Havana - Renowned Cuban essayist and poet, Roberto Fernández Retamar, would have celebrated his ninetieth birthday on June 9th.
The Havana based Casa de las Américas cultural institution, which welcomed him for long as president until his passing last year, has organized different tributes on the internet and the social media. According to a note by the institution, Retamar ... ‘left us essential texts on José Martí and on the cultural decolonization of our America and the entire South. He made Casa de las Américas magazine one of the most important in the Spanish-American world. ’
The entity reports that a specialized section under the name of Noventa Años con Roberto (Ninety years with Roberto) is available on the www.casadelasamericas.org website, where the unpublished works sent to a colloquium set to be held to mark the important event will be published, as well as the bibliography and the photo exhibition ‘Roberto in the House.’ In addition, beginning on June 9th at 10:00 a.m. Casa de las Américas Library, located on Line and G, in Vedado, will bear its name. ‘Roberto was the most faithful reader of this Library and the one who donated the most funds to it for more than 50 years. His first posthumous book, Alternativas de Ariel, is in the institution’s funds.’
The Center for Studies on Cuban National Hero José Marti (CEM) will also pay tribute on June 9 to the 90th anniversary of the birth of Fernández Retamar, who was the center’s cofounder-director and one of the intellectuals who best studied the work of José Martí. To mark the anniversary the updated Bibliography of Fernández Retamar will be available on the CEM portal (www.josemarti.cu). The Retamar works accessible on the social media through the portal cover from his first approaches to the National Hero’s work until his last contributions.
When almost all of his contemporaries lived in exile or could do nothing but feed off their own skepticism, not without reason Retamar wrote Patrias y Elegía as an anthem. He was a precursor of emancipation and decolonizing ideas, which had their highest expression in the now classic Caliban essay, from 1971, a defense of popular culture and its hegemonic values against a totally spurious concept of civilization.
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