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José Lezama Lima Papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Subject Terms

Administrative Information

Detailed Description




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José Lezama Lima Papers, 1961-1976 | University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection

By Olga Espejo, July 2001

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Collection Overview

Title: José Lezama Lima Papers, 1961-1976Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

ID: CHC5047

Creator: José Lezama Lima (1910-1976)

Extent: 1.0 Boxes. More info below.


The José Lezama Lima Papers are organized into three series.

Please see the Finding Aid/Inventory section of this guide for more detailed information.

Formats/Genres: Authors, Cuban - 20th century - Correspondence, Lezama Lima, Elo¡sa - Correspondence, Lezama Lima, José - Correspondence

Languages: Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The José Lezama Lima Papers consist of letters written by José Lezama Lima to his sister Eloísa from 1961 to 1976. There are several letters addressed to his sister Rosa as well as to both sisters. Included with this correspondence are photocopies of photographs of Lezama Lima, a poem, and a memorial card with a note from Eloísa Lezama Lima to Gastón Baquero. This collection also contains an annotated copy of Lezama Lima's book, Paradiso.

Biographical Note

José Lezama Lima was born to Rosa Lima Rosado and José María Lezama Rodda on 19 December 1910 at the Campamento Militar de Columbia, Marianao, near Havana. Lezama Lima was the second of three children, including two sisters, Rosa and Eloísa. José studied law at the University of Havana and graduated in 1938.

Poet, novelist and essayist, he had a solid foundation in the classics of the Spanish Golden Age and avidly studied the French Symbolists, who influenced his first book of poems: Muerte de Narciso (1937). He was one of the founders of the journals Verbum (1937), Espuela de Plata (1939-1941), Nadie Parecía (1942-1944), and Orígenes (1944-1956). He also collaborated in many Cuban magazines such as Gráfos, Diario de la Marina, Revista de la Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, and in foreign publications among which were Revista Mexicana de Literatura, El Heraldo Cultural (Mexico), Les Lettres Nouvelles (France), and Tri Quarterly (US).

Over the years his works have been studied by many literary critics, one of which, Emilio Bejel, considered that: "Most critics of Spanish American literature agree that José Lezama Lima is one of the truly universal writers of our time. His style, his poetic vision, and the unique role he defines for literature have been a continuing influence in Cuba, as well as throughout Latin America" (José Lezama Lima: Poet of the Image [Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press, 1990] p. 2).

Lezama Lima's works have been translated into many languages. He received the Premio Maldoror (Spain, 1972) for his Poesías completas. In 1968 he was honored by the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí and in 1970 by the Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC). Many seminars and conferences have bee dedicated to his works, and his literary production still receives international recognition.

Months after his mother's death in 1964, Lezama Lima married María Luisa Bautista Treviño. He died in Havana on 9 August 1976.

Subject/Index Terms

Lezama Lima family

Administrative Information

Accruals: Gift of Eloísa Lezama Lima, 2001 and purchase, 2011.

Alternate Extent Statement: 0.50 linear ft. (1 Box)

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please, contact for more information.

Original/Copies Note: Browse the digital objects in this collection For more information please see

Related Materials:

Selected published materials in CHC and/or the University of Miami's Otto G. Richter Library:

Berenguer Hernández, Carmen and Víctor Fowler Calzada. José Lezama Lima, diccionario de citas . La Habana: Casa Editora Abril, 2000.

Centro de Investigaciones Literarias de la Casa de las Américas. Interrogando a Lezama Lima . Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1971.

García-Carranza, Araceli. Bibliografía de José Lezama Lima . La Habana: Editorial Arte y Literatura, 1998.

González Cruz, Iván. Album de los amigos de José Lezama Lima . Valencia: Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 1999.

-----. Diccionario: vida y obra de José Lezama Lima . Valencia: Generalitat Valenciana, Conselleria del Cultura i Educació, Direcció General de Promoció Cultural i Patrimoni Artistic, 2000.

Lezama Lima, Eloísa. Una familia habanera . Miami, Fla. Ediciones Universal, 1998.

Lezama Lima, José. Archivo de José Lezama Lima: miscelánea . Ed. Iván González Cruz. Madrid: Editorial Centro de Estudios Ramón Areces, 1998.

-----. Cartas: (1939-1976) . Ed. Eloísa Lezama Lima. Madrid: Orígenes, 1979.

-----. Como las cartas no llegan- . Ed. Ciro Bianchi Ross. La Habana: Ediciones Unión, Unión de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba, 2000.

-----. José Lezama Lima: diarios (1939-49, 1956-58) . Ed. Ciro Bianchi Ross. Mexico, D.F. Ediciones Era, 1994.

-----. La posibilidad infinita: archivo de José Lezama Lima . Ed. Iván González Cruz. Madrid: Editorial Verbum, 2000.

-----. Para leer debajo de un sicómoro: entrevistas con José Lezama Lima . Ed. Félix Guerra. La Habana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 1998.

Rodríguez Feo, José. Mi correspondencia con Lezama Lima . Mexico: Ediciones Era, 1991.

Ulloa, Justo C., ed. José Lezama Lima, textos críticos . Miami, Fla. Ediciones Universal, 1979.

CHC5212 Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project interview with Eloiza Lezama Lima.

For more information please see

Preferred Citation: José Lezama Lima Papers, Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida.

Finding Aid Revision History:

Collection processed by Olga Espejo and edited by María R. Estorino, July 2001. Container list by Patricia Barriga, March 2014.

Retrospectively converted from HTML to EAD XML September, 2008 by Lyn MacCorkle and Kyle Rimkus based on a crosswalk by María Estorino.

Revision to the collection-level record made by Beata Bergen, June 2009.

Container List (PDF):

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1961-1976],
[Series 2: Photographs, [2001]],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous, n.d., 1966, 1976],

Series 1: Correspondence, 1961-1976Add to your cart.
This series contains the letters of José Lezama Lima in Cuba to his sister Eloísa in Miami.
Extent: 16 folders (Box 1)
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1Add to your cart.
Folder 2Add to your cart.
Folder 3Add to your cart.
Folder 4Add to your cart.
Folder 5Add to your cart.
Folder 6Add to your cart.
Folder 7Add to your cart.
Folder 8Add to your cart.
Folder 9Add to your cart.
Folder 10Add to your cart.
Folder 11Add to your cart.
Folder 12Add to your cart.
Folder 13Add to your cart.
Folder 14Add to your cart.
Folder 15Add to your cart.
Folder 16Add to your cart.
Folder 17Add to your cart.
Series 2: Photographs, [2001]Add to your cart.
In this series are color photocopies of photographs of José Lezama Lima from the 1930s to the 1970s. Eloísa Lezama Lima and María Luisa Bautista, José Lezama Lima's wife, are also pictured.
Extent: 1 folder (Box 1)
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 18: José Lezama Lima photosAdd to your cart.
Series 3: Miscellaneous, n.d., 1966, 1976Add to your cart.
A poem by Lezama Lima, "Un par de zapatos," which includes an outline drawing of his foot, is included in this series. Series III also contains a memorial card with a note from Eloísa Lezama Lima to Gastón Baquero and an annotated copy of Paradiso.
Extent: 2 folders and one volume (Box 1)
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 19: PoemAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: Memorial CardAdd to your cart.
Folder 21: Annotated copy of ParadisoAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1961-1976],
[Series 2: Photographs, [2001]],
[Series 3: Miscellaneous, n.d., 1966, 1976],

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