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Writer of novels, memoirs, and go back and forth writings, Maria de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, greater referred to as l. a. Condesa de Merlin (1789-1852), is arguably certainly one of Cuba's most tasty authors; but previously her works have long gone principally ignored.

Born in colonial Havana to an aristocratic Creole relatives, the longer term countess of Merlin left Cuba for Spain at an early age. Later, her marriage to the French count number Antoine Christophe Merlin and the invasion of French Napoleonic troops brought on one other flow to France, the place she grew to become one of many belle dames of Paris and started her literary profession. She lower back just once to Cuba after the loss of life of her husband in 1840, a trip that produced Viaje a los angeles Habana. Upon her go back to Paris, Merlin multiplied this into La Havane, an bold three-volume account of the political, social, and fiscal association of the island.

From the perspective of feminist and psychoanalytical idea, Gender and Nationalism in Colonial Cuba brilliantly explores the numerous ways that problems with gender have contributed to Merlin's digital absence from the canons of literature and from the discourses on Cuban nationwide identification. Merlin's double id as either Cuban and French is symbolic of the Cuban exiled , a truth taken up by means of modern exiled Cuban writers who see the countess as an alter-ego.

Mendez Rodenas seeks to revive Merlin because the first lady author in Cuban literary historical past to articulate a feeling of nationwide id, in addition to being Cuba's first lady historian. She makes a speciality of Merlin's commute writings simply because they learn such concerns as slavery, independence, nationhood, the function of girls, schooling, and native literature. jointly her writings build another, gendered background of nineteenth-century Cuba that needs to be stated as either useful and authentic.

By situating Merlin on the intersection of the discourses of gender and nationalism, Mendez Rodenas finds not just her pioneering position but in addition the necessity to extend present serious different types to account for the specificity of the Latin American literary culture. within the strategy of restoring Merlin to her applicable position within the canon of Latin American literature, she broadens our figuring out of colonial Cuban heritage and expands our wisdom of the ways that commute writing can effect a country's nationwide literature .

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