Autofiction as a fictional metaphorical self-translation: the case of Reinaldo Arenas' El color del verano

Stéphanie Panichelli*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the past thirty years, autofiction has been at the center of many literary studies (Alberca 2005/6, 2007; Colonna 1989, 2004; Gasparini 2004; Genette 1982), although only recently in Hispanic literary studies. Despite the many common characteristics with self-translation, no interdisciplinary perspective has ever been offered by academic researchers in Literary nor in Translation Studies. This article analyses how the Cuban author, Reinaldo Arenas, uses specific methods inherent to autofiction, such as nominal and personal identity exploitation, among others, to translate himself metaphorically into his novel El color del verano [The colour of summer]. Analysing this novel drawing on the theory of self-translation sheds light on the intrinsic and extraneous motives behind the writer’s decision to use this specific literary genre, as well as the benefits presented to the reader who gains access to the ‘interliminal space’ of the writer’s work as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-51
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Romance Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in Journal of Romance Studies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Panichelli, S 2015, 'Autofiction as a fictional metaphorical self-translation: The case of Reinaldo Arenas' El color del verano' Journal of romance studies, vol 15, no. 1, pp. 29-51 is available online at:


  • autofiction
  • self-translation
  • Reinaldo Arenas
  • Cuban revolution
  • persecution


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