The ‘other’ Havana of Leonardo Padura Fuentes: Palimpsests, heterotopias and cultural subversion in La neblina del ayer

Diana Battaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

his article examines Cuban author Leonardo Padura Fuentes’ presentation of Havana in La neblina del ayer as a palimpsestic city where different spatial and temporal strata have been built one on top of the other as a consequence of the rapid historic and political changes in Cuba. I argue that, through his narrative representation of Havana, Padura challenges the binary and exclusionary image of Cuba promoted by the Revolution, proposing instead a composite picture encompassing the complex intertwining of space, history and power. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopias, de Certeau’s city-text metaphor and Quiroga’s palimpsest model, I show how the erasure of the past is resisted in Cuba. In fact, these concepts violate conventional temporal and spatial norms and help us to stress the presence of counter-spaces and counter-histories which subvert the revolutionary hegemonic discourse. Therefore this article considers Padura’s depiction of the geographical and cultural stratification of Havana as a contestation of any form of historical or cultural homogeneity and as a critical reinterpretation of the Cuban present and past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Romance Studies
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

subversion
Cuba
history
social stratum
political change
metaphor
narrative
discourse
present
Heterotopia
Palimpsest
Subversion
Havana
History
Revolution

Cite this

@article{077e4d31d5ed4fe99bc4da4225f44f15,
title = "The ‘other’ Havana of Leonardo Padura Fuentes: Palimpsests, heterotopias and cultural subversion in La neblina del ayer",
abstract = "his article examines Cuban author Leonardo Padura Fuentes’ presentation of Havana in La neblina del ayer as a palimpsestic city where different spatial and temporal strata have been built one on top of the other as a consequence of the rapid historic and political changes in Cuba. I argue that, through his narrative representation of Havana, Padura challenges the binary and exclusionary image of Cuba promoted by the Revolution, proposing instead a composite picture encompassing the complex intertwining of space, history and power. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopias, de Certeau’s city-text metaphor and Quiroga’s palimpsest model, I show how the erasure of the past is resisted in Cuba. In fact, these concepts violate conventional temporal and spatial norms and help us to stress the presence of counter-spaces and counter-histories which subvert the revolutionary hegemonic discourse. Therefore this article considers Padura’s depiction of the geographical and cultural stratification of Havana as a contestation of any form of historical or cultural homogeneity and as a critical reinterpretation of the Cuban present and past.",
author = "Diana Battaglia",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.3828/jrs.14.3.54",
language = "English",
volume = "14",
pages = "54--66",
journal = "Journal of Romance Studies",
issn = "1473-3536",
publisher = "Berghahn Books Inc.",
number = "3",

}

The ‘other’ Havana of Leonardo Padura Fuentes: Palimpsests, heterotopias and cultural subversion in La neblina del ayer. / Battaglia, Diana.

In: Journal of Romance Studies, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2014, p. 54-66.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - The ‘other’ Havana of Leonardo Padura Fuentes: Palimpsests, heterotopias and cultural subversion in La neblina del ayer

AU - Battaglia, Diana

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - his article examines Cuban author Leonardo Padura Fuentes’ presentation of Havana in La neblina del ayer as a palimpsestic city where different spatial and temporal strata have been built one on top of the other as a consequence of the rapid historic and political changes in Cuba. I argue that, through his narrative representation of Havana, Padura challenges the binary and exclusionary image of Cuba promoted by the Revolution, proposing instead a composite picture encompassing the complex intertwining of space, history and power. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopias, de Certeau’s city-text metaphor and Quiroga’s palimpsest model, I show how the erasure of the past is resisted in Cuba. In fact, these concepts violate conventional temporal and spatial norms and help us to stress the presence of counter-spaces and counter-histories which subvert the revolutionary hegemonic discourse. Therefore this article considers Padura’s depiction of the geographical and cultural stratification of Havana as a contestation of any form of historical or cultural homogeneity and as a critical reinterpretation of the Cuban present and past.

AB - his article examines Cuban author Leonardo Padura Fuentes’ presentation of Havana in La neblina del ayer as a palimpsestic city where different spatial and temporal strata have been built one on top of the other as a consequence of the rapid historic and political changes in Cuba. I argue that, through his narrative representation of Havana, Padura challenges the binary and exclusionary image of Cuba promoted by the Revolution, proposing instead a composite picture encompassing the complex intertwining of space, history and power. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s concept of heterotopias, de Certeau’s city-text metaphor and Quiroga’s palimpsest model, I show how the erasure of the past is resisted in Cuba. In fact, these concepts violate conventional temporal and spatial norms and help us to stress the presence of counter-spaces and counter-histories which subvert the revolutionary hegemonic discourse. Therefore this article considers Padura’s depiction of the geographical and cultural stratification of Havana as a contestation of any form of historical or cultural homogeneity and as a critical reinterpretation of the Cuban present and past.

U2 - 10.3828/jrs.14.3.54

DO - 10.3828/jrs.14.3.54

M3 - Article

VL - 14

SP - 54

EP - 66

JO - Journal of Romance Studies

JF - Journal of Romance Studies

SN - 1473-3536

IS - 3

ER -