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Postorigenista Poetry

The poems I discuss in this section are examples of what, following James Buckwalter-Arias’s denomination for contemporary fiction, I call postorigenista poetics.15 They present the same symptom: a belief in the loss of the word and of memory. They also share a double debt: to the writing of Jose Lezama Lima, on the one hand, and to the conversationalist poetry of the seventies, on the other. Postorigenista poetics draws its complexity, furthermore, from its refusal of the limits of this double legacy and from its melancholic and obsessive fixation on the past. The works of Pedro Marques de Armas and Juan Carlos Flores are those in which the postorigenista symptoms of post-Soviet Cuba reveal themselves with greatest intensity and pain. They also show the emotional web in which the young people of this generation found themselves caught, in both their attraction to paradigms that had led them to the search for a national identity and their desire to reject these paradigms. This is why neither of these two poets abandoned the trope of the island, behind which hid the anxiety-filled question of national identity. In this sense, I disagree with Rolando Sanchez Mejias’s view that the poetics of these authors do not speak from what he calls “the Origin or the nostalgic pathos for the Island and its past” (Sanchez Mejias 1995, 7). On the contrary, Marques de Armas and Flores display a deep concern with the quest for a reestablished memory.

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