Collection CHC5040 - Eugenio Florit Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

CHC5040

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Collection

Title

Eugenio Florit Papers

Date(s)

  • 1940-1998 (Creation)

Extent

37 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Eugenio Florit (1903-1999) was a well-known poet, essayist, lecturer, composer, diplomat, academic, actor, “man of three homelands,” and traveler. He was born October 15, 1903, in the northern section of Salamanca, Spain. He was the son of Don Ricardo Florit, a Spaniard, and Doña Mariá Sanchez de Fuentes, a Cuban. From the ages of two to six he grew up in Barcelona. Until the age of 15 he lived in Port-Bou, a city on the Mediterranean coast near France.

In 1918 Florit immigrated to Havana where he continued his studies, graduating from the University of Havana with a degree in civil and public law. In 1927 he began working for the Secretary of State and took on a role with the Revista de Avance, where he became known as a poet. He also worked as a radio personality and acted occasionally in theater troupes. In 1936, he met Juan R. Jimenez, who wrote the prologue to one of Florit’s most important books of verses, <a>Doble acento</a>, and with whom he maintained a friendship until Jimenez’s death.

In 1940 Florit went to work at the Cuban Consulate. He continued to live in New York until 1982, and it was the setting for almost all of his work as an essayist, literary critic, and translator. In 1945 after receiving a teaching position at Barnard College, he left his diplomatic post. He also taught at Columbia’s graduate school and at the intensive language school at Middlebury College in Vermont during the summer. There, he met poets such as Jorge Guillén, Pedro Salinas, and Luis Cernuda.

Florit was a collaborator on Repertorio Americano, Revista Avance, Lyceum, Revista Cubana, Origénes, and Revista Hispaníca Moderna, which he co-edited with Don Frederico Onis and Angel del Río until 1962, when he assumed total direction of the magazine. During the 1950s he traveled to Europe and Latin America, and his last trip to Cuba was in 1959.

He retired from his teaching position at Barnard in 1969, but continued living in New York and occupied himself with other obligations until moving to Miami in 1982. In 1991 he was one of the candidates for the Premio Cervantes, awarded by the North American Academy of Spanish Language. The same year he received the Premio Fray Luis de León from the University of Salamanca, and the Premio Mitre from the Hispanic Society of America in New York. Florit published his last work entitled Hasta luego in 1992. At the age of 96, Florit died on June 22, 1999. He was a mentor and guide for many generations and is considered among the greatest Hispanic-American poets.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This collection consists of documents, books, and other materials written and collected by Cuban poet and writer Eugenio Florit. Materials include personal correspondence, along with professional correspondence pertaining to his work as a writer, translator, and professor at both Columbia University and Middlebury College.  It also includes published and unpublished works by Florit, clippings of newspaper articles by and about Florit, and research notes.  Travel is a recurring theme in Florit’s work, and this is visible in the abundant slides he has of his travels, and the travel diaries he kept. Mementos such as photographs, cassettes, awards, diplomas and memorabilia also make up a portion of the collection.

System of arrangement

This collection is arranged into four series of materials by type and content. Series 1, Works, is organized by literary genre and literary criticism of his work is organized alphabetically by author, and works by others are in chronological order. Series 2, Correspondence, is arranged chronologically. Series 3, Personal papers, is arranged into three sub-series: Personal files, Diplomas and awards, and Theater files, each arranged alphabetically. Series 4, Audiovisual materials, is organized by medium, and the slides maintained in Florit's original order.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact chc@miami.edu for more information.

Languages of the material

  • English
  • Spanish

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Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Ricardo Florit, 2001.

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Rights Statement:

The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).

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