Biography of Arturo Arango

Narrator and Cuban essayist, born in Manzanillo in 1950. Author of a brilliant narrative production progressing through the generic channels of the novel and the story to address, with depth and rigour does not exempt of beauty, all the most characteristic aspects of the reality of his people, is considered one of the best exponents of contemporary Cuban literature devoted to the analysis of conflicts, concerns and motivations of his current fellow.

Given this interest of the author of Manzanillo by his nation’s problems, all his work of fiction takes place completely in the Cuba of today, and presents some key players who embody the wishes and concerns of today’s Cubans. Award-winning, by this fine dissection of the reality that surrounds him, with prestigious literary awards both inside and outside the Cuban borders, Arturo Arango broke into the Cuban cultural panorama at the beginning of the Decade of th
e 1980s, when it published a first collection of stories presented under the title out of the world (1981). Subsequently, returned to gather new novellas in the book entitled life is one week (1990), work that was worthy of the relevant annual prize awarded in Cuba by the Union of writers. Written in clear and straightforward language which, in its simplicity, seeks to soon reach the depths of that reality which aims to discover and analyze, these tales of Arturo Arango configured, as a whole, a brilliant network of story lines which, in its protein diversity, boldly violate the so-called thematic unit that should keep any book of short stories. However, the drive appears to the end as the embodiment of that inner universe of the Narrator that the reader discovers in each of his stories, below the different stories of each story, the different styles and the peculiar narrative techniques of each of the stories. Thus, after completing the reading of some pieces that, one by one, go configuring a kind of mosaic
where all the shapes and colors just by having sense, to the dessert left a legacy of ethical proposals which have been reached through an exquisitely careful and calculated language.

His next volume of stories, entitled in the leaf of a tree (1994), deals with one of the constants of the narrative of Arango – along with the cited concern for the Cuban national reality-: the function that meets or must meet the literature within this reality. The story that entitles all collection is a history marked by betrayal and homosexuality, presenting to a writer who, after having completed a film script, sends it to the person that is set to create the protagonist of his story, who in turn returns the text its full author’s corrections and annotations.

Elegant Havana (1995), the fourth collection of stories by Arturo Arango, Juan Rulfo collects some famous parts of his narrative production as ‘Waiting list’ – tale won the third prize in the prestigious international contest in its call for 1992 – or ‘ball
, flag and pennant’ – awarded the first prize in the contest Carlos Castro Saavedra, convened in Colombia in 1995-. In both stories, the anecdote that configures the narrative material reflects the atmosphere of isolation and abandonment to which has been reduced the Cuban population because of the outer lock: “Waiting list”, this situation is symbolically incarnated in the adventures of a group of people who remain locked in a bus terminal which, apparently, cannot leave; “Ball, flag and pennant”, the action takes place in the time that it has denomindao in Cuba “zero option”, a hypothetical situation in which the country whole, devoid of external oil supply, is deprived of fuel and electricity so that all its services are paralyzed; When all Havana residents have been evacuated, an elderly woman in a hundred years that refuses to leave his house remains as the only inhabitant of the empty city. And violent but expressive contrast to these environments of suffocation, loneliness and isolation, the stor
y entitled “Havana elegant” (which gives its name to the entire volume) presents literary cosmopolitanism of the Cuban culture, in a voluntarily anachronistic comeback of the great modernist poet Julian del Casal in Havana from 1993; the “second death” of Julián de el Casal is produced in that year in the House of the poet and novelist current Pablo Armando Fernández, who has invited the nineteenth-century poet so it is there with Rubén Darío.

In his facet as an essayist, writer of Manzanillo has also addressed contemporary issues observed in their environment, with special attention to the literary manifestations of poets and storytellers of his generation. All this was well clear in his essay titled relapse (1989), an interesting collection of literary reflections, characterized by its critical acuity and his kno
wledge of the literary news of the Antillean country.

In addition to the above titles, Arturo Arango has published an extensive story titled a lesson in Anatomy (1998). It’s a splendid novel that, like the rest of his work of fiction, is located in the contemporary Cuba to tell a love story marked by the infidelity of their protagonists.

J. R. Fernández Cano.