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The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier
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Dec 15, 2010

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Read in December, 2010

Haiti. A slave revolt. The end of the French rule. The first Negro king. His overthrow. Slaves deposing masters, becoming new masters with their own slaves, then being thrown out themselves. "This endless return of chains, this rebirth of shackles, this proliferation of suffering, (this) proof of the uselessness of all revolt."

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 the end, right there at the novel's most dramatic passages:

"Now he understood that a man never knows for whom he suffers and hopes. He suffers and hopes and toils for people he will never know, and who, in turn, will suffer and hope and toil for others who will not be happy either, for man always seeks a happiness far beyond that which is meted out to him. But man's greatness consists in the very fact of wanting to be better than he is. In laying duties upon himself. In the Kingdom of Heaven there is no grandeur to be won, inasmuch as there all is an established hierarchy, the unknown is revealed, existence is infinite, there is no possibility of sacrifice, all is rest and joy. For this reason, bowed down by suffering and duties, beautiful in the midst of his misery, capable of loving in the face of afflictions and trials, man finds his greatness, his fullest measure, only in the KINGDOF of This World."

KINGDOF it was, believe it or not (FSG Classics, 2006 paperback edition).
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message 1: by Joyzi (new)

Joyzi Lol Typos, they need to bloody kill the editor

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