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Born Dec. 26, 1904, in Havana. Cuban writer.
Carpentier began his literary activity in the 1920’s and belonged to the Group of the Minority. He also edited the progressive journal Revista de avance. He lived as an émigré in Paris (1928–39) and in Venezuela (1945–59). After the victory of the revolution of 1959, Carpentier participated in Cuba’s social and cultural life.
His early writing is connected with “Afro-Cubism,” a literary movement that drew on the dual (European and African) sources of Cuba’s culture. Carpentier’s first novel was Afro-Cubist: Ecue Jamba-o (1933) naturalistically depicted the religious rites of the Negroes. In the 1940’s he made comparisons between Latin America and Western Europe in his works, noting common features of historical and cultural development. The historical novella Earthly Kingdom (1949; Russian translation, 1962) deals with the revolution in Haiti at the turn of the 19th century and the mythological element of the Negro collective consciousness.
Carpentier’s novel Lost Traces (1953; Russian translation, 1964) demonstrates the simultaneous existence of different stages of history in Latin America. His multilevel historical novel The Age of Enlightenment (1962; Russian translation, 1968) raises the problem of the special character of the history of Latin America’s development.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
Muzyka Kuby. Moscow, 1962.
REFERENCESDashkevich, lu. “Alekho Karpent’er: romanist i ego mir.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1970, nO. 7.
Marques Rodríguez, A. La obra narrativa de A. Carpentier. [Caracas, 1970.]
N. S. ZIUKOVA