Monday, March 20, 2023 6:30pm
About this Event
265 Aragon Ave #5008, Coral Gables, FL 33134https://humanities.as.miami.edu/public-programs/booktalks/index.html
Arguably the most important Cuban writer of the twentieth century, José Lezama Lima (1910–1976) is well-known as a poet, essayist, cultural promoter, and novelist, but not as a scientist. In fact, there is no evidence of any concrete relationship between him and any pure science discipline. How then it is possible to establish connections between Lezama’s literary works and the disciplines of science? How are certain scientific discoveries and developments, such as the theory of relativity, quantum mechanics, modern logic, thermodynamics, or the big bang theory, embraced in the cultural imaginary of Cuba during the first half of the twentieth century? And finally, how do those scientific discoveries and developments inform Lezama’s aesthetic production?
Grounded in his disciplinary experience in both literary and mathematical studies, Vargas attempts to unearth the overlaps and connections between science and art, thus offering a new critical apparatus with which scholars can study Lezama’s works. In this book, he provides a close reading of Lezama´s narrative works, including his two novels—Paradiso and Oppiano Licario—as well as Lezama’s essays, press articles, and interviews. The author also examines the catalog of Lezama´s personal library, revealing that his poetics are based on an original and fascinating appropriation of concepts, problems, solutions, and rhetorical devices in science.
Ómar Vargas is Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at the University of Miami where he has been a faculty member since 2015. Vargas completed his PhD in Spanish American literature at the University of Texas at Austin and his undergraduate studies in mathematics at Universidad Nacional de Colombia. His research interests focus on the relationships between scientific discoveries and developments, and the narrative fiction of Latin America and the Caribbean in twentieth and twenty-first centuries, particularly in the cases of authors such as José Lezama Lima, Jorge Luis Borges, Salvador Elizondo, and Gabriel García Márquez. He is currently exploring the transition of the scientist to a writer in the case of Argentine author Ernesto Sábato. He has published in Latin American Literary Review, Ciberletras, The Borges Center, Revista Revolución y Cultura, Nueva Revista del Pacífico, and La Habana Elegante.
AudienceAlumni General Public Faculty Students
DepartmentCenter for the Humanities
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