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A World in Words, A Life in Texts

Revisiting Latin American Cultural Heritage – Festschrift in Honour of Peter R. Beardsell

Edited By Victoria Carpenter

This volume presents a number of close readings of Latin American literary and cultural phenomena. The overarching theme of the collection is the revision of the accepted view of Latin American national identities as represented in twentieth-century Latin American literature and culture. The book examines the complexity of national identities forged among political crises, economic upheaval and intercultural influences.
The essays included here focus upon internal contradictions of national identity and the factors contributing to this discord. Among these are the nature of the Latin American intellectual, Latin American modernity and exile, and the psychological underpinning of the re-creation of history. Some of the chapters challenge the existing theoretical framework for Latin American literary analysis by employing non-literary theories to analyse hitherto overlooked textual anomalies.
The book is a Festschrift for Professor Peter R. Beardsell, reflecting the importance of his contribution to Latin American literary and cultural studies.


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Black Magic and the Black Market in Contemporary Cuba - STEPHEN HART 213


Stephen Hart Black Magic and the Black Market in Contemporary Cuba La letra con sangre entra. — Spanish proverb Introduction Santería, or Regla de Ocha, is a religious movement that originated in Cuba and which combines West African Yoruba beliefs and practices with ele- ments of Roman Catholicism.1 It includes belief in one supreme being, but worship and rituals centre on orishas, deities or patron saints (with paral- lels among the Roman Catholic saints) that combine a force of nature and humanlike characteristics. Practices may include trance dancing, rhythmic drumming, spirit possession, and animal sacrifice. One of its main dif fer- ences with Catholicism is its pragmatism, epitomized by Lydia Cabrera in the following terms: ‘adorar es dar para recibir’.2 The author of one of the best books on contemporary santería practice, Christine Ayorinde, makes the following statement: ‘Because santería is a pragmatic religion, there is a growing tendency to assume that santeros with more income have more aché (sacred power). If they have a good house and financial 1 For a discussion of syncretism in santería see Mitchell 2006: 55–83 and Bolívar 2007, passim. 2 ‘To adore means to give in order to receive.’ Quoted Ayorinde 2004: 157. All transla- tions, unless indicated otherwise, are mine – S.H. 214 Stephen Hart means, this is seen as evidence that they are well connected and have iré (good luck).’3 This assumption is backed up by the field research carried out by Martin Holbraad on Ifá cults...

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