The American Expression

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ISBN NFT: 9788411269384 Illustrated paperback ISBN: 9788411269797 Hardcover ISBN: 9788411261272

In The American Expression José Lezama Lima exposes his vision of the New World and the culture born there. This book establishes the foundations of a new continental aesthetic, premonitory of magical realism and of many of the literary conquests of the writers of the so-called Latin American Boom. Here the new myths and terrors of the continent are a way out of what, in Lezama’s opinion, is:

“Terrible complex of the American: to believe that his expression is not an attained form, but problematism, something to be solved. Sweaty and inhibited by such presumptuous complexes, he seeks in autochthony the luxury that was denied him, and cornered between that smallness and the mirage of European achievements, he reviews his data, but has forgotten the essential, that the plasma of his autochthony, is earth like that of Europe.

Below author exposes his poetics:

“The only thing that creates culture is the landscape and we have that as a master monstrosity, without the fatigue of critical twilights running through us.”

The American Expression includes five lectures given by the Cuban writer José Lezama Lima (1910-1976) at the center of higher studies of the National Institute of Culture in Havana in January 1957. It includes the following lectures:

  • I. Myths and classical fatigue
  • II. Baroque curiosity
  • III. Romanticism and the American Fact
  • IV. Birth of the Creole expression
  • V. Critical sums of the American

This book is all a poetic invention of America and American. Lezama Lima achieves not an artistic reconstruction of history but something even more ambitious, the poetic creation of the American. America goes from being an object or subject of meditation to becoming a poetic reality.

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