José Martí: Images of Memory and Mourning

Author: Emilio Bejel

Published: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012

Services: Editing, indexing

This book 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.

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.

The obsessive reproduction of Martí’s icons signals a melancholia for the loss of the martyr-hero. But 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 nation.

* Book description from publisher

Cover of Emilio Bejel's book José Martí: Images of Memory and Mourning. Cover is an oil painting by Vicente Dopico Lerner with Martí wearing a black suit and tie with yellow paint on the top part of his face

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