José Martí: Images of Memory and Mourning is a critical study of visual representations of José Martí, the national hero of Cuba, and the discourses of power that make it possible for Martí's images to be perceived as icons today.
Emilio Bejel argues that an observer of Martí's icons who is immersed in the Cuban national narrative experiences a retrospective reconstruction of those images by means of ideologically formed national discourses of power.
Bejel shows how the obsessive reproduction of Martí's icons signals a melancholia for the loss of the martyr-hero.
Instead of attempting to "forget Martí," Bejel concludes that the utopian impulse of his memory should serve to resist melancholia and to visualize new forms of creative re-significations of Martí and, by extension, the Cuban nation.
*Book description from publisher