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José Lezama Lima (1910-1976)

Biographical Information

José Lezama Lima was born in Havana in 1910. Originally trained in law, he turned to letters early in his career, founding the literary review Verbum. Together with José Rodríguez Feo he founded the journal Orígenes, which became one of the most influential periodicals in Latin America. In the words of Frank McQuade, "it provided a focal point for the most promising poets and critics in Cuba in the 1940s and 1950s." Orígenes published original poetry and fiction, critical essays, and artwork. It also published pioneering Spanish translations of prominent American writers.  

Lezama's considerable literary output throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, led to his being named by Fidel Castro as director of the Department of Literature and Publications of the National Council of Culture and later the vice-president of the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba. He died in Havana in 1976.

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Description of Archival Collection

The archive consists of three manuscripts, one page and a half long typescript with Lezama's manuscript corrections, and two photographs, one a portrait and one a signed photograph of the "Orígenistas."

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