He also spoke French and as an adolescent, he read Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola. The following year, Carpentier left his studies and tried to find work to support his mother. He also studied music. His journalistic work, which was considered leftist, helped establish the first Cuban Communist Party. After his release, he escaped Cuba with the help of journalist Robert Desnos who lent him his passport and papers. When he left Cuba, he was fortunate enough to avoid the political conflicts which had occurred during the s.
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He also spoke French and as an adolescent, he read Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola. The following year, Carpentier left his studies and tried to find work to support his mother.
He also studied music. His journalistic work, which was considered leftist, helped establish the first Cuban Communist Party. After his release, he escaped Cuba with the help of journalist Robert Desnos who lent him his passport and papers.
When he left Cuba, he was fortunate enough to avoid the political conflicts which had occurred during the s. During this time certain positions were unacceptable to the authorities and Cuban intellectuals were forced to define their political position and for these and other political reasons he decided to leave.
Contributions to the Parisian Journal such as the short story "Cahiers du Sud" , in French, were an effort to acquire European readers as a way to improve his recognition. He documented the latest news about this group and their activities in his book Homenaje a nuestros amigos de Paris.
In film, Carpentier wrote text and edited music for the French documentary Le Vaudou. He also began working for a French radio station as a sound-technician and producer.
From until Carpentier worked on several projects produced by Foniric Studios. Although abroad, Carpentier still maintained contact with Cuba by sending articles and poems to contribute to Havana publications such as Ensayos Convergentes.
The time he had spent in Paris for over eleven years had enriched and "oriented his expressive abilities". From to he lived in Venezuela , which is the inspiration for the unnamed South American country in which much of his novel The Lost Steps takes place. He wrote short stories which were later collected in The War of Time In , he finished his novel The Kingdom of this World.
It has twin leitmotifs of the printing press and the guillotine and can be read as a "meditation on the dangers inherent in all revolutions as they begin to confront the temptations of dictatorship. In he was the recipient of the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca. His remains were returned to Cuba for interment in the Colon Cemetery, Havana.
Themes[ edit ] Lo real maravilloso[ edit ] Carpentier is widely known for his theory of lo real maravilloso. This is the notion that the history and the geography of Latin America are both so extreme as to appear fictional or even magical to outsiders. Thus, Latin America is a region where the line between magic and reality is blurred.
It was in the prologue to The Kingdom of this World, a novel of the Haitian Revolution , that he described his vision of lo real maravilloso: "But what is the history of Latin America but a chronicle of magical realism? Some critics interpret the real maravilloso as being synonymous with magical realism.
Carpentier himself played the piano, as did his mother; his father played cello, studying under Pablo Casals , and his grandmother played the organ. His devotion to the adaptations of European artistic styles into Latin American music styles can also be seen in his admiration for Afro-Cuban musical themes. As such, for Carpentier to better understand Cuban identity through his work, he eagerly integrated music into his writing.
Carpentier took particular interest in Afro-Cuban themes. Carpentier once wrote that lo guajiro was, "very poetic, but lo guajiro is not music On the other hand, in mestizo and black music For example, Carpentier paid particular attention to Contradanza , a wildly popular Cuban dance derived from the European style of music and dance, Contredanse. The ample room left for musical improvisation and the element of group dance were easily adapted into African musical tradition where improvisation and dance play integral roles.
Hence, a hybrid musical form unique to Cuba was created.