Alejo Carpentier

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Carpentier, Alejo


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.


In Russian translation:
Muzyka Kuby. Moscow, 1962.


Dashkevich, lu. “Alekho Karpent’er: romanist i ego mir.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1970, nO. 7.
Marques Rodríguez, A. La obra narrativa de A. Carpentier. [Caracas, 1970.]


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
En el prologo de Ecue-Yamba-O (1933) Alejo Carpentier califica su primera novela como un producto hibrido (10).
Moreover, Miller sees that the imaginative transformations of such attributions of "unenlightened immaturity" are evidenced alike in CLR James's literarily influenced history of the Haitian Revolution in Black Jacobins and in the historically based fiction of Alejo Carpentier and Marie Chauvet.
While Cuban author Alejo Carpentier's novel El siglo de las luces (1982) imported the French Revolution to the islands, the mixed results of the 18th century reforms in the colonies called into question the appropriation of Enlightenment ideals.
Diverse offerings included a seminar on the implications of the global credit crisis on United Nations reform and the annual Casa de las Americas, Alejo Carpentier and Nicolas Guillen literary prizes.
O corpus principal e constituido pelas seguintes obras: o romance El reino desse mundo (1949), do cubano Alejo Carpentier, o ensaio Toussaint Louverture.