The Pequeñas Maniobras of Sebastian in Virgilio Piñera’s Short Stories
This article analyzes the perspective of everyday life in a society that greatly influences behavior and thinking of the main character and narrator of the novel Pequeñas Maniobras (1963), by Cuban writer Virgilio Piñera. Due to the difficulties introduced by censorship, reception of his work encountered obstacles during the author’s life and very few criticism is now available about this text. The novel offers a particular reading of life and reality that the main character, Sebastián, proposes in the first person. The elements of everyday life I will examine are those connected to the ‘no-actions’ and the ‘no-dialogues’ of the protagonist in a corrupted society, in which he feels alienated; but, at the same time and just through these behaviors, he ‘contributes’ to its development. Moreover, I will study possible parallelisms between the protagonist and the author, involved in this paradoxical social game. From a reflection on the literary genre used, including the diary, memoirs and confessions, I will show how this ‘daily exercise’ is well suited to the intentions of the writer. In addition, based on the reflections by Maurice Blanchot and Guy Debord, along with scholars who have analyzed the literary universe of Virgilio Piñera, I will examine remarkable behavioral and linguistic aspects of the protagonist in this story.