Liminality in Cuba's Twentieth-Century Identity: Rites of Passage and Revolutions

Stephen Fay

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This book offers an innovative and provocative analysis of the much-studied Cuban Revolution by reminding us that Fidel Castro’s was actually the second of the island’s twentieth-century revolutions. By bringing 1959 into critical communication with the revolution of 1933, the book explores Cuba’s trajectory from colony to republic to revolution, not as a linear inevitability, but as a rite of collective passage punctuated by turning points in which public debate turned to almost obsessive reflection on national ‘identity’ and national ‘destiny’. In re-reading important works of many of Cuba’s most significant intellectual and political figures, whilst also revealing little known but truly transcendental contributions to the collective narrative during both revolutionary periods, this book makes a major contribution to a more complex, nuanced and sophisticated understanding of Cuban cultural history and Cuban national identity in the twentieth century. In both periods, the book reveals revolutionary zeal challenged by dogged ambivalence, nihilism undercut by remembrance, the teleological pursuit of ‘The End’ of the national narrative displaced by ‘An End’, always and forever ‘to be continued’.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationWoodbridged, UK
Number of pages242
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2019

Publication series

PublisherBoydell & Brewer


  • cultural studies
  • Cuba, identity, liminality
  • narrative analysis


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