Face to Screen
“Authentic” is how Reinaldo Arenas’s desire for liberation has been frequently described, in part, because of the depiction of individual experiences and expressions of beauty in his writings, which are often discordant with a model of collective experience that is upheld by the familiar and national spheres. Nevertheless, examining the manner that Arenas’s writing renders a Cuban legacy as it also legitimizes links with other parts of the world complicates the characterization of its author as authentic. It is also possible to see this same “authenticity” as obliging Arenas into a cosmopolitanism particularly nuanced by his continued entanglement with Cuba. On a certain level, engaging cosmopolitanism with respect to Arenas emerges from a card dealt to him by the revolution whose influence on his formation was extensive. As a becado, an agricultural accounting student on scholarship at the University of Havana, Arenas was able to move from Holguín to Havana. His first residence in the city was nearby the university at the Hotel Habana Libre that, before the revolution, was called the Habana Hilton. Undoubtedly, his foray into the capital at the height of revolutionary enthusiasm had an immense impact upon his version of cosmopolitanism.
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