Freedom from Liberation

Freedom from Liberation : Slavery, Sentiment, and Literature in Cuba

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By exploring the complexities of enslavement in the autobiography of Cuban slave-poet Juan Francisco Manzano (1797-1854), Gerard Aching complicates the universally recognized assumption that a slave's foremost desire is to be freed from bondage. As the only slave narrative in Spanish that has surfaced to date, Manzano's autobiography details the daily grind of the vast majority of slaves who sought relief from the burden of living under slavery. Aching combines historical narrative and literary criticism to take the reader beyond Manzano's text to examine the motivations behind anticolonial and antislavery activism in pre-revolution Cuba, when Cuba's Creole bourgeoisie sought their own form of freedom from the colonial arm of Spain.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 788g
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 0253016932
  • 9780253016935

Table of contents

1. Liberalisms at Odds: Slavery and the Struggle for an Autochthonous Literature.
2. In Spite of Himself: Unconscious Resistance and Melancholy Attachments in Manzano's Autobiography.
3. Being Adequate to the Task: An Abolitionist Translates the Desire to Be Free.
4. Freedom Without Equality: Slave Protagonists, Free Blacks, and Their Bodies.
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Review quote

This discerning study delves into the life and work of Juan Francisco Manzano (1797-1854), the enslaved Cuban poet and author of Spanish America's only known slave narrative, Autobiografia de un esclavo (written in 1836, first published in Spanish in 1937). . . A valuable contribution to the field of Latin American and Caribbean studies. . . . Recommended. * Choice *
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About Gerard Laurence Aching

Gerard Aching is Professor of Africana and Romance Studies at Cornell University. He is author of The Politics of Spanish American Modernismo: By Exquisite Design and Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean.
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