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ISBN NFT: 9788411268332
Illustrated rustic ISBN: 9788490079430
Typographic rustic ISBN: 9788490076996

More than a novel, Paradiso, by José Lezama Lima, is a poetic art. This book tells the story of a Cuban family in Havana. While, in turn, it runs on what poetry, literature and spiritual history is for Lezama Lima.
Paradiso suffered the attack and censorship of Castro’s critics who accused it of being a “hermetic, morbid and pornographic” novel. The prosecution noted that Chapter VIII had overly explicit sex scenes.
However, to describe Paradiso (1966) only as a pornographic novel is quite unfair and does not correspond to the magnitude of this first great fictionalized creation by José Lezama Lima.
The interest of the play is not limited to the action played by the characters. There is also a suggestive language in the story and deep philosophical and poetic debates, which the narrator-author spreads throughout the work.
As far as literary genre is concerned, Paradiso is a plural work composed of novel, poem and essay.
The novel revolves around three essential axes:

  • the family,
  • Love
  • and the concept of art as a saving and redemptive element.

The plot of the work, the childhood and youth of José Cemí, has an evident autobiographical root that originates and determines all his development.
Paradiso is a labyrinthine work of art, its reading stuns at times and leads to discouragement. However, there is something about this cult book that makes even its most incomprehensible passages a mystery that surrounds us.
It would be dishonest to say that it is an easy book to read. However, the readers of Paradiso cannot resist the temptation to share this book, a jewel of Latin American Baroque.
In this regard, it seems appropriate and encouraging to quote one of the first and most enthusiastic defenders of Paradiso, Julio Cortázar:

“Where do I stick my head out to breathe, frantic of drowning, after this deep swim of six hundred and seventeen pages?” asked Julio Cortázar. “Reading Lezama,” he continues, “is one of the most arduous and often irritating tasks that can occur. The perseverance demanded by the Cuban teacher is rare, even among “specialists.”

Editor’s Note

This edition of Paradiso includes 315 notes.
We refer to those words that, due to their ambiguity, family or local character, are almost impossible to find in the dictionary of an ebook reader.
We have based ourselves on the text established by Cintio Vitier in 1988, after having contrasted the original manuscripts, and the first editions.
References to Origen, the magazine in which the first passages of Paradiso appeared, are indicated by a letter O.
To refer to the first edition, Havana, Ediciones Unión, 1966, we use the letter U.
For the edition revised by Lezama, in the care of Julio Cortazar and Carlos Monsiváis, Mexico, Biblioteca Era, 1968, we use the letter E.
We use the initials E. L. L. to indicate the notes of Eloísa Lezama Lima, sister of Lezama, in its edition, Madrid, Cátedra, 1980.
We indicate “According to Lezama”, always before the passage in question, when we quote notes of the author from his notebooks and other personal writings.
We refer to our own editions in cases where Lezama refers to titles published by Linkgua Ediciones.


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Rústica tipográfica148 mm210 mm
Rústica ilustrada149 mm210 mm
Tapa dura152 mm228 mm