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Harp and the Shadow

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  245 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews

"An extraordinary display of historical inquisitiveness and stylistic maturity."-The New York Times Book Review

Exploring the consequences of the European discovery of the Americas and challenging the myth of Columbus, Alejo Carpentier-"the father of magical realism"-studies the first meetings of the Western and American cultures and the tragic consequences of tarnished an

Hardcover, 159 pages
Published June 30th 1990 by Mercury House (first published 1979)
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Jul 28, 2009 Gabriel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Whereas the other Alejo Carpentier book I've read so far (The Lost Steps or Los Pasos Perdidos) was written with gargantuan paragraphs and it fit with the journey motif there, the same paragraphs here felt forced and lost meaning until the end. However, much like Pasos, as soon as your head wraps around the story and gets into the characters, a whole new world opens before you.

This particular book deals with the possible Canonization/Sanctifying of Christopher Columbus. It is told in three parts
Nicolás Rivas
May 25, 2015 Nicolás Rivas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A punta de humor ácido Alejo Carpentier desmitifica magistralmente la imagen de Colón. A tono con las ideas de Edward Said (Orientalismo) el libro nos invita a reflexionar que la historia a menudo se escribe con fines políticos, con intención y también a menudo con saña. Más allá de revelarnos (o ya ahora recordarnos) la estupidez de Colón y su nefasta influencia en la conquista de Sudamerica, el libro destaca por su humor, ácido y sorprendentemente moderno, insultante pero preciso, producto de ...more
Yolanda Chapa
Feb 12, 2015 Yolanda Chapa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Debo admitir que no esperaba encontrarme con lo que me encontré en ningún sentido de la palabra.

Este libro trata sobre la posible beatificación de Cristóbal Colón y un recuento de su vida desde su punto de vista estando en su lecho de muerte. Es hasta cierto punto divertido ver cómo el gran mito, la gran figura del Descubridor que podría unir más al mundo católico es, al menos en esta lectura, alguien que sólo quería un buen renombre, no era religioso y mucho menos comprensivo con causas ajenas
May 13, 2016 Quiet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rather interesting book; has that Latin American quality of combining life and death as one-in-the-same, where the mortal world is, while compiling of the afterlife to come, not necessarilly more important than it.

This book is centered on Colombus, and, at the time it was written, was an extremely radical book. Prior, Colombus had been maintained with that Western propaganda with hardly any blemish allowed, and therefore Carpentier's book really set the story straight.

Colombus was a selfish, br
Steve Kettmann
Aug 22, 2011 Steve Kettmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my original review published in the San Francisco Chronicle in July 1990:

This adroit and involving novel, originally published in Cuba in 1979, provides a look inside Christopher Columbus' head that is sure to add considerably to our understanding of an explorer who gets so much credit for such inglorious accomplishments.

Alejo Carpentier, a Cuban who died in 1980, ''invented magical realism,'' according to Carlos Fuentes. A writer of considerable power, he shows his mastery most tellingl
Do you know about a cool way of traveling for free? I do: read books by authors from all other the world. It will open your horizon, and you will discover treasures.

Alejo Carpentier is another great author I’m just discovering. The Harp And The Shadow is a fascinating historical novel focused on Christopher Columbus’s travels to the New World. The book opens in the 1864 with Pope Pie IX, as he tries desperately to find reasons to beatify Columbus. As you can imagine, he can in no way find religi
May 31, 2015 Edith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente libro, muy interesante visión sobre el descubridor de América.
Ricardo Loup
Jul 08, 2016 Ricardo Loup rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¿Cómo diablos lo hace? Magnífico Carpentier, como siempre.
Oct 15, 2010 h rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really striking re-imagining of the mythology of Columbus. Carpentier draws extensively on the journals of Columbus for the centerpiece of the novel: a "confession." the sailor's tale is framed by two later historical moments debating his possible beatification/canonization. written in the 1970s, Carpentier has a lot to say about Marx, socialism, and revolution. anyone interested in Latin American politics and history would find great interest in this novel.
Apr 11, 2010 L.S. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
nu neaparat impresionat de aceasta carte, mult sub recursul la metoda. poate ca si subiectul istoric a contribuit la aceasta senzatie.

"ajuns in ceasul inevitabil cand trebuie sa vorbesc, in clipa adevarului, imi pun masca celui care am vrut sa fiu si n-am fost: masca ce se va contopi cu aceea pe care mi-o va pune moartea - ultima din nenumaratele pe care le-am purtat de-a lungul unei existente fara vreo data de inceput".

German Patarroyo
Sep 23, 2008 German Patarroyo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My last book of Carpentier...A lot of books there are about Colon and its trip but this book creates an alucinated testimony from the same Colon and how its "glorious journey" almost is consequence of a betification process....again a historical book from Carpentier, but the man was a master in this subject. ...more
Jun 17, 2014 Ernesto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considerablemente, una buena novela de Carpentier, sobre todo por la constante ironía empleada en torno a la figura de Cristóbal Colón.
Dec 25, 2008 Gandalfu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La mejor y más simpatica hitoria sobre los viajes de Colon que he visto.

Carpentier no para de sorprenderme.
Jun 02, 2008 Alberto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice work by Carpentier, as usual the most advanced use of the Spanish language I have ever seen.
Todor Ivanov
"В арфата, когато звъни, има три неща: изкуство, ръка и струна. В човека: тяло, душа и сянка."
Oct 07, 2012 Tracy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carpentier is a genious writer, and so full of commenaries and self-reflection.
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Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its "boom" period.

Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known f
More about Alejo Carpentier...

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