Article

Modernity’s Labors in Latin America: The Cultural Work of Cuba’s Avant-Gardes

Vicky Unruh

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Modernisms

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780195338904
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195338904.013.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Modernity’s Labors in Latin America: The Cultural Work of Cuba’s Avant-Gardes

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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Dissimilar literary works—by Alejo Carpentier, Augstín Acosta, Nicolás Guillén, Ofelia Rodríguez Acosta, and Dulce María Loynaz—constitute artifacts of Cuba' historical avant-gardes of the 1920s and 1930s. Beyond their differences, their shared features exemplify the avant-garde moment of artistic modernism in Cuba and, by extension, in Latin America as a whole. This article notes that the shifting perspectives of Latin American avant-garde works encompass converging critical inquiries into uneven modernization undertaken by dissimilar texts, some more obviously experimental than others but all wrestling with the modern. It also considers the work ethic of Havana's avant-gardes; protests against the U.S. domination of the sugar industry; and avant-garde fissures in the lettered city.

Keywords: avant-garde; Cuban artistic modernism; Havana's avant-gardes; sugar industry

Article.  12672 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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