By Louis A. Pérez
For greater than 200 frequently turbulent years, american citizens have imagined and defined Cuba and its dating to the U.S. through conjuring up quite a few amazing images—Cuba as a girl, a neighbor, a ripe fruit, a baby studying to journey a bicycle. one of many optimal historians of Cuba, Louis A. P?rez Jr. deals a revealing historical past of those metaphorical and depictive motifs and discovers the strong reasons in the back of such characterizations of the island. P?rez analyzes the dominant photographs and their political effectiveness as they've got endured and altered because the early 19th century. Drawing on texts and visible photographs produced by means of americans starting from govt officers, coverage makers, and reporters to tourists, travelers, poets, and lyricists, P?rez argues that metaphor was once principal to the U.S. imperial undertaking as a fashion of reworking the pursuit of nationwide self-interest into the lofty, disinterested function of ethical responsibility. With specific specialise in the pivotal eras of the conflict of 1898 and the 1959 Cuban revolution, P?rez demonstrates that those descriptions served the international coverage pursuits of the us. As charged and coded modes of persuasion and mediation, those pictures sanctioned and sustained the ethical good judgment of U.S. strength over Cuba. P?rez extra argues that the metaphors in carrier to America's imperial impulses over Cuba have been as a result projected over the realm at huge.
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Additional resources for Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos (Caravan Book)
Cuba seems placed,” mused writer Richard Kimball, “by the finger of a kindly Providence, between the Atlantic and the Mexican seas . . ”²⁷ New York senator William Seward—Lincoln’s future secretary of state—transformed the metaphysical argument of providential geography into a literal case of geology. “Every rock and every grain of sand in the island were drifted and washed out from American soil by the floods of the Mississippi, and other estuaries of the Gulf of Mexico,” Seward insisted. “The island has seemed to me .
The metaphor of gravitation further propounded possession of Cuba as a matter of physics and assumed a place of prominence in the nineteenthcentury narratives of Cuba. S. ”³⁰ Cuba “belonged naturally in the orbit I M A G I N I N G S E L F - I N T E R E S T 29 of the Northern Republic,” writer Isaac Ford insisted in 1893, “and sooner or later will be drawn into its place by the law of economic gravitation. . Cuba belongs in the Union. S. ³³ The idea alluded to the temporal dimensions of a destiny foretold, a matter of passage of time during which ripening would occur, whereupon the inexorable forces of nature—gravity, in this instance—would act with predictable certainty.
Point of view was inscribed within the metaphor, which is to suggest that the politics was embedded within the image. There were discernible elements of surreptitious purpose associated with the production of metaphor and its development as a discursive framework within systems of domination. ”¹⁰ Metaphorical constructs served to inscribe the logic of power within established cultural models as a means to create the normative plausibility of empire. ”¹¹ The depictive resonance of metaphor lay in its capacity to shape a narrative of moral validation in the service of power.
Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos (Caravan Book) by Louis A. Pérez