Freedom from Liberation

Freedom from Liberation

Slavery, Sentiment, and Literature in Cuba
Gerard Laurence Aching
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 08/07/2015
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 978-0-253-01693-5
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Author Bio

Gerard Aching is Professor of Africana and Romance Studies at Cornell University. He is author of The Politics of Spanish American Modernismo: By Exquisite Design and Masking and Power: Carnival and Popular Culture in the Caribbean.


“Gerard Aching complicates the universally recognized assumption that a slave's foremost desire is to be freed from bondage. As the only slave narrative in Spanish that has surfaced to date, Manzano's autobiography details the daily grind of the vast majority of slaves who sought relief from the burden of living under slavery.”

“...a far-ranging work of extraordinary erudition and critical sophistication. Aching's work powerfully challenges established views of liberation and emancipation. I was captivated from the first page...”
 — Arcadio Díaz-Quiñones, Princeton University

“...a remarkable book that delves deeply into social and psychological intricacies of the enslavement experience that marked race relations in the Americas. ”
 — Aníbal González-Pérez, Yale University

“This discerning study delves into the life and work of Juan Francisco Manzano (1797–1854), the enslaved Cuban poet and author of Spanish America’s only known slave narrative, Autobiografía de un esclavo (written in 1836, first published in Spanish in 1937). . . A valuable contribution to the field of Latin American and Caribbean studies. . . . Recommended.”
 — Choice

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Table of Contents

1. Liberalisms at Odds: Slavery and the Struggle for an Autochthonous Literature.
2. In Spite of Himself: Unconscious Resistance and Melancholy Attachments in Manzano’s Autobiography.
3. Being Adequate to the Task: An Abolitionist Translates the Desire to Be Free.
4. Freedom Without Equality: Slave Protagonists, Free Blacks, and Their Bodies.

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