Transgression in selected plays of Gerardo Fulleda León




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Transgressive literatures are those literatures which implicate and resist political hegemony. In the post-colonial context, they may overtly or covertly seek to unsettle or undermine power on matters of race, culture, history, and national identity. In 1959, the Cuban Revolution opened doors for many Cubans, one of whom, Gerardo Fulleda León, would become one of Cuba’s most prominent contemporary playwrights. His plays are continuous revisitations of the Cuban past and a repository of the Afro-Cuban struggle and vision for freedom and equality. But, since 1959, the Cuban government has claimed that it solved its racial problems and refuses to tolerate opposition to this view. This study therefore investigates how Fulleda, as an Afro-Cuban writer, navigates this taut political space to speak on behalf of the marginalised black population while maintaining allegiance to the Revolution. It aims to discover how his racial politics challenge and/or aid revolutionary/post-revolutionary Cuba. This is the first detailed study of the dramaturgy of Gerardo Fulleda León in the English language. It selects three of Fulleda’s most prominent works—Ruandi (1977), Plácido (1982), and Chago de Guisa (1989)—and provides marronage, hybridity, and psychoanalytic criticisms respectively. The analyses point to literary themes and devices used to effect subversive purposes on the issue of race, history, and national identity in Cuba. They conclude that the writer’s purpose is not to contradict the Revolution, but to facilitate the fulfilment of its ideals on race and race relations by vindicating, legitimating, and fostering racial consciousness among Afro-Cubans. Keywords: Darrelstan Fitzwarren Ferguson; Transgression; Transgressive Literature; Gerardo Fulleda León; Afro-Cuban Theatre; Cuban Revolutionary Theatre; Twentieth-Century Cuban Theatre


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