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Severo Sarduy
(February 25, 1937 - June 8, 1993) Cuba

Severo Sarduy

Poet, writer

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He was born in Camagüey, a small village. His parents, like most people at the time, were very poor. His literary inclinations were not encouraged, and he decided to study medicine, even if he continued publishing articles.

Severo SarduySarduy's writing provides an interesting starting point for the discussion of homosexuality and identity in the context of Caribbean literature. Like a number of intellectuals outside English-speaking academia, Sarduy professed a theory that mistrusts categories.

He spent most of his professional life in Paris. He didn't come out, and whether his theory was just an excuse for a stronger closet has been formulated. As a homosexual in a country where men who acted out their homoerotic desires were put in prison, he must have been concerned with this.

If one takes into account that he was more or less a supporter of Castro's regime, things are further complicated. He was very much on the side of the Revoluton, like many intellectuals od the time. But soon after Castro took power, Sarduy left for Paris. He died there after complications of an AIDS-related illness.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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