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Castration

Lorna Scott Fox

24 November 1994
Mea Cuba 
by G. Cabrera Infante, translated by Kenneth Hall.
Faber, 497 pp., £17.50, October 1994, 0 571 17255 5
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Before Night Falls 
by Reinaldo Arenas, translated by Dolores Koch.
Viking, 317 pp., £16, July 1994, 0 670 84078 5
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... and a readable piece on that fine but little-known writer Calvert Casey. Cabrera does praise Reinaldo Arenas, ‘the chronicler of a country ruled not by the already impotent Fidel Castro, but by sex’. He has to, because Arenas was also a rabid anti-Castrist, with an unhappy life on one margin after ...
19 June 1986
The Old Gringo 
translated by Margaret Sayers Peden and Carlos Fuentes, by Carlos Fuentes.
Deutsch, 199 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 233 97862 3
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Where the air is clear 
by Carlos Fuentes, translated by Sam Hileman.
Deutsch, 376 pp., £4.95, June 1986, 0 233 97937 9
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Farewell to the Sea 
by Reinaldo Arenas, translated by Andrew Hurley.
Viking, 412 pp., £12.95, May 1986, 0 670 52960 5
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Digging up the mountains 
by Neil Bissoondath.
Deutsch, 247 pp., £8.95, May 1986, 0 233 97851 8
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... suggests that Fuentes might well find black comedy a congenial new territory. Born in 1943, Reinaldo Arenas is one of the expelled Marielitos who came over to the US in 1980. Farewell to the Sea is a massive extract from a five-part work in progress whose final scale will be Himalayan. It is subtitled ‘A Novel of Cuba’. In fact, it might more ...

Diary

Elisa Segrave: On the Pier at Key West

18 April 1996
... her companion. On the flight to Gatwick, I am rereading Before Night Falls, the autobiography of Reinaldo Arenas – it is full of accounts of humiliation at the hands of the Cuban Government. It describes the public ‘confession’ of the poet Heberto Padilla, who after thirty days in detention denounced friends, fellow writers and even his wife for ...
4 June 1981
... It was full circle for Jose Lezama Lima: from vanity publishing to vanishing print. Then came Reinaldo Arenas, who looked a little bit like Lezama and a little bit like Padilla with a red head. He has read enough books to be able to spell trouble. Arenas (whose name means sands) was the only Cuban novelist who ...

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