The culinary text as constructive strategy in the work of three contemporary writers: Severo Sarduy, Jose Lezama Lima and Alejo Carpentier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics


Pedro Cuperman


Caribbean literature, Severo Sarduy, Jose Lezama Lima, Alejo Carpentier, Spanish language literature

Subject Categories

Other Spanish and Portuguese Language and Literature


This investigative work is oriented to enhance the parallel constructions that serve as the base to the compositional structure of three literary texts: Maitreya (1976), written by Severo Sarduy, Paradiso (1966), written by Jose Lezama Lima and El reino de este mundo (1949), written by Alejo Carpentier.

The initial parallel is observed in the transition that the culinary text presents as a cultural sign to the language system. In this displacement the meaning of said signs are superimposed in both systems (the cultural and the linguistic) in order to give a plan to a hypercoded sign, that not only expresses linguistic meaning, but also expresses a concept on a valid criteria for a community or an established culture, in this case, specifically Cuba.

Within the language system, the culinary text is formed in these literary works in one of the members of diverse parallel figures, such as the metaphor, the metonym, the parody and the systems of characters in particular.

In the Maitreya text, the diversities of the culinary texts will be analyzed as metaphor of the sex. In the work of Paradiso, the parody originates through the culinary sign taken as an initial text of Maitreya; Paradiso is also the interval where a total system of characters is created by taking the culinary text as an element organizer of the same. Finally, taking the point of departure of the text of El reino de este mundo, it separates a metonym relationship among the kitchen/revolution/power issues that is repeated in the two previous works but with a diversity, the power is expressed in a weak form for that which appears in his form of political exile.

The basic analysis method of this dissertation will be semiotics and the analysis of the parallels constructive figures (characters) will be supported in the linguistics criteria of Roman Jakobson.


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