Elegua's Surrealist shroud: Surrealism and Afro-Cubanism in the Negrista works of Alejo Carpentier and Wifredo Lam
Robbins, Dylon Lamar
Master of Arts
The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (1904--1980) and painter Wifredo Lam (1902--1982) draw upon Surrealism in their representations of an Afro-Cuban religiosity in their early Negrista works. Through a comparison of Carpentier's ¡Ecue-Yamba-O! (1933) and "Historia de lunas" (1933) with a selection of Lam's works of the 1940's---"The Jungle" (1942), "The Eternal Presence" (1945), "The Wedding" (1947), and "The Visitor" (1950)---this analysis uncovers how both writer and artist use collage and a surrealist mood in representing certain aspects of Afro-Cuban religiosity, specifically Abacua ceremonial incantations, Itutu, and trance or possession. This thesis also attempts to unmask the limitations of these techniques as a representational paradigm in limning the Afro-Cuban.
Latin American literature; Caribbean literature; Art history