In this essay, Roberto Fernández Retamar outlines a vision for a revolutionary American culture based in a political and intellectual history that began with José . from Caliban and Other Essays Roberto Fernandez Retamar Translated by Edward Baker Foreword by Fredric Jameson This article appeared for the first time in. On the forty-fifth anniversary of the publication of Cuban writer Roberto Fernández Retamar’s influential polemic Calibán, this essay revisits the.

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In this post we will be publishing the feernandez part of the essay: I am thinking, of course, not of scholars more or less ignorant of our problems but, on the contrary, of those who maintain a consistently anticolonialist attitude.

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The only explanation of this situation is a painful one: And I have the sad suspicion that if the extraordinary texts of Che Guevara have enjoyed the greatest dissemination ever accorded a Latin American, the fact that he is read with such avidity by our people is to a certain extent due to the prestige his name has even in the metropolitan capitals — where, to be sure, he is frequently the object of the most shameless manipulation.

For consistency in our anticolonialist attitude we fernande in effect turn to those of our people have incarnated and illustrated that attitude in their behaviour and thinking. I know of no other Latin-American author who has given so immediate and so coherent an answer to another question put to me by my interlocutor, the European journalist whom I mentioned at the beginning of these lines and whom, if he did not exist, I would have to invent, although this would havedeprived me of his friendship, which I trust will survive this monologue: But it is only right and robertk to ask what relationship we, the present inhabitants of this America in whose zoological and cultural heritage Europe has played an unquestionable part, have to the primitive inhabitants of this same America — those people who contructed or who were in the gernandez of constructing admirable cultures and who were exterminated or martyred by Europeans of various nations, about whom neither a white nor black legend can be built, only an infernal turth of blood, that, together with such deeds as the enslavement of Afircans, constitutes their eternal dishonour.


He answered it as follows: This lack of familiarity is but another proof of our subjection to the colonialist perspective fernsndez history that has been imposed on us, causing names, dates, circumstances, and truths to vanish from our consciousness. This will not be the only time he expresses such an idea, which is central to his thinking.

Again making use of such heroes, he was to repeat some time late: For this reason, the first quotation in which he speaks of feeling valiant Carib blood coursing through his veins continues as follows:. But in order not to falter because of a lack of spirit or the vanity of a false spirit, it is good also to nourish oneself through memory and admiration, through righteous study and loving compassion, on that fervent spirit of the natural surroundings in which one is born — a spirit matured and quickened by those of every race that issues from such surroundings and finds its final repose in them.

Politics and literature flourish only when they are direct.

The America intelligence is an indigenous plumage. It is not evident that America itself was paralyzed by the same blow that paralyzed the Indian? And until India is caused to walk, America itself will not begin to walk well.

Far from hampering him, that identification nutured in him the most radical and modern criteria of his time in the colonial countries.


Caliban and Other Essays — University of Minnesota Press

Natural men have conquered the artificial men of learning. Caoiban authentic mestizo has conquered the exotic Creole my emphasis ; and finally to his fundamental advice:. The European university must yeild to the American university. The history of America, from the Incas to the presentmust be taught letter perfect, even if that of the Argonauts of Greece is not taught. Our own Greece is preferable to that Greece that is not ours. We have greater need of it.

National politicians must replace foreign and exotic politicians. Graft the world onto our republics, but the trunk must be that of our republics.

And let the conquered pedant be silent: You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

Roberto Fernández Retamar

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. For this reason, the first quotation in which he xaliban of feeling valiant Carib blood coursing through his veins continues as follows: The authentic mestizo has conquered the exotic Creole my emphasis ; and finally to his fundamental advice: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Email required Address never made public.

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