Severo Sarduy

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Severo Sarduy (Camagüey, Cuba February 25, 1937 – Paris June 8, 1993) was a Cuban poet, author, playwright, and critic of Cuban literature and art.


Sarduy went to the equivalent of high school in Camagüey and in 1956 moved to Havana, where he began a study of medicine. With the triumph of the Cuban revolution he collaborated with the Diario libre and Lunes de revolución, pro-Marxist papers. In 1960 he traveled to Paris to study at the Ecole du Louvre. There he was connected to the group of intellectuals who produced the magazine Tel Quel, particularly to philosopher François Wahl, with whom he was openly involved.[1] Sarduy worked as a reader for Editions du Seuil and as editor and producer of the Radiodiffusion-Télévision Française. In 1972 his novel Cobra won him the Medici Prize. He was among the most brilliant essayists writing in Spanish and "a powerful baroque narrator, full of surprising resources."[2] As a poet, he was considered one of the greatest of his time. He was also a more or less secret painter; a major retrospective of his work was held at the Reina Sofía Museum of Madrid after his death. He died due to complications from AIDS just after finishing his autobiographical work Pájaros de la playa (translated as Beach Birds by Suzanne Jill Levine and Carol Maier).

Along with Alejo Carpentier, José Lezama Lima, Virgilio Piñera, and Reinaldo Arenas, Sarduy is one of the most famous Cuban writers of the twentieth century; some of his works deal explicitly with male homosexuality and transvestism.[3][4][5]


  • Gestos. 1963. Novel
  • De donde son los cantantes. 1967
  • Escrito sobre un cuerpo. 1969. Essays
  • Flamenco. 1970. Poems.
  • Mood Indigo. 1970. Poems
  • La playa. 1971. Pieza radiofónica / radio play
  • La caída. 1971. Pieza radiofónica / radio play
  • Relato. 1971. Pieza radiofónica / radio play
  • Los matadores de Hormigas. 1971. Pieza radiofónica / radio play
  • Flamenco. 1971. Poems
  • Mood Indigo. 1971. Poems
  • Cobra. 1972. Novel
  • Barroco. 1974. Essays
  • Para la voz. 1977. Radio Plays ("La playa," La caida," Relato," and "Los matadores de Hormigas")
  • Big Bang. 1974. Poems
  • Maitreya. 1978. Novel
  • Daiquiri. 1980 . Poems
  • La simulación. 1982. Essay
  • Colibrí. 1984. Novel
  • Un testigo fugaz y disfrazado. 1985 Poems
  • El cristo de la Rue Jacob.1987. Essays
  • Nueva inestabilidad. 1987. Essays
  • Ensayos generales sobre el barroco. 1987. Essays
  • Cocuyo. 1990. Novel
  • Pájaros de la playa. 1993. Published posthumously just one month after his death.
  • Obra Completa, Two volumes. 1999. Edited by Francois Wahl. UNESCO. Paris.


  1. ^ Bill Marshall, France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History (Transatlantic Relations), ABC-CLIO Ltd, 2005, p.1045 [1]
  2. ^ Ruy Sánchez, Alberto. "Severo Sarduy y el ritual del colibrí", in Cuatro escritores rituales. Conaculta, 2000. ISBN 970-18-7269-X
  3. ^ Gosser-Esquilín, Mary Ann. "Sarduy, Severo." In David William Foster, ed., Latin American Writers on Gay and Lesbian Themes: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook, 414-418. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. ISBN 0-313-28479-2
  4. ^ Mira, Alberto. "Sarduy, Severo." Para entendernos: Diccionario de cultura homosexual, gay y lésbica, 648-650. Barcelona: Ediciones de la Tempestad, 1999. ISBN 84-7948-959-6
  5. ^ Duno Gottberg, Luis, Solventando las diferencias: la ideología del mestizaje en Cuba. Madrid, Iberoamericana – Frankfurt am Main, Vervuert, 2003


  • Pérez, Rolando.Severo Sarduy and the Neo-Baroque Image of Thought in the Visual Arts. Purdue University Press, 2012.
  • Pérez, Rolando.“Severo Sarduy (1937-93).” The Encyclopedia of Caribbean Literature. Vol. 2: M-Z. Edited by Danilo Figueredo. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2006: 728–730.
  • Pérez, Rolando.“Severo Sarduy.” The Review of Contemporary Fiction. Vol. 24. No. 1 Spring 2004: 94–138.

Further reading[edit]

  • Severo Sarduy and the Neo-Baroque Image of Thought in the Visual Arts. Rolando Pérez. 2012.
  • “Severo Sarduy (1937-93).” The encyclopedia of Caribbean literature. Vol. 2: M-Z. Ed. D.H. Figueredo. * 2006
  • The review of contemporary fiction : Douglas Glover, Blaise Cendrars, Severo Sarduy / Rolando Pérez. 2004
  • Hispanic literature criticism. Supplement / Susan Salas., 1999
  • Between the self and the void: essays in honor of Severo Sarduy / Alicia Rivero Potter. 1998
  • Orientalism in the Hispanic literary tradition: In dialogue with Borges, Paz, and Sarduy / Julia Kushigian. 1991
  • Severo Sarduy and the religion of the text / Rolando Perez., 1988
  • The name game: writing/fading writer in De donde son los cantantes / Oscar Montero. 1988
  • Absolutely Postcolonial: Writing Between the Singular and the Specific / Peter Hallward. 2001
  • Severo Sarduy : alcances de una novelística y otros ensayos / Johan Gotera. 2005
  • Severo Sarduy : escrito sobre un rostro / Oneyda González. 2003
  • La imagen y el cuerpo : Lezama y Sarduy / Virgilio López Lemus. 1997
  • Severo Sarduy y Pedro Almodóvar : del barroco al kitsch en la narrativa y el cine postmodernos / Alejandro Varderi. 1996
  • Escrito sobre Severo : una relectura de Sarduy / Francisco Cabanillas. 1995
  • Author/lector : Huidobro, Borges, Fuentes y Sarduy / Alicia Rivero Potter. 1991
  • La ruta de Severo Sarduy / Roberto González Echevarría. 1987
  • La estrategia neobarroca / Gustavo Guerrero. 1987
  • La temática novelística de Severo Sarduy : De dónde son los cantantes / José Sánchez-Boudy.1985
  • Severo Sarduy : el neobarroco de la transgresión / Adriana Méndez Rodenas. 1983
  • Severo Sarduy / Jorge Aguilar Mora. 1976

External links[edit]