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The Kingdom Of This World

Carpentier, Alejo

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ISBN 10: 068911494X / ISBN 13: 9780689114946
Published by Knopf, 1957
From zenosbooks (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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New York. 1957. Knopf. 1st American Edition. Slightly Brown Fade Rectangular Mark On Front Endpaper, Otherwise Very Good In Slightly Worn Dustjacket. 150 pages. hardcover. 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 visited the fortress of the Citadelle La Ferriere and the Palace of Sans-Souci, both built by the black king Henri Christophe. This trip, along with readings from Oswald Spengler’s cyclical interpretation of history, provided the inspiration for his second novel, The Kingdom of this World (1949). In 1945, Carpentier moved to Caracas. From 1945 to 1959 he lived in Venezuela, which is the obvious inspiration for the unnamed South American country in which much of The Lost Steps is set. In 1949, he finishes his novel The Kingdom of this World. This novel has a prologue that ‘outlines Carpentier’s faith in the destiny of Latin America and the aesthetic implications of its peculiar cultural heritage.’ He returned to Cuba after the Fidel Castro’s Communist revolution in 1959. He worked for the State Publishing House while he completed the baroque-style book, Explosion in a Cathedral (1962).’ This novel discusses the advent of the Enlightenment and the ideas of the French Revolution in the New World. It has twin leitmotifs of the printing press and the guillotine and can b. Bookseller Inventory # 23271

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Kingdom Of This World

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 1957

Binding: hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition.

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Book by C. W. Smith

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