Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba

Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba

Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba

Pleasure Island: Tourism and Temptation in Cuba

Synopsis

Rosalie Schwartz is the author of Lawless Liberators, the winner of the 1990 Hubert Herring Book Prize. With this volume, she offers a scholarly study of tourism in Cuba, mainly between the 1920s and 1960s.

Excerpt

The concept of drama, or theater piece, suits the study of tourism. In the British playwright Michael Frayn chaotic comedy Noises Off, the curtain opens on the comfortable home of an upper- class British family. A member of the household staff enters. It soon becomes apparent that the scene is a blundering dress rehearsal for a play within a play and that the larger plot turns on the sometimes absurd antics of theater people. In act 1 the audience watches the very ragged rehearsal. Act 2 opens with the first act's set reversed; that is, the view is backstage, and the action encompasses the confused behind- the-scenes problems and personal peccadillos of the cast. Stage entrances familiar from act 1 become exits from the action in act 2. In this second-act reversal, when someone enters, he or she has left the theatrical performance to become a "real" person, that is, the actor or actress who plays a stage character.

Similarly, most contemporary tourist scenes are staged, scripted experiences. A ship docks, or an airplane lands. The "players" make their . . .

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