Lydia Cabrera and the Construction of an Afro-Cuban Cultural Identity (review)

Lydia Cabrera and the Construction of an Afro-Cuban Cultural Identity (review) Journal of American Folklore123(2010) mission of cultural tales over time and space. Certainly the evidence suggests that Cabrera received these tales in a particular period and circumstance, so the tales do not duplicate stories from the homeland but reveal meaningful referents in the new country. Ortiz asserts, "This collection of stories opens a new chapter in Cuban folk literature" (p. xv). In her introduction to the English edition, Isabel Castellanos offers another perspective on Cabrera's tales. She remarks on Cabrera's privileged background as an upper-class white woman with the means to study in France. Nonetheless, Cabrera's curiosity led her to explore the nuanced background of her native Cuba and to openly engage with individuals outside her color and class. With Ortiz's guidance, that curiosity drove her to collect this assortment of tales. Castellanos states that the tales are not always simply collected but often are Cabrera's inventions, deeply informed by Afro-Cuban antecedents (p. x). In short, Castellanos argues that Cabrera is faithful to the worldview of her informants, but she "juggles" the details. Such arguments torture the work itself and bring its authenticity into question. The gaps among the informant's discourse, the ethnographer's notes, the transcription into French http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of American Folklore American Folklore Society

Lydia Cabrera and the Construction of an Afro-Cuban Cultural Identity (review)

Journal of American Folklore, Volume 123 (488) – Apr 11, 2010

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Publisher
American Folklore Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Folklore Society
ISSN
1535-1882
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Journal of American Folklore123(2010) mission of cultural tales over time and space. Certainly the evidence suggests that Cabrera received these tales in a particular period and circumstance, so the tales do not duplicate stories from the homeland but reveal meaningful referents in the new country. Ortiz asserts, "This collection of stories opens a new chapter in Cuban folk literature" (p. xv). In her introduction to the English edition, Isabel Castellanos offers another perspective on Cabrera's tales. She remarks on Cabrera's privileged background as an upper-class white woman with the means to study in France. Nonetheless, Cabrera's curiosity led her to explore the nuanced background of her native Cuba and to openly engage with individuals outside her color and class. With Ortiz's guidance, that curiosity drove her to collect this assortment of tales. Castellanos states that the tales are not always simply collected but often are Cabrera's inventions, deeply informed by Afro-Cuban antecedents (p. x). In short, Castellanos argues that Cabrera is faithful to the worldview of her informants, but she "juggles" the details. Such arguments torture the work itself and bring its authenticity into question. The gaps among the informant's discourse, the ethnographer's notes, the transcription into French

Journal

Journal of American FolkloreAmerican Folklore Society

Published: Apr 11, 2010

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