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Antonio Benítez Rojo Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MA.00184

Scope and Contents

Chiefly printed materials such as news clippings, articles by and about Benítez-Rojo's literary work, book covers, flyers and posters of conferences given or attended by him, photographs, and videotapes of some of his lectures. Although there is some correspondence included, the papers consist chiefly of printed materials.

Dates

  • 1957-2002

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Antonio Benítez-Rojo Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from Antonio Benítez-Rojo Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Cuban novelist, essayist and short-story writer Antonio Benítez-Rojo was born in Havana on March 14, 1931. He earned degrees in accounting and economics at the Universidad de La Habana, but left Cuba in the mid-1950s to study statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor and Commerce and research the Pan American Labor Union in Mexico. Attracted by the unfolding of the Revolution, however, Benítez-Rojo went back to his home country in 1959. In 1967, he ascended in the literary scene after winning the Casa de Las Americas award for his novel Tute de Reyes. While in Cuba, Benítez-Rojo worked as head of the Statistics Bureau of the Labor Ministry, integrated the Ministry of Culture, and directed the Casa de Las Americas publishing house in the late 1970s. Although Cuba had become one of the most important intellectual spaces in Latin America, Benítez-Rojo had long decided to leave the country. Dissatisfied with what he saw as an extremely centralized government, he finally found a chance to leave when granted permission to attend a conference in Paris, from where he relocated to the United States. Once in the U.S., Benítez-Rojo taught at several institutions before taking a position as professor of Spanish at Amherst College in 1983. In 1992, he became the Thomas B. Walton, Jr. Memorial Professor of Romance Languages, a faculty appointment that he held until his death in 2005. Among his most important literary works are El mar de las lentejas (The Sea of Lentils), 1979; La isla que se repite: el Caribe y la perspectiva posmoderna (The Repeated Island: The Caribbean and the Post-modern Perspective), 1998; A View From the Mangrove (1998), and Women in Battle Dress, 2001.

Extent

4 Linear feet (1 half archives box, 2 flat oversize boxes, 5 archives boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Spanish; Castilian

Abstract

Chiefly printed materials such as news clippings, articles by and about Benítez-Rojo's literary work, book covers, flyers and posters of conferences given or attended by him, photographs, and videotapes of some of his lectures.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into six series:

  1. Series 1: Personal Affairs, 1957-1999
  2. Series 2: Printed Material, 1966-2002
  3. Series 3: Newspaper Clippings, 1967-2002
  4. Series 4: Conference Programs and Small Posters, 1981-2001
  5. Series 5: Videotapes, 1996-2001
  6. Series 6: Posters, 1995-2001

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to Amherst College by Professor Benítez-Rojo in 2002.

Separated Materials

Typewriter used by Antonio Benitez-Rojo. See Objects Collection.

Processing Information

The collection was substantially processed in February 2009. In processing, the material was organized loosely by subject into six series covering the period 1957-2002. The original separation between English and Spanish language documents was respected.

Status
Completed
Author
Isadora Moura Mota
Date
2009
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Portions of Series 2, 3, and 6 described in Spanish.

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299