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Representing Cubanness: Time, Space and Cultural Identity in the Work of Leonardo Padura Fuentes

Battaglia, Diana Rosa (2014) Representing Cubanness: Time, Space and Cultural Identity in the Work of Leonardo Padura Fuentes. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

The aim of this thesis is to explore the representation of Cubanness in a selection of Leonardo Padura Fuentes’s detective novels by analysing the different identity aspects which appear in his work. I argue that Padura's representation of Cuban identity is interesting because it challenges any essentialist and homogenising model, in favour of a wider and more complex interpretation of contemporary Cubanness. My analysis is framed around the relationship between time, space and identity, taking into account the different social elements that inform identity construction, and analysing how they interact with the spatio-temporal context and change accordingly in response to it. Considering identity as the result of a set of positions shifting across time and space, each of the chapters of the thesis compares official imaginaries of the Cuban nation and national identity with alternative and different representations of Cubanness, in order to demonstrate the arbitrariety of any rigid identity classification. Thus, in the chapter on Pasado perfecto and Vientos de cuaresma, I analyse how Padura, thanks to a multidirectional approach to memory, contests the monolithic image of the Cuban past and proposes a summative and not exclusive approach to identity construction. In the chapter on La neblina del ayer this multiple approach to Cuban history, space and identity is expanded and incremented through the concept of the palimpsest. The chapter on Máscaras uses the concept of gender and identity performativity to show how Padura describes the multiple and conflicting facets that coexist within this definition of contemporary Cubanness. Finally, the analysis of Paisaje de otoño expands Padura’s challenge to any essentialist and exclusive approach to Cuban nation and identity, including the diaspora community in his representation of contemporary Cubanness. The goal of this analysis is to shed new light on Padura’s work and on his representation of Cubanness as a de-territorialised, impure, complex and fluid form of identity.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Cuba, detective fiction, identity, Leonardo Padura, time, space, Cubanness
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of Languages Cultures and Societies (Leeds) > Spanish & Portuguese (Leeds)
Depositing User: Diana Rosa Battaglia
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2016 08:36
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12518

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