Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba

Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba

Ruth Behar EDITOR
Copyright Date: 2015
Pages: 448
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.8818436
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  • Book Info
    Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba
    Book Description:

    For fifty-five years U.S.-Cuban relations were couched in terms of the Cold War, often pitting Cubans in the diaspora against Cubans who remained in their homeland. This collection of Cuban and Cuban-American writing and art celebrates the informal networks that Cubans in both countries have maintained through artistic, academic, family, and other ties. The book brings together for the first time in English Cuban voices of the second generation, both on the island and in the diaspora. The multivocal and multigenre collection includes both scholarly and creative writing and an impressive range of visual art.Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cubaopens a window onto the meaning of nationality, transnationalism, and homeland in our time.

    eISBN: 978-0-472-12189-2
    Subjects: Language & Literature, Population Studies
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Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents (pp. vii-x)
  3. INTRODUCTION TO THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION OF BRIDGES TO CUBA/PUENTES A CUBA (pp. xi-xv)
    RUTH BEHAR

    Back in the early 1990s, a time of great crisis in Cuba following the collapse of European communism, I traveled back and forth between my lost home on the island and my acquired home in Michigan. I was trying to weave together two countries, two cultures, and two political systems, torn asunder by revolution and exile. There was a thin blue cotton dress with a paisley print I wore, along with black suede wedge sandals, every time I went to Cuba. I remember the artist Rolando Estévez saying to me one day he was sick and tired of seeing me...

  4. INTRODUCTION TO THE ORIGINAL EDITION (pp. 1-18)
    RUTH BEHAR

    Once upon a time, Cuba was such a commonplace of the United States’s imagination that it was included in maps of Florida. After the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and Fidel Castro’s declaration that Cuba would be resculpted as a communist nation, the United States sent the island into exile. A blockade was imposed, cutting off communication with a Cuba that had fallen from grace into the arms of the enemy, the Soviet Union. Cuba, in turn, accepted the blockade as the price of independence. Suddenly, inexorably, a hundred years of connections between Cuba and the United States were severed. Cuba...

  5. Part 1: RECONCILIATION/RECONCILIACION
    • FOR ANA VELDFORD (pp. 21-22)
      LOURDES CASAL
    • PRAYER TO LOURDES (pp. 23-24)
      RUTH BEHAR
    • BEYOND THE RUPTURE: RECONCILING WITH OUR ENEMIES, RECONCILING WITH OURSELVES (pp. 25-43)
      MARIA DE LOS ANGELES TORRES

      Over thirty years ago, on April 16, 1961, my parents nervously put me and my sister to sleep in the bathtub of our home in La Vibora, a middle-class neighborhood in Havana. In early April, Cuban authorities had warned of a possible U.S. invasion. In case of bombings, bathtubs were the safest part of the house. Out of the ordinary routines had become customary. The Catholic school I attended had been closed for months. I took my classes down the street at a neighbor's house with other children on the block as she ironed clothes and brewed coffee through a...

    • MIEMBROS FANTASMAS / GHOST LIMBS (pp. 44-56)
      TERESA MARRERO

      Lately I have been feeling out of control. I dream that I am at sea, maybe the Caribbean, and I am full-throttle on a high-speed boat with photos, old photos, spread out on top of the deck. . . they have the sepia cast of time; they lie in an orderly fashion, some kind of order that I should understand but don’t ... mostly they are childhood pictures. Who is that serious little girl with the large brown eyes staring back at me? And suddenly, a delicate breeze causes a faint tremor on the surface of the water, and the...

    • POLITICAL AND CULTURAL CROSS-DRESSING: NEGOTIATING A SECOND GENERATION CUBAN-AMERICAN IDENTITY (pp. 57-71)
      FLAVIO RISECH

      My parents fled Cuba at the end of 1959, crossing the Florida Straits in a Pan American DC6. I was five years old and had no idea of the profound impact that short flight would have on my life, no inkling of the way it would forever affect the very essence of who I am. I lived with my family in Miami for the next sixteen years. In 1976, I crossed another kind of border, the more subtle and complex one between the Cuban community of southwest Miami and the rest of the U.S., and settled in Massachusetts, where I...

    • SILHOUETTE (pp. 72-75)
      RAQUEL (KAKI) MENDIETA COSTA

      My brother and I had taken the boat from Dupont to La Casa Vieja to spend the day together with the whole family. Summer was at its peak, and you and I had acquired that mulatto hue which made us targets of the stupid phrase, “you’re so black, they’ll be asking you for your papers.”

      Upstairs, in the patio of the great house, the grownups poured themselves drinks and spoke in whispers about “the situation.” You were the indisputable leader among the younger cousins.

      Your sense of authority came from being two years older than me, and from your infinite...

    • A HOUSE ON SHIFTING SANDS (pp. 76-79)
      FLORA GONZALEZ MANDRI

      Arriving from my family’s home in Camagüey to the hotel in Miramar, on the outskirts of Havana, I started to feel uncomfortable. I had come to Cuba with an American group and I would be leaving with them. That meant I’d have to spend my last night in Cuba speaking English. My friend Tania wasn’t staying at the hotel, but she had left me her telephone number at her mother’s house so I could arrange to meet her at the airport in the early morning hours. I felt imprisoned by the English language. For the time being, I had no...

    • FROM EL LIBRO REGALADO (pp. 80-84)
      EMILIO BEJEL
    • FINDING WHAT HAD BEEN LOST IN PLAIN VIEW (pp. 85-95)
      ESTER REBECA SHAPIRO ROK

      As an adolescent in Hollywood, Florida, of the late 1960s, captive in the confining cocoon of my Cuban Jewish Polish shtetl family, I longed to enjoy the greater personal freedom so taken for granted by my unencumbered friends and peers. At that time I began to have recurrent dreams of bridges. In one of these series of dreams I would be driving or walking on a road and would reach a body of water traversed by an apparently sturdy bridge of metal pilings and cement connecting to land visible on the other side. Sometimes the body of water seemed small,...

    • NOTHING LOST WILL COME BACK WITH THE RAIN (pp. 96-97)
      VICTOR FOWLER CALZADA
    • REPAIRING THINGS (pp. 98-101)
      ROSA LOWINGER

      Before I went back to Cuba, I had little idea of what there was in the way of art, architecture and museum collections, the things that form the basis of my work in the United States. For me, Cuba was the place we left when I was a child. It was a place of sadness, of loss, a place once beautiful and full of promise that was now in a rubble of disrepair. As an art conservator my job is to repair things. Yet Cuba was my parents' domain, part of a distant past they did not long for anymore....

    • “. . . AND THERE IS ONLY MY IMAGINATION WHERE OUR HISTORY SHOULD BE”: AN INTERVIEW WITH CRISTINA GARCIA (pp. 102-114)
      IRAIDA H. LÓPEZ

      Cristina Garcia was a finalist for the 1992 National Book Award forDreaming in Cuban.Michiko Kakutani described it inThe New York Timesas a “completely original novel. It announces the debut of a writer, blessed with a poet’s ear for language . . . . “Thulani Davis called it “a jewel of a first novel” and welcomed her work as “the latest sign that American literature has its own hybrid offspring of the Latin American school.”

      The novel focuses on the lives of three generations of Cuban women. The matriarch of the family, Celia del Pino, fully supports...

    • BRIDGES OF THE HEART (pp. 115-121)
      PABLO ARMANDO FERNÁNDEZ

      Ever since the appearance in 1984 of Dulce Maria Loynaz’sPoesías escogidas(Selected Poems;Havana: Letras Cubanas), I have been tempted to review this long-awaited yet unexpected first Cuban edition. Only one of her books,Versos,had been published before in Cuba, in 1938. Two new generations of Cubans now have in their hands the work of one of our most illustrious poets.

      I first encountered her work in the anthology compiled by Cintio Vitier,Cincuenta años de poesía cubana, 1902-1952(Havana, 1952). But it was in 1956, on a visit to Cuba and charged with bringing the writer an...

    • ANA MENDIETA (pp. 122-124)
      NANCY MOREJÓN
    • BEFORE A MIRROR (pp. 125-126)
      NANCY MOREÓN
    • A CHRONICLE THAT SWOONS BEFORE THE IMMIGRANT TREE (pp. 127-128)
    • TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH NANCY MOREJÓN (pp. 129-139)
      RUTH BEHAR and LUCÍA SUÁREZ

      Nancy Morejón, one of Cuba’s most prominent poets, was born in 1944 and studied Language and French Literature at the University of Havana. In addition to being the author of several books of essays and poetry, she has also worked as a journalist and translator of poetry from French and English. Her poetic works includeMutismos(Silences), 1962;Amor, ciudad atribuida(Love, Attributed City), 1964;Richard traio su flauta(Richard Brought His Flute), 1967;Paraies de una ipoca(Parameters of an Epoch), 1979;Elogio de la danza(In Praise of Dance), 1982;Cuadernos de Granada(Grenada Notebook), 1984; and Piedra...

    • VERRAZANO-NARROWS BRIDGE (pp. 140-141)
      JESÚS J. BARQUET
    • FRAGMENTS FROM CUBAN NARRATIVES (pp. 142-158)
      EDUARDO APARICIO

      El historial personal de cada uno de los cubanos que vivimos en los Estados Unidos es mayormente desconocido, no se ha hecho escuchar y, por lo general, yace sumido bajo un manto de presunciones erroneas. Todo cubano sabe que no formamos un grupo social o etnico monolitico. Las personas que se ofrecieron a ser fotografiadas hacen ver, a pequeiia escala, la gran diversidad de la poblacion cubana en los Estados Unidos, segun diferencias de generacion, clase social y opiniones politicas. Tambien representan diferentes olas migratorias y diferentes regiones de origen.

      Si bien es cierto que como cubanos fuera de Cuba...

  6. Part 2: RUPTURE I RUPTURA
    • THE CIRCLE OF CONNECTIONS: ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF CUBA-U.S. RELATIONS (pp. 161-179)
      LOUIS A. PÉREZ JR.

      In the days just after the war of independence, Liborio was alone in the cane field, still cutting as others ate their meager lunch. He chopped through a row of cane to discover God, sitting in an expensive white suit on a little stool, the type colonos used when they stopped to survey their property.

      “Buenos días, Liborio,” said God. “I have come to see how my cubanos are doing.”

      Liborio stood with his clothes soaked with sweat, his hands cracked and bleeding, his feet bare and filthy. He stuck his machete into the ground, spit out the piece of...

    • EPISTLE TO JOSE LUIS FERRER (FROM HAVANA TO MIAMI) (pp. 180-183)
      JORGE LUIS ARCOS

      Jose, I am dazzled less often with every passing day

      It is the child heading off toward an incomprehensible classroom

      A time in which one begins to mistrust appearances

      So that a young woman’s beauty seems intolerably suspicious

      “It is the voice of Satan, weeping over the world,” says Hallach, a Muslim theologian

      “Satan is condemned to love what will pass away, therefore he weeps,” comments Louis Massignon

      Now I understand that the past that I mythify was a threshold

      We didn’t know how to read it, and all we have left now is the belated melancholy of rereading

      Diaspora,...

    • FROM MY NAME (A FAMILY ANTI-ELEGY) (pp. 184-188)
      EXCILIA SALDAÑA
    • CUBANS INSIDE AND OUTSIDE: DIALOGUE AMONG THE DEAF (pp. 189-196)
      PATRICIA BOERO

      My first memory of Cuba was probably drawn from a 1953 photograph I saw of myself surrounded by my Cuban aunts and grandfather on a hot Havana afternoon. I was too young to remember, barely one year old. That was the last time my mother saw her family. After the revolution, she could not go back. She had married a foreigner in 1948, but after 1959 all those who lived outside automatically became suspect and could not obtain visas or passports easily. Also, my father was a diplomat from Uruguay, a country that broke off relations with Cuba, as did...

    • DANGERS OF SPEAKING AND STAYING QUIET. LANGUAGE OF SILENCE (pp. 197-197)
      MARILYN BOBES
    • EL DIARIO DE MIRANDA / MIRANDA’S DIARY (pp. 198-216)
      COCO FUSCO

      Americans often ask me why Cubans, exiled or at home, are so passionate about Cuba, why our discussions are so polarized, and why our emotions are so raw, after thirty-four years. My answer is that we are always fighting with the people we love the most. That intensity is the result of tremendous repression and forced separation that affect all people who are ethnically Cuban, wherever they reside. Official policies on both sides collude to make exchange practically impossible. Public debate is extremely limited in the United States and on the island. Only extreme positions get attention; any other stance...

    • THIRD OPTIONS: BEYOND THE BORDER (pp. 217-225)
      MADELINE CÁMARA

      The point of view of this text is fluid. At times it turns to what the social sciences call “participant observation.” Many of the attitudes and traits of the generation of Cuban intellectuals analyzed here were shared by the author, whether in conversation or through active participation. In addition, I have attempted to use personal memories, as well as information taken from recent publications, to recreate the historical and cultural context from which this generation emerged. I aim to elaborate a possible conceptual framework through speculative thought, along with a dose of subjectivity, for as a feminist I value the...

    • MY KEY (pp. 225-225)
      YANAI MANZOR
    • GRANDMOTHER’S NIGHT (pp. 226-228)
      SONIA RIVERA-VALDÉS

      It had been a bad day. I went to bed feeling like a rag doll empty of rags. My energy had left me after the absurd argument during morning coffee. I spent the entire day trying to recover it, but it wouldn’t come back. Strangely for me, I went to bed feeling very sleepy.

      I was falling asleep when all of a sudden I remembered my grandmother Estefania, the only one of my grandparents I had ever met, my father’s mother. I saw myself at the beach house in Santa Fe where I used to live, getting ready to travel...

    • SOIL (pp. 229-229)
      CARILDA OLIVER LABRA
    • AFTER PAPA . . . (pp. 230-231)
    • CONTRADICTIONS, PLURALISM, AND DIALOGUE: AN INTERVIEW WITH RENÉ VÁZQUEZ DÍAZ (pp. 232-240)
      ELENA M. MARTÍNEZ and RENÉ VÁZQUEZ NÍAZ

      René Vázquez Díaz was born in Caibarién, Cuba, in 1952 and now lives in Sweden where he is a journalist. In addition to La eraimaginaria(Montesinos 1987),Querido traidor,andLa isla del cundeamor(forthcoming), Vazquez Diaz has published two books of stories,La precocidad de los tiemposandTambor de medianoche.He has done a number of translations, among themViaies del sueño y la fantasía(Montesinos 1989) of the Swedish writer Artur Lundkvist.

      MARTÍNEZ:La era imaginariaincludes many reflections upon the power of language and the relationship of language and ideologies. One of the characters points...

    • GOD DOESN’T HELP US (pp. 241-243)
      SENEL PAZ

      Sometimes it isn't just a little shower. It pours and thunders like the world doesn't have anything better to do, and the wind blows. The house doesn’t know which way to tilt and it seems like there's lots of women dancing on the rooftop. If you cover and uncover your ears the rain saysguao, guao,which is the name of a plant that makes you all itchy.

      —I don’t know the city, Elia, and I don’t care. I’ve never left this province and I’ve never even gone as far as Santa Clara, but Estela is a peasant girl...

    • STRANGE PLANET Excerpts from The Moviemaker (pp. 244-252)
      ELÍAS MIGUEL MUNOZ

      We welcomed our Cuban guest with a Pinos Verdes feast: cholesterol-free scrambled eggs, high-fiber toast with margarine and sugar-free jelly, strips of imitation bacon, a tall glass of seedless orange juice and a cup of decaffeinated Mixwell sweetened with Ultrasweet.

      “All this food for breakfast” said Estela, as she nibbled at some of the offerings. “Cminta comidal” she exclaimed after every other bite, eating to her heart's content.

      My hungry grandmother, “Abuela,” was here for one month; not enough time to show her the entire Southland, I thought, but we’d at least be able to explore the world-famous places.¹ tried...

    • AS IF IN A GAME (pp. 252-252)
      ROBERTO VALERO

      The lands of the sea were his name and his dreams were complicated tattoos. Once he discovered the clouds knitting letters but they were scattered, they couldn’t say anything. He would have preferred that they had spelled the word love, or sadness, or the silly word poetry, but the clouds never went to school. That is why the road is his day, and no one knows the night. We are born alone and God takes us along in perpetual solitude. There is a first kiss that we will not remember,

      and the last good-bye,

      who suspects it?

      Who dares to...

    • PERFORMATIVE IDENTITIES: SCENES BETWEEN TWO CUBAS (pp. 253-266)
      LILLIAN MANZOR-COATS

      Indeed, Cuba’s “exile” is not only peculiar but rather anachronistic for this end of the twentieth century. Anachronistic, as well, are theories about a Cuban culture which has been and continues to be drastically split into two: the one produced “there,” in the island, and the one produced “here” in the U.S. Cuban colony (la colonia “usano-cuabana”).¹ In this essay I present an approximation to one aspect of that split cultural production: the theater or theaters of this island-colony. I will read two plays,The Last Guantanameraby California-based Elias Miguel Muñoz, andLa catedral del helado(The Ice Cream...

    • RADISHES (pp. 267-280)
      ROBERTO C. FERNÁNDEZ

      Mrs. James B. beeped the horn of her 1956 Chevy, threw the shift in park, and turned off the engine. She flipped the radio dial and tuned in to the Mighty Voice of the Glades. The Country Hit Parade was on and she began tapping the wheel with her knuckles and the gas pedal with her foot to the rhythm of “Foolin’ Around,” sung by Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, as she waited for Nellie to appear on the front porch. She turned on the small battery fan that rested on top of the dashboard. The Chevy’s windows were rolled...

    • A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN CUBAN MIAMI: REFLECTIONS ON THE MEANING OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT AND CULTURAL CHANGE (pp. 281-292)
      JUAN LEON

      Perhaps nowhere more than in Miami do elements of developed and developing worlds so incongruously come together: skyscrapers and guavas, credit cards and Carnival. Miami is the cruise ship capital of the world and this nation’s most active refugee center. It is a city of jubilant escapists, tragedies, and striking discrepancies: American blacks, indispensable to the modern foundations of Miami, continue to put in more hours working in the luxury liners and hotels than patronizing them. Haitians, citizens of the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, live close to the offices of American bankers. Cubans, heirs to the first socialist revolution in...

    • LANDSCAPES OF THE MIND (pp. 292-292)
      CARLOTA CAULFIELD
    • SUNDAY (pp. 293-294)
      ACHY OBEJAS
    • ELISA, OR THE PRICE OF DREAMS (pp. 295-299)
      RITA MARTÍN

      She already knew the reason for everything. The house stood among the various hills. The house. The hills. Hills of the ancestors. She: the youngest daughter of the eldest. The sister: I will look after her. The others: we want to play. The reddish-brown curls, almost blond, came together in rhythmic locks receiving her laughter. The air: the only real substance even if one were sure of the earth. Three neighbors: Petrona, Petrila, and Petronila: Let her be beautiful.

      Let her be good.

      Let her be worthy.

      Let her be herself.

      Let her be alive.

      Let her not die.

      How...

    • RECENT CUBAN ART: A PORTFOLIO (pp. None)
    • POEM FOR THE WOMAN WHO TALKS TO HERSELF IN THE PARK (pp. 300-301)
      LINA DE FERIA
    • THE WALL (pp. 302-302)
      MARÍA ELENA CRUZ VARELA
  7. Part 3: REMEMBERING I RECUERDOS
    • BETWEEN NIGHTFALL AND VENGEANCE: REMEMBERING REINALDO ARENAS (pp. 305-313)
      ABILIO ESTÉVEZ

      When I first met Reinaldo Arenas, one afternoon toward the end of 1976, I had not yet read his work. I seem to remember a classmate of mine from the University of Havana taking me to Arenas's room in the Hotel Monserrate. The hotel stood (and stands) on the street of the same name, behind the Havana Institute of Secondary Education (where Marti had studied), near the Capitolio and Central Park, in the boisterous and crazy heart of the city. The hotel was in a deplorable state, yet you could tell it had known more sumptuous days, with its wrought-iron...

    • LUNCH (pp. 314-315)
      JOSÉ KOZER
    • VIGÍA: THE ENDLESS PUBLICATIONS OF MATANZAS (pp. 316-322)
      MARÍA EUGENIA ALEGRÍA, ROLANDO ESTÉVEZ and ALFREDO ZALDÍVAR

      With few resources, almost no official sponsorship, without funds, and almost without paper, a new editorial house has surfaced in the city of Matanzas. On the banks of the San Juan River, across from the old Plaza de Armas, on the second floor of an old colonial house in the city’s Vigia plaza, is this wonder of Cuban publishing. The center of activity is a vast tiled room; the only things serving as decor are a couple of tables, two enormous antique barometers hanging from the walls, clippings of paper once discarded after being used for commercial or industrial purposes,...

    • THREE MAMBOS AND A SON MONTUNO (pp. 323-326)
      GUSTAVO PÉREZ FIRMAT

      “Lost in translation”: take it literally, turn phrase to fact, transform the commonplace into a place. Then try to imagine where you end up if you get lost in translation.

      When I try to visualize such a place, I see myself, on a given Saturday afternoon, in the summer, somewhere in Miami. Since I'm thirsty, I go into a store called Love Juices, which specializes in nothing more salacious or salubrious than mild shakes made from tropical fruits. Having quenched my thirst, I head for a boutique called Mr. Trapus, whose name–trapo–is actually the Spanish word for an...

    • FROM GOING UNDER: A CUBAN-AMERICAN FABLE (pp. 327-338)
      VIRGIL SUAREZ

      XAVIER CUEVAS found himself stuck in bumper-to-bumper expressway traffic. The lunch time rush hour in Miami. Exasperated, he changed lanes, taking chances in his 240GL Volvo. An accident, he suspected, cutting to the right-hand lane where the dense traffic moved at a faster pace.Coagulate,the word came to his mind.Undo this coagulation!

      Xavier, the young-urban Cuban-American. The YUCA, the equivalent of yuppie. Business at hand at all times. In haste, no time to waste. Twenty-four hours a day not being enough time. Seven days a week. No time to rest, for in this magic city of Miami, The...

    • “FRONTERISLEÑA,” BORDER ISLANDER (pp. 339-344)
      ELIANA S. RIVERO

      I remember one day in the summer of 1979 gazing out my kitchen window in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and looking clearly across the border. Around this part of the country, where light shines down perpendicular and blinding, one can literally see forever on a clear day. As I watched the landscape across my back yard, I could see the Cerro San Jose and the little white houses and tilled fields perched on its foothills: this was Naco, Sonora, on the windy and dusty border across from Naco, Arizona, a loose collection of homes and businesses lodged on the invisible line...

    • CUBANS AND AIRPORTS (pp. 345-347)
      TEOFILO F. RUIZ

      I confess! I suffer from a terrible compulsion. For a long time I have refused to see the signs and all the while my malady has grown more intense. Now I cannot deny the awful truth. Please, allow me to explain.

      After I arrived in the United States, I soon began to realize how airports are always crowded with Cubans and other Latin Americans. If a relative or friend is flying away on vacation, even if it is just for a week or two, usually from the New York metropolitan area to Miami, it does not matter if he or...

    • KNOTS IN THE HANDKERCHIEF (pp. 347-347)
      ERNESTO SANTANA
    • IN THE WAY OF FORTUNE (pp. 348-348)
      GEORGINA HERRERA
    • SEA’S PATH (pp. 349-349)
      MINERVA SALADO
    • PILGRIMS OF THE DAWN (pp. 350-351)
      MIGUEL BARNET
    • CARNAVAL (pp. 352-366)
      CARMELITA TROPICANA and UZI PARNES

      Carnaval is a work in progress. Book and lyrics by Carmelita Tropicana and Uzi Parnes. Music by Fernando Rivas. Carnaval was presented at Performance Space 122 and at INTAR as a staged reading with funding from NEA in March 1993. The following is an excerpt.

      Carmelita Tropicana, a low rent Carmen Miranda, is in New York City’s lower east side, in a basement with a boiler. She is sitting at a table, dejected, imitating Goya’s lithograph: The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. Her speech is underscored by flamenco music.

      It is the best of times; it is the worst of...

    • PILGRIMAGE TO FRANCE: THE CUBAN PAINTERS (pp. 367-373)
      LOURDES GIL

      Human beings have always felt the need to read signs in the coarse surface of rocks or in the spirals of clouds, such as the vertical clouds often seen in the Caribbean. Ramón Alejandro calls them Solomonic columns; he envisions them laden with knowledge as well as moisture, the imaginary support of a celestial vault.¹

      We are stirred by the hidden meaning of unexpected affinities, by the multiple times and places converging on an unseen point. And it may be that to interpret the capricious arrangements of numbers or recurring dreams, to ascribe an ominous significance to the cyclical patterns...

    • MOVING (pp. 374-375)
      MIRTHA N. QUINTANALES
    • MY LIFE WITH FIDEL CASTRO: A SOAP OPERA WITHOUT TRANSMITTER (pp. 376-388)
      ALAN WEST
    • THE ISLANDS (pp. 389-390)
      REINA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
    • LETTER TO A WOMAN FRIEND (pp. 390-390)
    • EL FUEGO (pp. 391-393)
      AMANDO FERNÁNDEZ
    • QUEER TIMES IN CUBA (pp. 394-415)
      RUTH BEHAR

      Niurka takes my sweaty palm into her own beautifully manicured hands and together the two of us push through the crowd. Gracefully, she weaves us both around to the center of the Cine Chaplin and we leap upon two perfect seats facing the screen. In the blink of an eye, every seat around us fills up. Suddenly, someone yells, “Get up, old guy, don’t you see that seat isn’t yours?” Hundreds of people stop their conversations to watch and listen. “iMira, una bronca!” someone says. The man in the seat refuses to budge. “He took the girlfriend's seat! What nerve!...

    • TWO FIGURES ON A BRIDGE (pp. 416-416)
      ZAIDA DEL RÍO
  8. AUTHORS (pp. 417-420)
  9. ARTISTS (pp. 421-424)

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