Fernando Ortiz: Counterpoint and Transculturation

  • Enrico Mario Santí
Part of the New Directions in Latino American Cultures book series (NDLAC)


One of the challenges facing the future of Cultural Studies is the coherence between conceptual tools and objects of research. That an incongruity between theory and object should have emerged in such a relatively new field was to be expected, perhaps, for in little more than its two decades’ worth the field has struggled to develop a vocabulary of its own while also reining in proliferating agendas. Unlike Psychoanalysis or Gender Studies, which inherited methodologies that new strategies could work through polemically, this discipline has taken on the unenviable dual task of inventing critical tools while targeting objects that have been as varied as they are elusive.The challenge appears to be particularly intense in Postcolonial Studies, whose success in the Anglo-American academy, particularly its French and English Literature departments, seems all but assured, but whose spread to other cognate fields, like German, Russian, or indeed Spanish and Portuguese, has yet to parallel the same hold it enjoys on their Anglo and French counterparts.1


Sugar Industry Literary Reading Liberal Party Binary Opposition British School 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 2.
    See Public Culture, vol. 5, no. 1 (Fall 1992), 89–108; Gayatry C. Spivak, Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Towards a History of the Vanishing Present (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  2. 6.
    See Paul de Man, Blindness and Insight. Essays on the Rhetoric of Contemporary Criticism (1972; Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  3. 10.
    On this subject, what Lezama Lima called counteracting “the American inferiority-complex, as the result of sterile studies of influence that turn American writers into mere witnesses to foreign births,” see Ben A. Heller, Assimilation/Generation/Resurrection. Contrapuntal Readings in the Poetry of José Lezama Lima (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  4. 12.
    Esteban Pichardo, Pichardo Novisimo, o Diccionario provincial casi razonado de vozes y frases cubanas, ed. Esteban Rodriguez Herrera (1862; Havana: Editorial Selecta, 1953), 204.Google Scholar
  5. 13.
    See his Del canto y el tiempo (Havana: Editorial letras Cubanas, 1984), 107. For further discussions of punto, see Olavo Alén Rodriguez, Géneros musicales de Cuba. De lo afrocubano a la salsa (San Juan: Editorial Cubanacân, 1992), 108–111Google Scholar
  6. Maria Teresa Linares, “The Décima and Punto in Cuban Folklorel’ Essays on Cuban Music. North American Perspectives, ed. Peter Manuel (New York: University Press of America, 1991)Google Scholar
  7. Alexis Diaz Pimienta, Teona de la improvisación: primeras paginas para el estudio del repentismo (Oiartzun: Sendoa, 1998).Google Scholar
  8. 14.
    For discussions of Juan Ruiz’s parody, see Félix Lecoy, Recherches sur le Libro de BuenAmor (1938; Farnborough, UK: Gregg International, 1974)Google Scholar
  9. A.N. Zahareas, The Art of Juan Ruiz, Archpriest of Hita (Madrid: Estudios de Literatura Espanola, 1965)Google Scholar
  10. Dayle Seidenspinner-Nunez, The Allegory of Good Love: Parodic Perspectivism in the Libro de Buen Amor (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981).Google Scholar
  11. 19.
    My capsule biography is based on the following sources: Juan Comas and Berta Becerra, “La obra escrita de Don Fernando Ortiz,” Miscelânea (Havana: Revista Bimestre Cubana, 1955), 347–371Google Scholar
  12. Salvador Bueno, “Don Fernando Ortiz: al servicio de la ciencia y de Cuba,” Temas y personales de la literatura cubana (Havana: Union, 1964), 209–218Google Scholar
  13. Julio Le Riverend, ed., Orbita de Fernando Ortiz (Havana: Union, 1973), 4–51Google Scholar
  14. Jorge Ibarra, “La herencia cien-tifica de Fernando Ortiz,” Revista Iberoamericana, vol. 56, nos. 152–153 (1990), 139–151Google Scholar
  15. Thomas Bremer, “The Constitution of Alterity: Fernando Ortiz and the Beginnings of Latin American Ethnography in the Spirit of Italian Criminology,” Alternative Cultures in the Caribbean, ed. T. Bremer and Ulrich Fleischmann (Frankfurt: Verwuert Verlag, 1993), 119–129Google Scholar
  16. 25.
    For studies of this moment, see Ana Cairo Ballester, El Grupo Minorista y su tiempo (Havana: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, 1979)Google Scholar
  17. Carlos Ripoll, La generation de 1923 en Cuba (New York: Las Americas Publishing, 1973).Google Scholar
  18. 28.
    On this subject, see Carlos del Toro Gonzalez, Fernando Ortiz y la Institutión Hispanocubana de Cultura (Havana: Fundación Fernando Ortiz, 1996).Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    Fernando Ortiz and Rafael A. Fernádez, “Antillas,” in Geografia Universal. Description Moderna del Mundo (Barcelona: Instituto Gallach, 1933)Google Scholar
  20. Max Sorre and Fernando Ortiz, “Antillas,” in Geografia Universal, ed. Paul Vidal de la Blache and L. Gallois (Barcelona: Montaner y Simon, 1936)Google Scholar
  21. 43.
    The second edition oi Historia de la arqueologia indocubana appeared as part of Mark Harrington, Cuba antes de Colon (Havana: Cultural, 1935)Google Scholar
  22. 47.
    See Vidal de la Blache’s Principles of Human Geography, ed. Emmanuel de Martonne, trans. Millicent Todd Bingham (New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1926), 3Google Scholar
  23. 48.
    Maximilien Sorre, Rencontres de la Géographie et de la Sociologie (Paris: Librairie Marcel Rivière et Cie., 1957), 9.Google Scholar
  24. 51.
    Ortiz and Fernandez, Geografia Universal, 205. This statement comes at the end of a passage that discusses Leland H. Jenks, Our Cuban Colony (New York: Vanguard Press, 1928).Google Scholar
  25. 64.
    For a refutation of Ortiz’s Marxism, see, Julio Le Riverend, “Fernando Ortiz y su obra cubana,” in Orbita de Fernando Ortiz (Havana: Union, 1973), 38Google Scholar
  26. 66.
    On Ramirez, see Levi Marrero, Cuba: Economia y Sociedad: Azücar, Ilustracióny Conciencia (1763–1868) (Madrid: Editorial Playor, 1979) I, 153Google Scholar
  27. H. E. Friedlaender, Historia económica de Cuba (Havana: Jesus Montero, 1944), 160–161.Google Scholar
  28. 67.
    See Albert O. Hirschman, “A Generalized Linkage Approach to Development with Special Reference to Staples,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, vol. 25 (Suppl. 1977), 67–98Google Scholar
  29. Celso Furtado, The Economic Growth of Brazil, trans. R.W. de Aguiar y E.C Drysdale (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  30. 69.
    On this subject, the best discussion remains Octavio Paz, Claude Lévi-Strauss: An Introduction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1972).Google Scholar
  31. 70.
    On Functionalism, see, among other sources: Robert H. Lowie, The History of Ethnological Theory (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1937)Google Scholar
  32. Alexander Lesser, “Functionalism in Cultural Anthropology,” American Anthropologist, vol. 37 (1935), 386–393CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Adam Kuper, Anthropologists and Anthropology. The British School, 1922–1972 (London: Allen Lane, 1973), 9–12Google Scholar
  34. Marvin Harris, The Rise of Anthropological Theory. A History of Theories of Culture (New York: Columbia University Press, 1968), 514–567Google Scholar
  35. Michael W. Young, “Malinowski and the Function of Culture,” in Creating Culture, ed. Diane J. Austin-Broos (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987), 124–140Google Scholar
  36. S.N. Eizenstadt, “Functional Analysis in Anthropology and Sociology: An Interpretive Essay,” American Review of Anthropology, 19 (1990), 243–260Google Scholar
  37. Leslie A. White, The Concept of Cultural System (New York: Columbia University Press, 1975), 147–158Google Scholar
  38. Hector Tejera Gaona, “A.R. Radcliffe-Browne y el estructural-funcionalismo de la escuela de Oxford,” Boletin de Antropologia Americana, vol. 21 (1990), 129–144.Google Scholar
  39. 83.
    See Melville J. Herskovits, “Applied Anthropology and the American Anthropologists,” Science, vol. 83, no. 214 (marzo 6, 1936), 215–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 85.
    See Melville Herskovits, Man and his Works:The Science of Cultural Anthropology (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948).Google Scholar
  41. 88.
    On hybridity, see Homi Bhabha, The Location of Culture (London: Routledge, 1994)Google Scholar
  42. 89.
    Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992).Google Scholar
  43. 98.
    Severo Sarduy, “Baroque and Neobaroque,” in Latin America in its Literature, ed. César Fernandez Moreno, trans. Mary Berg (New York: Holmes and Meier, 1980).Google Scholar
  44. 100.
    See Lezama Lima’s La expresion americana, ed. Irlemar Chiampi (1957; Mexico City: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993), 83Google Scholar
  45. 101.
    See César Augusto Salgado, “Hybridity in New World Baroque Theory,” Journal of American Folklore, vol. 112 (1999), 316–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 102.
    See Fernando G. Campoamor, Biografia del ron cubano. El hijo alegre de la cana de azücar (Havana: Editorial Cientifico-Técnica, 1985).Google Scholar
  47. 103.
    See Lezama Lima, 84–85, and Gilles Deleuze, Le Pli. Leibniz et le Baroque (Paris: Minuit, 1988).Google Scholar
  48. 108.
    See Vera Leon’s “Juan Francisco Manzano: el estilo bârbaro de la nación,” Hispamérica, vol. XX, no. 60 (December 1991), 3–22.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Enrico Mario Santí 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Enrico Mario Santí

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations