Study Guide

Dreaming in Cuban Music

By Cristina García

Music

Music takes on special significance for Celia, Felicia, and Pilar in particular. For Pilar, the vibrant punk music scene in New York embodies her anger and energy, her desire to break away and to invent and reinvent her identity a million times over in a single year. As she matures, she associates her frustrations and struggles to understand where she belongs (and with whom) with the body-shaking thump of the bass. That "piece of furniture," as she calls it, becomes an extension of her body in flux and outward symbol of the energy and substance that is Pilar.

Beny Moré and his music come to stand for Felicia's voice. When she is in the deepest throes of delusion, it is Beny's voice that keeps her from listening to every maddening sound of the universe. Ivanito associates this music with his mother's own voice, which he searches the radio waves for after her death. It's as though he can tune in and summon her physical presence by hearing Beny's song in her mouth on the radio.

Celia sees music as the perfect emblem for her deep-seated passions. She recites the poetry of Federico García Lorca to anyone who will listen (remember, poetry=lyric) and remembers the lectures he gave at Havana's Principal de la Comedia Theater when she was a young woman in the throes of a first love. His poetry, works that are turned into songs, call to her as she enters the ocean in the last pages of the book.

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