Negeri Kaum Budak
A few years after its liberation from the brutality of French colonial rule in 1803, Haiti endured a period of even greater brutality under the reign of King Henri-Christophe, who was born a slave in Grenada but rose to become the first black king in the Western Hemisphere. In prose of often dreamlike coloration and intensity, Alejo Carpentier records the destruction of th...more
"No question now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was...more
The language is laconic, desert-like and strange. Of legends and lore, superstitions, magical powers, numbing brutality, sex, alien names and places.
And a typo, towards th...more
This is arguably the book that launched Latin American magic realism. First published in 1949, the book opens with a prologue which sets out to distinguish what the Cuban author calls the "marvellous reality" of Latin America from the surrealist marvellous of Europe: But what many forget, in disguising themselves as cheap magicians, is that the marvellous becomes unequivocally marvellous when it arises...more
hyperviolent, blazingly paced, surreal, satirically grotesque, oeneric gallows humor elaborately detailed with its almost breathless nightmare of vision. It reminds me of the old canard about the monster of revolution eating its children, almost as if by natural law. The story of Haiti, in Carpentier's eyes, seems to match up with that rather grim proclamation.
They say this is one of the forerunner of magical realism, and it's not h...more
By the way, since the distortedness of book and movie blurbs is a pet peeve of mine, let me reflect a bit on the racist boiler-plate pap that appears in the blurb above and (in a slightly different version) on the cover of my edition of the book. Here it is:
"A few years after its liberation from the brutality of French colonial rule in 1803, Haiti endured a period of even greater brutality under the reign of King Henri-Christophe, who was born...more
The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier is a novel filled with riveting images and metaphors relating to the Haitian liberation from France. The novel provides an interesting perspective on the Haitian Revolution as it accurately portrays history leaving out the boring dates and text that normally causes a reader to lose interest in a work. Here, Carpentier presents Haitian history though the life of Ti Noel, the one character present in all four parts of the book. Carpentier’s book is div...more
En la novela se narra una de esas 'epopeyas desconocidas' que jalonan la Historia y que en la energía de su comienzo parecen capaces de marcar un nuevo destino para...more
A re-writing of Haiti's colonial history. Meshes with the marvelous the long lineage of slavery in Haiti from the French colonial rule, through the unexpected brutality of a slave-turned-king, to the equal torment inflicted by the mulattoes. The novel's ultimate decolonizing stance is its use of the Vodou to awaken the slaves and revolt against the imperial power.
People into history and magic realism will treasure this.
In a very Animal Farm fashion, the Haitian slaves revolt and overthrow their masters only to create a society based on even harsher slavery and inequality. The meat o...more
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