Author: Yvette Fuentes (Ph.D.)
Source: Ponencia en Encuentro Internacional sobre Creación y Exilio: Con Cuba en la distancia (España, 2003).
In this novel, an amalgam of the fantastic and crude realism, Chaviano directly and indirectly inserts and appropriates works from the Cuban Canon. In this way, Chaviano questions and reinterprets official Cuban history, both of the Revolution and the Republic, and simultaneously exposes the masculine and patriarchal discourses that have dominated the nation. Most striking is the way in which Chaviano achieves this, through the adoption and appropriation of the counterpoint as a literary technique. [...] If indeed el punto guajiro represents the most well known popular Cuban counterpoint, the work of Fernando Ortiz, Contrapunteo cubano del tabaco y el azúcar, is the best example of the intellectual counterpoint, precisely because of its textual nature. [...] In El hombre, la hembra y el hambre, Chaviano returns to Ortiz's work and to the counterpoint to present us with two Cuban men, two cubanazos, who compete with another for the word and for the same woman. One can argue, then, that Chaviano appropriates the Cuban tradition of the counterpoint on various levels. (Complete text in PDF).
Translated by the author. To consult the original lecture, go to the Spanish side.