In , he moved to Havana to enroll in the School of Planification and, later, in the Faculty of Letters at the Universidad de La Habana , where he studied philosophy and literature without completing a degree. His writings and openly gay life were, by , bringing him into conflict with the communist government. From to he was a journalist and editor for the literary magazine La Gaceta de Cuba. In , he was sent to prison after being charged and convicted of "ideological deviation" and for publishing abroad without official consent. He escaped from prison and tried to leave Cuba by launching himself from the shore on a tire inner tube. The attempt failed and he was rearrested near Lenin Park and imprisoned at the notorious El Morro Castle alongside murderers and rapists.
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There is so much sex in this book! I liked this book, a whole fucking lot. I read it a while ago. The house of sexual implosion, rape city. Homosexuals were faced with a supremely masculine cultural more that was pressured to impress machoism and repress all aspects of feminine decor in men any country where beards are the jount are probably all about macho camraderie; is that fair to say?
So this section of a memoir completely devoted to the sexual apotheosis of the otherwise shelved sensual world is suddenly reversed when he has to bite his lip, hide his boner and try to avoid the sexual deviancy taking over in a prison that is a microcosm of the worst politics Cuba has to offer devoting its utmost energies to a fascist reversion of the homosexual contra that the system seems to be so convinced thereof.
Like i said, i liked this book a lot. Although it sure did shine a pretty harsh light on the communist system, which i guess i had a lot of reserved hope for. HERE, let me offer you up a pretty quote detailing the pitfalls of the system: "the difference between the communist and the capitalist system is that, although both give you a kick in the ass, in the communist system you have to applaud, while in the capitalist system you can scream.
And i came [to the US] to scream. I guess an honest thing this book projects is the lack of hope for ideal structures in government and in life, and how the system never owned up to its own failings. It merely reported a life that was not happening. This book turned me against the likes of Gabriel Marcia Marquez and loads of Cuban poets who Arenas describes with scorn on account of their backstabbing too many poets who were not for or critical of the communist system.
Besides, he went through tons of shit trying to identify himself in a country which he loved but which tried to damn him because of what they projected as a threatening liberal attitude.
It makes sense that his character was so repressed in the country of which he was so attached, that he came to the US just gushing with scathing denouncements for the people who betrayed him. Only human though. This book was his swan song that he had to deliver to the people and the place from a distance, and i suppose he was very bitter because of it, as he said "the exile is a person who, having lost a loved one, keeps searching for the face he loves in every new face and, forever deceiving himself, thinks he has found it.
To leave on a quote, i like this one Try to understand that he may be talking about a little more than the muttering schizophrenic haunting his dilapidated apartment complex before he moved out of Cuba: "i have never understood madness too well, but feel that in a way insane people are angels who, unable to bear the realities around them, must somehow take refuge in another world.
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