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Alejo Carpentier (1904–1980)

Author of The Kingdom of This World

127+ Works 5,145 Members 109 Reviews 14 Favorited

About the Author

Alejo Carpentier was director of Cuba's National Press, which published many millions of volumes in an ambitious program, and for some years was Cuba's ambassador to France. A composer and musicologist, he consciously applied the principles of musical composition in much of his work. Imprisoned for show more political activity in 1928, he escaped with the aid of Robert Desnos, a French surrealist poet, to Paris, where he joined the literary circle of surrealists Louis Aragon, Tristan Tzara, and Paul Eluard. According to Carpentier surrealism influenced his style and helped him to see "aspects of American life he had not previously seen, in their telluric, epic, and poetic contexts." Carpentier articulated a theory of marvelous reality, "lo real maravilloso," with an almost surrealistic sense of the relationship among unrelated, or antithetical, elements, often from distinct ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The Lost Steps (1953) takes the form of a diary of a Cuban musician and intellectual who seeks escape from civilization during his trip to a remote Amazon village in search of native musical instruments. The short stories "The Road to Santiago," "Journey to the Seed," and "Similar to Night," present time as subjective rather than historical, and capable of remarkable personal variations. In his novel The Pursuit, printed in The War of Time (1958), whose title is an allusion to a line from Lope de Vega defining a man as "a soldier in the war of time, presents time similarly. "The Kingdom of This World (1949) deals with the period of Henri Christophe and the slave revolts in Haiti. Its circular structure presents the inevitable recurrence of tyranny and the need for eternal struggle against it. Reasons of State (1976), is another notable addition to the gallery of Latin American fictional portraits of dictators. It uses Carpentier's love for baroque style and parody to raise complex questions about the nature of revolution. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Alejo Carpentier

The Kingdom of This World (1949) 1,178 copies
The Lost Steps (1953) 1,100 copies
El siglo de las luces (1962) 981 copies
Baroque Concerto (1976) 266 copies
Reasons of state (1974) 264 copies
The Chase (1956) 240 copies
Guerra del tiempo (1963) 215 copies
The Harp and the Shadow (1979) 208 copies
Ecue-Yamba-O (1933) 64 copies
Music in Cuba (1946) 45 copies
Cuentos completos (1979) 42 copies
La ciudad de las columnas (1970) 37 copies
L'Avana, amore mio (1996) 16 copies
The Road to Santiago (1972) 11 copies
Dos novelas (1976) 10 copies
Visión de América (1999) 10 copies
Cuentos (1977) 9 copies
El derecho de asilo (1995) 8 copies
Tientos y Diferencias (1967) 7 copies
Narrativa completa II (1995) 6 copies
CRONICAS. (1984) 5 copies
Los Pasos Recobrados (2003) 5 copies
Novelas y relatos (1974) 4 copies
Relatos (1901) 4 copies
El Arma y la Sombre (1997) 4 copies
Crónicas : II (1986) 4 copies
Entrevistas (1985) 3 copies
Cuentos cubanos (1974) 2 copies
Die Romane (2011) 2 copies
Siitilma riik (2017) 2 copies
Letra y solfa (1997) 2 copies
Villa Lobos 2 copies
Crónicas habaneras (2018) 2 copies
Diario (1951-1957) (2013) 2 copies
Selección de ensayos (2003) 1 copy
Valgustuse sajand (2022) 1 copy
Harfa i cień (1982) 1 copy
Szaleństwo i metoda (1980) 1 copy
Wojna czasu 1 copy
Essais littéraires (2003) 1 copy
3 Relatos 1 copy

Associated Works

The Eye of the Heart: Short Stories from Latin America (1973) — Contributor — 152 copies
A Hammock Beneath the Mangoes: Stories from Latin America (1991) — Contributor — 147 copies
Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology (1984) — Contributor — 111 copies
The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories (1997) — Contributor — 104 copies
Huellas de las literaturas hispanoamericanas (1602) — Contributor — 50 copies
Mejores relatos latinoamericanos (1998) — Contributor — 28 copies
Buena Vista (2000) — Contributor — 8 copies
Seven stories from Spanish America (1968) — Contributor — 5 copies
Повести магов (2002) — Contributor — 3 copies
Cuentos de Cuba socialista (1976) — Contributor — 2 copies
El cuento literario (2008) — Contributor — 2 copies

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Reviews

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Con este libro creo haberme reconciliado con la narrativa. Desde que he empezado a leer todos los libros pendientes de mi biblioteca, donde la mayoría son de narrativa, tenía la asignatura pendiente de poder comprender qué es la narrativa para mí. Por supuesto que he disfrutado de las lecturas anteriores, pero Alejo Carpentier, con su prosa plagada de detalles, metáforas y magia, es la única que me ha conquistado durante 500 páginas. No me pasaba esto desde que leí Solenoide de Cărtărescu. Tampoco quiero llenar de elogios el libro, pero me ha parecido sublime la construcción del relato y el falso engaño del protagonismo. Constantemente se nos presenta en la novela multitud de personajes que pueden llegar a tener cierta relevancia en lo textual, pero siempre se vuelve al leitmotiv de la historia: Esteban. La labor de documentación histórica que hay detrás también es notable –de hecho es la más interesante, pues se convierte en ficción histórica. Es ahora cuando cojo ilusión de nuevo de que en mis manos caiga algún libro más de narrativa. Además, es gracioso haberlo leído esta edición de Clásicos de El País, ya que las erratas y errores que uno encuentra son adorables. Estas fuerzas renovadas me plantean tantas preguntas sobre la escritura. ¿Quizá lea el libro de Irene Vallejo? Me veo capaz de todo ahora.… (more)
 
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seralv04 | 28 other reviews | Feb 14, 2024 |
 
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archivomorero | 19 other reviews | Aug 20, 2023 |
As revolution sweeps back and forth across the Atlantic at the conclusion of the 18th century, two Cuban cousins witness a world trembling between rebirth and regression.

Sofia is the most perfect literary protagonist I can remember reading this semester. I suppose you could make a case for Victor or Esteban dominating the narrative, but Sofia is clearly the narrative's center: she is the one who develops a firm and unyielding moral code, and it is only through her that Esteban recovers from his post-Victor cynicism. Even aside from its artistic ambition, Explosion in a Cathedral is stuffed with technical achievements, ranging from how the three narratives (Carlos, Sofia, Esteban) envelope one another to the single point where the narrative jumps from Sofia to Esteban. In the leap, the narrative elides a pivotal event so effortlessly that the reader only realizes the omission alongside Esteban a hundred pages later.… (more)
 
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proustbot | 28 other reviews | Jun 19, 2023 |
A pesar de que Carpentier es siempre Carpentier, bastante recargado para mi gusto personal, ésta es, de sus obras, la que más me gustó, por la época que abarca, por las diferentes culturas que se van cruzando, por su inmersión en el mundo del arte, por las continuas alusiones a personajes reconocibles (y queribles en gran parte de los casos). Es casi un tratado de historia política y cultural hecho novela.
 
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Marlobo | 3 other reviews | Dec 24, 2022 |

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Works
127
Also by
17
Members
5,145
Popularity
#4,841
Rating
3.8
Reviews
109
ISBNs
463
Languages
18
Favorited
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