Utopian space(s) in the works of Pedro Juan Gutierrez
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Much of the literature produced during the first decade of CubaÕs Special Period, an age of severe economic crisis generated by the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, contains references to the desperation experienced by people living on the island at the time. In some of the narrative works by Pedro Juan GutiŽrrez, the circumstances in which CubaÕs people found themselves during this period are best described as a series of transposed realities, from nostalgically utopian to graphically dystopian, and many points in between. In this dissertation, I consider the different Ðtopian spaces presented in the semi-autobiographical works of GutiŽrrez, including utopia, dystopia, and heterotopia. Although these spaces occasionally do appear as the traditional interpretations, which equate tranquility with utopia and chaos with dystopia, the Ðtopian spaces often appear in unexpected or non-traditional forms, such as death, prison, religion, insanity, or even the act of writing. GutiŽrrez utilizes these coexisting but apparently contradictory spaces to depict the Havana in which he resides, a space alternating between utopian dreams and the nada (ÒnothingnessÓ) that pervades his charactersÕ daily existence.