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‘I Would Rather Go On Being Underdeveloped.’ Re-Reading and Recontextualising Edmundo Desnoes’ 1965 Novel Memorias Del Subdesarrollo

Rowlandson, William (2020) ‘I Would Rather Go On Being Underdeveloped.’ Re-Reading and Recontextualising Edmundo Desnoes’ 1965 Novel Memorias Del Subdesarrollo. International Journal of Cuban Studies, 12 (2). pp. 329-350. ISSN 1756-3461. (KAR id:84815)

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This article follows two lines of inquiry. Firstly, it provides a re-reading of the novel Memorias del subdesarrollo (Desnoes 1965), suggesting that the protagonist, Sergio, is affected by the threat of nuclear war throughout the novel and that this fear dominates the text from the outset, and not just the novel’s ending during the Missile Crisis of October 1962. It argues that Sergio’s state of anxiety and inertia derive as much from this fear as from his intellectual detachment and problematic relationship with the Cuban Revolution, where critical attention has tended to focus. This re-reading gives texture to Sergio’s inaction and nihilism, revealing a coherent response of an individual to the threat of catastrophe. Secondly, this article sets this re-reading against a new context of catastrophe: that of climate change, ecosystem collapse and species extinction. In this context an overlooked revolutionary fervour is detected in Sergio that provides a reading of hope in the narrative that, when read analogously against the present, may reflect a sense of hope against calamity.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Desnoes, Memorias, Cuba, revolution, Missile Crisis, nuclear, catastrophe, climate change, decarbonisation
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: William Rowlandson
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2020 16:54 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 12:44 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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