This book focuses on the novel Paradiso of Cuban author José Lezama Lima (1910-1976), and in particular on the protagonist José Cemí. It examines the development of Cemí according to the three distinct phases detailed by Lezama: the &8216;placentario&8217; world of family protection, the awakening to the exterior world and the subsequent friendships made, and the eventual encounters with Oppiano Licario. Cemí&8217;s progression, and his growing ability to interpret and create texts, is analysed as analogous to the reader&8217;s progression through the novel. In this respect, both the reader and Cemí are obliged to interpret the complex symbolism according to interpretative skills acquired from the text itself. In a similar fashion, the connection between Cemí&8217;s &8216;guide&8217; Licario, and the author Lezama is investigated. By exploring these connections between reader and protagonist, author and character, the author of this work suggests a radical and hitherto unexplored approach to the text of Lezama.