Collection CHC5047 - José Lezama Lima Papers

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José Lezama Lima Papers


  • 1961-1976 (Creation)


1 Box

Name of creator

Biographical history

José Lezama Lima was born to Rosa Lima Rosado and José María Lezama Rodda on 19 December 1910 at the Campamento Militar de Columbia, Marianao, near Havana. Lezama Lima was the second of three children, including two sisters, Rosa and Eloísa. José studied law at the University of Havana and graduated in 1938.

Poet, novelist and essayist, he had a solid foundation in the classics of the Spanish Golden Age and avidly studied the French Symbolists, who influenced his first book of poems: Muerte de Narciso (1937). He was one of the founders of the journals Verbum (1937), Espuela de Plata (1939-1941), Nadie Parecía (1942-1944), and Orígenes (1944-1956). He also collaborated in many Cuban magazines such as Gráfos, Diario de la Marina, Revista de la Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, and in foreign publications among which were Revista Mexicana de Literatura, El Heraldo Cultural (Mexico), Les Lettres Nouvelles (France), and Tri Quarterly (US).

Over the years his works have been studied by many literary critics, one of which, Emilio Bejel, considered that: "Most critics of Spanish American literature agree that José Lezama Lima is one of the truly universal writers of our time. His style, his poetic vision, and the unique role he defines for literature have been a continuing influence in Cuba, as well as throughout Latin America" (José Lezama Lima: Poet of the Image [Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 1990] p. 2).

Lezama Lima's works have been translated into many languages. He received the Premio Maldoror (Spain, 1972) for his Poesías completas. In 1968 he was honored by the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí and in 1970 by the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC). Many seminars and conferences have bee dedicated to his works, and his literary production still receives international recognition.

Months after his mother's death in 1964, Lezama Lima married María Luisa Bautista Treviño. He died in Havana on 9 August 1976.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The José Lezama Lima Papers consist of letters written by José Lezama Lima to his sister Eloísa from 1961 to 1976. There are several letters addressed to his sister Rosa as well as to both sisters. Included with this correspondence are photocopies of photographs of Lezama Lima, a poem, and a memorial card with a note from Eloísa Lezama Lima to Gastón Baquero. This collection also contains an annotated copy of Lezama Lima's book, Paradiso.

System of arrangement

The José Lezama Lima Papers are organized into three series.

Please see the Finding Aid/Inventory section of this guide for more detailed information.

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This collection is open for research.

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

Languages of the material

  • Spanish

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Gift of Eloísa Lezama Lima, 2001 and purchase, 2011.

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Related archival materials

Selected published materials in CHC and/or the University of Miami's Otto G. Richter Library:

Berenguer Hernández, Carmen and Víctor Fowler Calzada. José Lezama Lima, diccionario de citas . La Habana: Casa Editora Abril, 2000.

Centro de Investigaciones Literarias de la Casa de las Américas. Interrogando a Lezama Lima . Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1971.

García-Carranza, Araceli. Bibliografía de José Lezama Lima . La Habana: Editorial Arte y Literatura, 1998.

González Cruz, Iván. Album de los amigos de José Lezama Lima . Valencia: Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 1999.

  • ----. Diccionario: vida y obra de José Lezama Lima . Valencia: Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria del Cultura i Educació, Direcció General de Promoció Cultural i Patrimoni Artistic, 2000.

Lezama Lima, Eloísa. Una familia habanera . Miami, Fla. Ediciones Universal, 1998.

Lezama Lima, José. Archivo de José Lezama Lima: miscelánea . Ed. Iván González Cruz. Madrid: Editorial Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces, 1998.

  • ----. Cartas: (1939-1976) . Ed. Eloísa Lezama Lima. Madrid: Orígenes, 1979.

  • ----. Como las cartas no llegan- . Ed. Ciro Bianchi Ross. La Habana: Ediciones Unión, Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, 2000.

  • ----. José Lezama Lima: diarios (1939-49, 1956-58) . Ed. Ciro Bianchi Ross. Mexico, D.F. Ediciones Era, 1994.

  • ----. La posibilidad infinita: archivo de José Lezama Lima . Ed. Iván González Cruz. Madrid: Editorial Verbum, 2000.

  • ----. Para leer debajo de un sicómoro: entrevistas con José Lezama Lima . Ed. Félix Guerra. La Habana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1998.

Rodríguez Feo, José. Mi correspondencia con Lezama Lima . Mexico: Ediciones Era, 1991.

Ulloa, Justo C., ed. José Lezama Lima, textos críticos . Miami, Fla. Ediciones Universal, 1979.

CHC5212 Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project interview with Eloiza Lezama Lima.

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101.4 KiB


May 18, 2018 6:06 PM

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