The twentieth-century Cuban poet Virgilio Piñera was both a radical and rebellious writer who wrote against the national discourses of his time. In his acclaimed poem La isla en peso Piñera challenges the Neobaroque discourse of Cuban identity by describing Cuba as 'insular' rather than innovative. The following article argues that La isla en peso, like a prophetic letter, seems to have foreseen seventy years earlier what the modern literary critic Abraham Acosta has recently described as a "threshold of illiteracy," that is, a disruption or illiterate interference of one's critical reading by exposing the contradictions of cultural nationalism. According to Acosta when the questions of cultural identity and difference are indistinguishable, an illiteracy emerges preventing one to read or discern into the ideological assertions of cultural and national identities. Piñera, as this article contends, provides through his poetry an early example of illiteracy by exposing the cultural discrepancy of national identity.
Cruikshank, Stephen A..
"Poetic Illiteracy and Cultural Insularity: The Crisis of Cultural Nationalism in Virgilio Piñera's La Isla en Peso."
The Quiet Corner Interdisciplinary Journal,
Available at: http://digitalcommons.uconn.edu/tqc/vol1/iss2/4