’t a perfectionist poet like Ricardo Pau-Llosa meant to write precisely to cope with these particular paraphrases and with all our post-patriotic paraphernalia in general?

4.

          Many of the more precious parables hunted by a parable hunter named Ricardo Pau-Llosa are not only, in my opinion, in the 2008 book Parable Hunter, but in his early volume called Cuba.19

          Back then, in 1993, the poet was eager to collect the objects dispersed by decades along the Cuban diaspora: “If only I had the throat of a shark / I could swallow all Cuba and float unafraid in all currents,” he declares. And to accomplish this Tantalus´ task―given that “beauty / is inscrutable and intentional”―, with his “eyes closed, he dreams / of future and mercy,” like an old patriarch who is resistance in order not to become another pariah, and whose “words become the flesh / that a nation devours” while he thinks “of truth and deception / and other urgent phantoms.” For the poet, “trying the impossible is the only way to slay a beloved dragon.”

          Pau-Llosa affirms in verse that “there is no mother like poetry” and “no origin / the word in its labyrinth cannot ensnare.” He attempts to “count them, the illustrious remains / of the dream, like orphaned words,” in a kind of incessant “storm” that, “like all others, had blown in from Cuba,” that “cursed island who has never known its sick from itself.” Although, in definitive, “Cuba is a distance.” More specifically, it is all about a mirage beyond or below the horizon where once was stood La Habana, the lost city of exiles that “after 1960 […] would get so small / you could see it all in one living room / in Miami.”

          Pau-Llosa―“the child of exile”―aspires to “make / the victories of dream count / against the only loss.” For him, “from the palace of memory / come a thousand acts / opening their sky, that simple stage.” Yet, he is fully aware that, on the one hand, “when you dig / and hit blood you know / you’ve gone beyond memory,” and, on the other hand, he is but “harvesting / a borrowed memory and a stolen wish from stones / who cannot hear me humming the unbelievable.” Unmemorizable memories, perhaps.

          During such process of creation, the poet admits that “no angels come from the memories of others, / even if their losses are assigned to you.” For his is the tragedy of the displaced spokesperson condemned to speak out, despite the fact that “to speak now is to dissipate / the meadow’s labyrinths of mist.”

          This is, of course, a tragic fate that Pau-Llosa relativizes by alternatively embodying it in himself and then by rejecting it from himself, not only with flashes of Cuban humor but also with a sharp sense of irony or perhaps even of ridicule: “Exile meant having to consume false food, / and knowing it in advance.” In this sense, it is illustrating Pau-Llosa’s in extenso quote by Polish poet Adam Zagajewski[37] from 1986: “Being an exile is not a tragic situation. In the act of writing you may touch a reality that is deeper and stronger than the everyday life of common sense.”

          Exile is also both “a voyage we are always hoping will end” and “a voyage we know will end / even if the spirit breaks like glass in a clenched hand,” where “the death of journeys” will be truly taken as “our only grief.”

          Re-rooted amid the “Miami’s nervous quartz” which “parodies the future” just as “languages all around us chew / into idiocy,” while in a “studio in Miami I uncork genies / of smoke from my mouth” that “thicken / into saturnine halos around my books and maps,” Pau-Llosa also paddles against all expectations and then he also proclaims that, although “once an exile, now I am a native / limping through unbroken snow, / affirming in the silence of my head, / in an English you never learned, / that worlds are different / even if rage and love / beg us to dream otherwise.”

          The idea of such a contradictory “circle means death, closes / and repeats a world that lives / by escaping.” Here the poet adopts the role of being “the giver / no one receives, enswirled / in language others see smoke” and “so my dreams are endless jugglings / which have long ago stopped meaning / the pathway to happiness, or riches.” But he also feels that every “desperate champion / of memory, faltering, will be happier among ruins / than among questions,” given that “only the days return / to teach him his duty: lose what you fear to own.”

          Maybe this why for Pau-Llosa, “apart from 150 years of exile, / what defines the Cuban national soul / is the masquerading of demons and saints.” In fact, “beyond suspensions of disbelief, the process entails / the definition of things by their opposites. / This isn’t irony, either. / In Cuba things are what they must not be.” For our “history always dresses us for the wrong occasions,” and, consequently, “we lock them away, the heroes, and take the keys. / They are the only amulets against / what could pass for unguarded life.”

          This is certainly “the way we carry history, heavily, and fear. / As witnesses of others’ fulfillments we are the best, / but neither builders nor foreseers.” For Pau-Llosa, Cubans are “exiles who cannot calm the lust / to be the champions of an alien place. We fear / all joys must be borrowed. Where only one free man can rest, / it’s better to be foreign, better to be wisdom’s guest.” An ancient skill that perhaps “had to do with mastering wrist and eye, / tugs and twirls, teaching yourself the dives / of the peregrine.”

          Ultimately, for the poet it’s all about the fusion of faith and futility when it comes to Cuba: “Every time the ground of belonging / is shaken by the instantaneous sweep / away of a lie or the bloody promise / of history coming down like weather. One can always take up arms / or that other critical resistance / called exile, if you bring all / of yourself into the flight. Then a life more in debt / to the imagination can begin. / Then the shadow of the cloud / becomes the new patria, the new map. / When the cloud disappears, / when the lie turns into a story, / you can go home, not to be happy, / but to discover just what / the imagination has brought you to.”

5.

          How can we read the invention of Venice in Pau-Llosa’s verses about Havana? Where is that conceited concealed city to be located in the map of his/our personal and political nostalgias? When did it mutated and into what? Who did such a metamorphosis? How come and for how long? Is this just a Cuban case of the typical post-Communist “dreaming about yesterday” described by Svetlana Boym[38] in his 2001 book The Future of Nostalgia?

          Boym considers this effect to be “a kind of nationwide midlife crisis,” where “many are longing for the time of their childhood and youth, projecting personal affective memories onto the larger historical picture,” as well as “partaking collectively in a selective forgetting:” thus being both “an emotional antidote to politics” but also “the best political tool.”

          According to this author, “we desire most what we fear most, and the familiar often comes to us in disguise.” No wonder why “some psychologists of the early twentieth century, including Freud, suggested that artists and writers have a better insight into the dream and dread of home.” But, given that “when we are home, we don’t need to talk about it,” and given that “to feel at home is to know that things are in their places and so are you” as “it is a state of mind that doesn’t depend on an actual location,” Boym also concludes that “the object of longing, then, is not really a place called home but this sense of intimacy with the world.”

          Thus, for her no one longs for “the past in general,” but for “that imaginary moment when we had time and didn’t know the temptation of nostalgia.” In this respect, Cubans are not supposed to be the exception, even when Cuba constitutes indeed the exceptional example of a post-Communist country where Communism is still commonplace.

Was it then to be back home that poet Ricardo Pau-Llosa hung up the telephone to translator Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in the summer of 2017? Is this the reason that we don´t call each other any longer after the fall of Venice? Are we pathetically trying to demonstrate ourselves that, far from Havana, still “we are home” and, as such, “we don’t need to talk about it” with each other?

 After an hour-long or a History-long conversation, we both knew enough as to make philosophically superfluous any farewell by the author of this Apocubalypse written by Ricardo Pau-Llosa two decades or two debacles ago:1

          “Perhaps the death of Cuba is too great a loss to be heartfully assumed by Cubans, in exile and within the island. Perhaps for that reason the personal focus of these testimonials of pain and nostalgia is made to eclipse the Minoan fate of Cuba. The wages of exile are the death of collective memory. The overthrow of Cuba as a civilization, as a destiny, may find no room in the sane heart and can only be accommodated in a numbing silence masked as personal regret. When a new Cuba eventually emerges, it will have the same disconnection to precatastrophe Cuba as contemporary Greece and Egypt have to the ancient civilization that happen to share their names. The difference is that it took the Greeks and the Egyptians the endurance of myriad foreign occupations over millennia to achieve the totality of cultural severance that Cubans have been able to pull off entirely by and onto themselves in less than two generations.”

          Cubansummatum est!





[1] Pau-Llosa, R. “The Wages of Exile.” ReMembering Cuba. Legacy of a Diaspora. Edited by Andrea O’Reilly Herrera. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000. 214-222.
[2] The Princeton Handbook of Poetic Terms. Edited by Roland Greene and Stephen Cushman. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2016.
[3] Currents from the dancing river: contemporary Latino fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Edited by Ray González. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1994.
[4] Iguana dreams: new Latino fiction. New York: Harper Perennial, 1992.
[5] Paper dance: 55 Latino poets. Edited by Victor Hernández Cruz, Leroy V. Quintana, and Virgil Suarez. New York: Persea Books, 1995.
[6] Muy macho: Latino men confront their manhood. Edited by Ray González. New York: Anchor Books, 1996.
[7] The Carnegie Mellon Anthology of Poetry. Edited by Gerald Constanzo. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1993.
[8] The Norton Introduction to Literature. Edited by Carl E. Bain, Jerome Beaty, and J. Paul Hunter. New York: W. W. Norton, 1995.
[9] Sudden Fiction (Continued). Edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas. New York: W. W. Norton, 1996.
[10] Pau-Llosa, R. “The Tasks of Exile.” Cuban Studies Association Occasional Paper Series, 2 (9), 1997.
[11] Pau-Llosa, R. “Exile, Cultural Survival and the Generations.” Cuban-American Review, 1 (1), 2005.
[12] Austin, R. A. (Senior Editor.) December magazine, 2015. http://decembermag.org/interview-pau-llosa/
[13] Pau-Llosa, R. “Rockincha.” Vereda Tropical. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999.
[14] Dick, B. “Ricardo Pau-Llosa.” A Poet’s Truth. Conversations with Latino/Latina Poets. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2003. 124-140.
[15] Pau-Llosa, R. “Matanzas Corridor.” Vereda Tropical. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999.
[16] Pau-Llosa, R. “Famine.” Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008.
[17] Pau-Llosa, R. Sorting Metaphors. Tallahassee: Anhinga Press, Florida State University, 1983.
[18] Pau-Llosa, R. Bread of the Imagined. Tempe, AZ: Bilingual Press, Arizona State University, 1992.
[19] Pau-Llosa, R. Cuba. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1993.
[20] Pau-Llosa, R. Vereda Tropical. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1999.
[21] Pau-Llosa, R. Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008.
[22] Pau-Llosa, R. The Mastery Impulse. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2003.
[23] Frost, C. (Back-cover note.) Man. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2014.
[24] O’Connor, Olga. “Ricardo Pau-Llosa y Enrico Mario Santí: dos poetas entre ríos.” El Nuevo Herald. 9 Feb 2018. http://www.elnuevoherald.com/vivir-mejor/artes-letras/article199317564.html
[25] Pau-Llosa, R. “Exile, Cultural Survival and the Generations.” Cuban-American Review, 1 (1), 2005.
[26] Pau-Llosa, R. “The Oasis of the Infinite: Rafael Soriano and Enrique Castro-Cid.” Drawing, XII (5), New York, January-February 1991.
[27] Del Río, E. R. “Ricardo Pau-Llosa.” One Island, Many Voices. Conversations with Cuban-American Writers. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2008.
[28] Richards, I. A. “The Analysis of a Poem and the definition of a Poem.” The Lyric Theory Reader, A Critical Anthology. Edited by Virginia Jackson and Yopie Prins. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014. 165-166.
[29] Back-cover note. Parable Hunter. Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, Pittsburgh, 2008.
[30] Hahn, S. (Back-cover note.) Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008.
[31] Wilbur, R. (Back-cover note.) Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 2008.
[32] Pau-Llosa, R. “Immigrant Parable: Hong Kong Orchid Tree, Arguments.” Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 2008.
[33] Pau-Llosa, R. “Flight to L.A.” Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 2008.
[34] Pau-Llosa, R. “Bogotá, Barrio Norte.” Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 2008.
[35] Pau-Llosa, R. “Flying Over The Bahamas.” Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 2008.
[36] Pau-Llosa, R. “Ibises, Miami.” Parable Hunter. Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon Univ. Press, 2008.
[37] Zagajewski, Adam. “Freedom in Exile.” The Partisan Review, Spring 1986. 180-182.
[38] Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books, 2001.

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