Virgilio Piñera’ Centenary in Venice
In a year during which some of the most leading figures in Latin American literature were celebrated on their centenary of their birth, (Julio Cortázar, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, Octavio Paz), I would like to remember a belated centenary, due to a real “rebirth” in the cultural and literary Cuban scene. I’m going to propose an excellent cuban writer, Virgilio Piñera (1912-1979), who become the subject of growing critical and popular attention in recent years. His singular stories – or better still, his whole existential adventure – answer to a deep-rooted obsession with authenticity, that insidious zone where each character and situation denude his author and the ghosts tormenting him. His writing, being a continuous paradox, is the instrument trough which he wants to fight the trivial and the meaningless. His troublesome literary voice was reconsidered after his death, and his first official centenary, in his native country, was commemorated only three years ago, in 2012.