Music in Cuba

ISBN-10: 0816632308
ISBN-13: 9780816632305
Edition: 2001
List price: $24.50
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Book details

List price: $24.50
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Publication date: 2/20/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 312
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Alejo Carpentier was director of Cuba's National Press, which published many millions of volumes in an ambitious program, and for some years was Cuba's ambassador to France. A composer and musicologist, he consciously applied the principles of musical composition in much of his work. Imprisoned for political activity in 1928, he escaped with the aid of Robert Desnos, a French surrealist poet, to Paris, where he joined the literary circle of surrealists Louis Aragon, Tristan Tzara, and Paul Eluard. According to Carpentier surrealism influenced his style and helped him to see "aspects of American life he had not previously seen, in their telluric, epic, and poetic contexts." Carpentier articulated a theory of marvelous reality, "lo real maravilloso," with an almost surrealistic sense of the relationship among unrelated, or antithetical, elements, often from distinct ethnic and cultural backgrounds. The Lost Steps (1953) takes the form of a diary of a Cuban musician and intellectual who seeks escape from civilization during his trip to a remote Amazon village in search of native musical instruments. The short stories "The Road to Santiago," "Journey to the Seed," and "Similar to Night," present time as subjective rather than historical, and capable of remarkable personal variations. In his novel The Pursuit, printed in The War of Time (1958), whose title is an allusion to a line from Lope de Vega defining a man as "a soldier in the war of time, presents time similarly. "The Kingdom of This World (1949) deals with the period of Henri Christophe and the slave revolts in Haiti. Its circular structure presents the inevitable recurrence of tyranny and the need for eternal struggle against it. Reasons of State (1976), is another notable addition to the gallery of Latin American fictional portraits of dictators. It uses Carpentier's love for baroque style and parody to raise complex questions about the nature of revolution.

Timothy Brennan is professor of comparative literature, cultural studies, and English at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of At Home in the World: Cosmopolitanism Nowand Salman Rushdie and the Third World: Myths of the Nation.

Introduction to the English Edition
Preface
The Sixteenth Century
The Seventeenth Century
Esteban Salas
Salon and Theater at the End of the Eighteenth Century
A Plot in the Cathedral of Havana
Introduction to the Contradanza
Blacks in Cuba
The Beginning of the Nineteenth Century
Antonio Raffelin-Juan Paris
Saumell and Nationalism
Espadero, the Romantic
Ignacio Cervantes
Cuban Bufos
Laureano Fuentes-Gaspar Villate
A Transition Period
Afro-Cubanism
Amadeo Roldan-Alejandro Garcia Caturla
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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