Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Traveler's Tales of Old Cuba-John Jenkins ed.

Traveler's Tales of Old Cuba-John Jenkins ed.

the facts
satisfaction: up
pages: 168
gender: M&F
nationality: mostly English-descent
year: 2002
edited anthology

"Creating both a literary project and an historical mini-course on the early nineteenth to middle twentieth century, the editor has gathered writings mostly by Americans in Cuba who have tended to have a complex 'love/hate relationship' with the place. . . . In the end, most reveal their fondness for Cuba. . . . Those with a committed interest in the region will be grateful that this book takes them beyond the dissertations on Che Guevara and Fidel Castro."


I surprised myself by actually liking this anthology. I suppose it was the heavy emphasis for the earlier history of Cuba (instead of just the mafia-run bits) but the variety of ideas and aspects of society represented was broad so that even if it was a section I didn't enjoy so much, it was relatively smoothed over by the next section. To my delight, as well, there was no contribution by Hemingway, instead you have Anais Nin who hated Havana. I guess, I found it was bit Havana-centric but in general, it told the history of Cuba as seen by travelers (from english-dominated countries primarily) in a well balanced way which makes it seem more like a history of the country rather than as propaganda.

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