UM's Cuban Heritage Collection adds Lezama Lima's correspondence to Web site

Coral Gables, FL - The letters of José Lezama Lima to his sister Eloísa have been digitized by the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) and can now be viewed online at  Funding by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has enabled the CHC to digitize this collection and provide online access to it through the Cuban Heritage Digital Collection Web site.

José Lezama Lima was born in Havana in 1910 and lived there until his death in 1976.  Although he studied law at the University of Havana, Lezama Lima is best known as a poet, essayist, and novelist whose work greatly influenced other Cuban writers.  He was one of the founders and directors of Verbum (1937), Espuela de Plata (1939), and Orígenes (1944-1956), journals that published many new Cuban poets and writers.  His own baroque style was influenced by the Spanish Golden Age, as reflected in his first book of poetry, Muerte de Narciso (1937).  His novel Paradiso (1966) is considered his masterpiece.

In May 2001, Eloísa Lezama Lima donated to the Cuban Heritage Collection the letters written to her by her brother José from 1961 to 1976, along with an annotated copy of Paradiso.  These letters offer a more personal perspective of the author, revealing his humor and openness as well as his informal and familiar tone when writing to his sister.  "This collection of correspondence will be invaluable to anyone studying Lezama Lima, his work, and his literary legacy," said Esperanza de Varona, Head of the Cuban Heritage Collection.  "It helps complete our understanding of this seminal Cuban writer and of Cuban literature in the 20th century."

The José Lezama Lima Papers is one of several collections being digitized by the Cuban Heritage Collection.  To learn more about this project and view other digitized collections, visit

For more information, contact Maria R. Estorino at 305-284-5854 or [log in to unmask]

Maria R. Estorino
Project Director/Archivist
Cuban Heritage Digital Collection
University of Miami
PO Box 248214
Coral Gables, FL 33124-0320
305-284-4027 fax
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