Cintio Vitier, a great of Cuban culture

Cintio Vitier, a great of Cuban culture

Heritage & Traditions

CubaPLUS Magazine

Cuba commemorates this September 25 the centennial of the birth of writer Cintio Vitier, one of the most important intellectuals in national history, with important work in poetry, narrative, essays and literary criticism.

Various actions have taken place nationally regarding the date, among them the presentation of the reprint of two of his emblematic titles, “Lo cubano en la poesía” (What is Cuban in poetry) and “Ese sol del mundo moral” (That sun of the moral world), considered an essential text in the process of formation of the Cuban conscience.

Cintio Vitier Bolaños was born in Key West, United States, and began his primary studies at Colegio Froebel, founded by his father in the Cuban city of Matanzas. In Havana, 1938, he published his first book, Poems, with a presentation by the prominent Spanish writer Juan Ramón Jiménez, and was part of the founding nucleus of the magazine Origenes (1944-1956), along with other greats of Latin American letters, such as José Lezama Lima, Eliseo Diego and Fina García Marruz, his wife since 1947.

The mythical publication, one of the most important in Cuban literary history, had collaborators such as Alejo Carpentier, Lydia Cabrera, Virgilio Piñera, Aimé Césaire, Paul Valéry, Vicente Aleixandre, Albert Camus, Luis Cernuda, Paul Claudel, Paul Éluard, Gabriela Mistral and Octavio Paz, among others.

In the fruitful work of this intellectual, the study and promotion of the life and work of the National Hero, José Martí, who Vitier defined as "the greatest contribution of Cuban culture to the universal one, stands out."

In his passionate work in this area there are critical editions of the complete works of the Apostle of Independence, the publication of the Marti Yearbook, with anthological pieces of the hero, and the constitution of the Martí Hall in the National Library, which later became the Marti Study Center. Vitier worked until his death on October 1, 2009.

Among other numerous recognitions, Cintio Vitier was awarded the National Prize in Literature, Juan Rulfo Prize, Official Prize of Arts and Letters of France and the José Martí Order by the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, as well as Doctor Honoris Causa of the Universities of Havana, Las Villas and Soka (Japan).