Reinaldo Arenas - How do you live on an island without letting you down to the sea?
Reinaldo Arenas is one of Cuba's most prominent writers and playwrights. At first he was a supporter, but then a fierce critic of Fidel Castro's regime. Because of his beliefs and because he is a homosexual, he is also in jail. He went on to write secretly, and with the help of adherents and friends, his novels were exported outside Cuba and published in Europe. In the mid-1980s he was diagnosed with AIDS. He was killed in 1990 in New York. His autobiographical novel "Before the Night Falls" is best known. The book was adapted for the big screen in 2000 with Johnny Depp's involvement, and for his role as Arenas, actor Javier Bardem was nominated for Oscar. "Before the Night falls" is the last novel by Renaldo Arenas. He leaves posthumously and places his author among the most prominent names in Latin American prose.
The title of the book is laden with meaning - Arenas begins in Cuba and the only place to write is the park. While there is daylight, he works by hiding from the police and in constant fear of the darkness that will occur if caught. In New York, where Arenas finishes the novel, the title acquires a metaphorical meaning - writing becomes a race to death. (Arenas dies 47 years from AIDS.) Posthumous work is reissued in Spanish, translated into many languages, and the name of Arenas is a symbol of the resistance to totalitarianism. Even as a young man, Arenas becomes a triple enemy of the regime because of its uncompromising political and aesthetic views and homosexuality. As an enemy of the revolution, he was sent to El Moro prison, where recidivists, murderers and rapists are lying. Later, writer Oscar R. Organallees wrote: "Reynoldo knew clearly that life was here and now that it was just a whirlwind. He lived with the fateful tendency to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. "
Cuba will be free, I am already. Thus she finishes the death letter of the writer who committed suicide on December 7, 1990, leaving seven novels and several collections of stories, essays and poems. Since then, they have been constantly re-published by prestigious publishers, and Arenas's work has already begun many serious studies. In the novel "Before the Night falls," Julian Snabel created the eponymous film with Javier Bardem in the role of Arenas. Criticism incorporates Arenas' creativity into Latin-American imaginative realism, in which fantasy and dreams intertwine with reality. His style is defined as Baroque because of the unfolding expression, metaphors, exaggerations and crossing of different versions of the same stories, which often deny each other. In "Before the Night Falls", Arenas describes his life from the miserable childhood of a village and the brief adolescent enthusiasm for Castro's rebellion.
With characteristic Caribbean sensuality, Arenas describes his numerous erotic conquests and talks about the "hundreds, if not thousands," who went through his bed. These episodes alternate with stories about his attempts to conceal his notes and how he has to rewrite the manuscripts confiscated by the secret police (the peak of material and creative prosperity in Cuba at that time was the possession of a typewriter). "It's hard to tell which in this picture of constant degeneration and absurdity is a reflection of Cuban reality and what is the result of Arenas' irresistible ability to entangle faces - a skill that he compares with a surfboard," writes the Czech interpreter of the novel, Anneka Harvovatova. Without being a political book, "Before the Night Falls", he says a lot about the revolution, about the cost of freedom and the right to be the author of his life.