Writing between Evasion and Escape: Escapism and Prison Writing in Reinaldo Arenas’s Arturo, la estrella más brillante
Modern Language Review
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Wilson-Nunn, O. (2022). Writing between Evasion and Escape: Escapism and Prison Writing in Reinaldo Arenas’s Arturo, la estrella más brillante. Modern Language Review https://doi.org/10.1353/mlr.2022.0118
In studies of prison writing, escapism is typically viewed either as a necessary tool of relief and personal transformation or, more critically, as a practice that is easily co-opted by the disciplinary logic of rehabilitation. In this article I trouble this dichotomy, proposing a nuanced way of approaching escapism through an analysis of dissident Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas’s experimental novella Arturo, la estrella más brillante (1984). Focusing on the context of forced labour camps (UMAP) in revolutionary Cuba, I dwell on the complex negotiations between momentary evasion and transcendental escape that result from escapism for both writers and readers.
Research for an earlier version of this text was made possible thanks to a Baillie Gifford Cambridge UK Masters Scholarship and I wrote the final piece supported by a scholarship from The Wolfson Foundation.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1353/mlr.2022.0118
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/337626
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