Writer of novels, memoirs, and go back and forth writings, Maria de las Mercedes Santa Cruz y Montalvo, higher referred to as l. a. Condesa de Merlin (1789-1852), is arguably certainly one of Cuba's most attractive authors; but before her works have long past mostly ignored.
Born in colonial Havana to an aristocratic Creole relatives, the long run countess of Merlin left Cuba for Spain at an early age. Later, her marriage to the French count number Antoine Christophe Merlin and the invasion of French Napoleonic troops brought about one other circulate to France, the place she grew to become one of many belle dames of Paris and started her literary profession. She back just once to Cuba after the loss of life of her husband in 1840, a trip that produced Viaje a l. a. Habana. Upon her go back to Paris, Merlin elevated this into La Havane, an formidable three-volume account of the political, social, and financial association of the island.
From the perspective of feminist and psychoanalytical conception, Gender and Nationalism in Colonial Cuba brilliantly explores the various ways that problems with gender have contributed to Merlin's digital absence from the canons of literature and from the discourses on Cuban nationwide id. Merlin's double identification as either Cuban and French is symbolic of the Cuban exiled , a truth taken up via modern exiled Cuban writers who see the countess as an alter-ego.
Mendez Rodenas seeks to revive Merlin because the first girl author in Cuban literary heritage to articulate a feeling of nationwide identification, in addition to being Cuba's first lady historian. She specializes in Merlin's shuttle writings simply because they research such matters as slavery, independence, nationhood, the position of ladies, schooling, and native literature. jointly her writings build another, gendered historical past of nineteenth-century Cuba that needs to be stated as either practical and authentic.
By situating Merlin on the intersection of the discourses of gender and nationalism, Mendez Rodenas finds not just her pioneering function but in addition the necessity to extend present serious different types to account for the specificity of the Latin American literary culture. within the technique of restoring Merlin to her acceptable position within the canon of Latin American literature, she broadens our knowing of colonial Cuban background and expands our wisdom of the ways that go back and forth writing can impact a country's nationwide literature .