Alejo Carpentier The Chase

ISBN 13: 9780816638093

The Chase

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Fiction

Introduction by Timothy Brennan

Three works of fiction by the inventor of magic realism-now back in print!

"In a nameless, Havana-like city, an anonymous man flees a team of shadowy, relentless political assassins, and ultimately takes refuge in a symphony auditorium during a performance of Beethoven's Eroica. . . . This nightmarish novel does not so much tell a story as map the secret political infrastructure of cities, governments, churches, music, and bodies." The Independent

"Carpentier was one of the early giants of modern Latin American literature, a man whose writing helped shape and define the period of 'magic realism.' . . . [The Chase is] a masterpiece." New York Times Book Review

"A taut tale of political violence and psychological suspense." San Francisco Chronicle

"One of the few perfect novellas in Spanish." G. Cabrera Infante

Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known for his novels, Carpentier also collaborated with such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. Born in Havana, he lived for many years in France and Venezuela but returned to Cuba after the 1959 revolution.

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Spanish

From Publishers Weekly:

Written in 1956, this gem by a renowned Cuban novelist ( The Kingdom of This World ; The Lost Steps ) is considered by many to be an esthetic watershed in Latin American fiction. Untranslated until now, it most clearly shows his method: a suspenseful, political situation delineated in a baroque elliptical style in which the details of landscape and feeling take the foreground and create their own suspense, transforming the story, a commonplace of modern fiction, into a luxuriant tropical canvas. Here the dubious hero, a young man who in his university days participated in revolutionary activity and was caught, tortured and became a partisan of a corrupt political leader, is now being trailed by hitmen of a rival seeking to take power. His story is framed by that of a box-office clerk (an eccentric but a kind of Everyman) at the concert hall where he has taken refuge. The chase is full of the formal suspense cliches of popular fiction, and Carpentier slows it down to reach for what is the grander total view. While some of the novelists of the Latin American boom claim him, Carpentier is a magic realist but no fabulist; he is, in fact, delineating an easily recognizable event in the history of Cuba. Readers who know Havana will be able to follow the chase from block to block, but the symbolism embedded in the references to the poet Heredia and the playing at the concert hall of Beethoven's Eroica may escape many. Carpentier was often nominated for the Nobel Prize but was neglected outside the Spanish-speaking world. Now Noonday Press promises uniform paperback editions of all the novels: a real boon for lovers of fiction.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780374120832: The Chase

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ISBN 10:  0374120838 ISBN 13:  9780374120832
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1989
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9780233985503: Chase

Farrar..., 1990
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9780374522391: The Chase

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9780749391072: The Chase

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