The Kingdom Of This World

Carpentier, Alejo

Published by Knopf, 1957
/ Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Kingdom Of This World

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 1957

Binding: hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition.


New York. 1957. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. 54. 150 pages. hardcover. Jacket design by Joseph Low. keywords: December 26. inventory # 2026. FROM THE PUBLISHER - This extraordinary tale of Haiti in the era of Toussaint L’Ouverture and Henri-Christophe is fiction, but most of the people who cross its magic-filled pages really lived. The chronology, the place names, even the events are largely true to historical fact. Through the eyes of one long-lived Negro - Ti Noel - we the readers see the happenings of an incredible time. But the principal character of THE KINGDOM OF THIS WORLD is not Ti Noel or Henri-Christophe, but Haiti itself in the most violent period of its dramatic and bloody history. Voodoo, race hatred, erotomania, fantastic grandeurs of false elegance, the incredible Citadel of La Ferrière, Sans Souci, King’ Henri-Christophe’s body set into the mortar of his weird fortress-all these elements, plus half a hundred more (including wonderful glimpses of Pauline Bonaparte) pour from this brilliantly lighted, tropical, superbly written, and unique book. By the man of whom Dame Edith Sitwell has written: ‘Carpentier is, most certainly, one of the greatest writers alive at this time.’. Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904 - April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essay writer, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous ‘boom’ period. Carpentier was born in Lausanne, Switzerland. For a long time it was believed that he was born in La Habana where his family moved immediately before his birth, but following his death a birth certificate was found in Switzerland. His mother was a Russian professor of languages and his father was a French architect. At 12, his family moved to Paris, where he began to study music theory at the lycee Jeanson de Sailly. When they returned to Cuba in the 1920s, he began a study of architecture which he never completed. He also studied music. Carpentier became a cultural journalist, writing mostly about avant-garde developments in the arts, particularly music. His journalistic work was also considered as leftist and helped found the Cuban Communist Party. Together with the composer Amadeo Roldán, he helped organize the Cuban premieres of works by Stravinsky and Poulenc. 1927, Carpentier was arrested for opposing the Gerardo Machado y Morales dictatorship and spent forty days in jail. It is during this brief period in jail when he started working on his first novel, Ecué-Yamba-O (1933), an exploration of Afro-Cuban traditions among the poor of the island, which he later disavowed for being superficial. He was released in early 1928. After his release, he escaped Cuba with the help of poet journalist Robert Desnos who had lent him his passport and papers. While exiled in France, Carpentier was introduced to the surrealists by Desnos, including André Breton, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Jacques Prévert, and Antonin Artaud. He also met Guatemalan author Miguel Angel Asturias, whose work on pre-Columbian mythology influenced his writing. He continued to earn his living writing, both in French and Spanish, on contemporary culture, as well as contributing to the Communist Party journal. While in France, he made several visits to Spain, during which he developed a fascination for the Baroque. In 1937 (during the Spanish Civil War) he attended an international conference in Madrid of writers against fascism. Carpentier returned to Cuba and continued to work as a journalist at the outbreak of World War II. He also began research on a book on Cuban music. It was published in 1946 as La musica in Cuba (Music in Cuba). He also wrote stories which were later collected in The War of Time (1958). While in Cuba, Carpentier also attended a voodoo ceremony that was to develop his interest in Afro-Cubanism. In 1943, Carpentier, accompanied by French theatrical director Louis Jouvet, made a crucial trip to Haiti, during which he visite. Bookseller Inventory # 2026

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