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Famous Like Me > Writer > C > Alejo Carpentier

Profile of Alejo Carpentier on Famous Like Me

Name: Alejo Carpentier  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 26th December 1904
Place of Birth: Havana, Cuba
Profession: Writer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

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. 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. When they returned to Cuba, he began a study of architecture which he never completed. He became a leftist journalist and spent some time in prison before going into exile in France. There he was introduced to the surrealists, including André Breton, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Jacques Prévert, and Antonin Artaud. While in France, he made several visits to Spain, during which he developed a fascination for the Baroque.

He returned to Cuba and continued to work as a journalist. There, he attended a voodoo ceremony that was to develop his interest in Afro-Cubanism. In 1943, he made a crucial trip to Haiti, during which he visited the fortress of La Ferriere and the Palace of Sans-Souci, both built by the black king Henri Christophe.

Widely known for his baroque style of writing and his theory of "lo real maravilloso," his most famous works include Ecue-yamba-o! ("Praised Be the Lord!", 1933), ''The Kingdom of this World'' (1949) and The Lost Steps (1953). It was in the prologue to The Kingdom, a novel of the Haitian Revolution, that he described his vision of "lo real maravilloso" or the marvelous real, which some critics interpret as being synonymous with magical realism.

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.

He returned to Cuba after the revolution in 1959 and served as Cuban ambassador to France. He received the Cervantes Prize in 1977 and the French Prix Medici in 1979.

He died in Paris.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Alejo Carpentier