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Alejo Carpentier

( Cuban writer, poet, musicologist)

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Biography Alejo Carpentier
Carpentier, Alejo (full name - Carpentier-and-Valmont), (Carpentier Valmont), (1904-1980), a Cuban writer, poet, musicologist.

Born December 26, 1904 in Havana, his father - an architect, his mother - a teacher of Russian language. Father was a Frenchman, . mother - Russian (accounted for a relative of the poet KD Balmont), . where they settled in Cuba only in 1902 (met in Switzerland - the future mother Carpentier studying abroad, . many Russian students, medichki - they spent long periods in Europe),
. Despite the origin and intense interest in European and especially Russian culture, . Carpentier finally felt like a representative of Latin American culture (in his thoughts, . America is a kind of synthesis of different types of crops),

Attended school, but learning, as he recalled much later, was delivered extremely poor, help me out independent study and reading books. In 1913, together with their parents on a journey, . lasted for about a year, . months spent in Russia, . then in Paris, . where for three months before returning home to school Jeanson-de-Seyi, . listening to lectures, . including the theory of music, . and practicing piano improvisation,
. Interest in music remained lifelong, . Carpentier gained fame not only as a musicologist, . but also as a composer (the hallmark of his musical works - the use of Afro-Cuban music, . particularly, . Negro rhythms),
. In his librettos were also created ballets Rebambaramba "and" Miracle Anakile "Cuban composer A. Roldц¦n (1900-1939), . comic opera "long-arm" of the Cuban composer A. Garcia Caturla (1906-1940), . which, . besides, . written several pieces of music to words Carpentier, . particularly, . "Ekue Yamba-O!" for chorus and orchestra based on the novel and 2, the Afro-Cuban poem for voice and flute,

When Carpentier was 11 years old, the family moved to the estate under the Havana. At age thirteen tries Carpentier himself as a writer (the first works written in French).

In 1921, while living in Havana, began to study architecture, but after only a few months, when his father left the family, interrupts the training and go into journalism. In 1923 part of the 'minority group' ( 'Group minoristov'), avant-garde association, dealing not only with matters of culture and politics.

In 1924 he became chief editor of the literary-journalistic magazine Karteles'. During this period, working as an art historian, examines black music, itself acts as a composer - his oratorio La Passion Noire performed in Paris.

In 1926 Carpentier visited Mexico, where he met and became friends with the Mexican artist Diego Rivera (1886-1957) and Jose Clemente Orozco (1883-1949).

In 1927 he headed as chief editor of a new magazine 'Revista de avance', (in the light went out only one room), wrote poetry, organizes concerts contemporary music. In the same year for, . that Carpentier had signed the manifesto 'minoristov', . opposed policy, . carried dictator, General Gerardo Machado, . He was arrested and spent seven months in prison, . where he wrote the first version of the novel Ekue Yamba-O!,
. Released from prison under police supervision, in March 1928 secretly flees to France, which uses the documents of his friend the French poet Robert Desnos (1900-1945)

. Settling in Paris, . communicates with writers and artists as A. Breton (1896-1966), . L. Aragon (1897-1982), . J. PrцLvert (1900-1977), . T. Tzara (1896-1963), . I. Tanguy (1900-1955), . Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), . D. De Chirico (1888-1978), . playing a prominent role in the surrealist movement,
. He is experimenting, trying to master the 'automatic writing'. Subsequently, however, despite the recognition that owes surrealism, Carpentier, however, evaluates the achievement of this direction is not too high, calling "the bureaucracy of dreams'. In the opinion of the writer, the main weakness of the surreal - this is the artificiality of art constructions, whereas 'in America surrealism found in most everyday life'

. Literary critic K. Fel, . mention the, . What effect did surrealist aesthetics of living in Europe, Latin American writers (including, . and Carpentier), . concludes: 'For them it was not the way to the letter: but rather a method of perceiving the world, . based on the desire to find a connection between seemingly dissimilar facts and events',

Either way, communication with representatives of the European avant-garde was extremely useful. In addition, Carpentier lot of time giving the study of Latin American history and music, he worked as a journalist in radio and periodicals, wrote the opera libretto, collaborating with the American composer Edgard Varц¬se (1883-1965).

In 1932 in Paris, his poetical collection Carpentier "Antilles poems, and in 1933 in Madrid - his first novel, Ekue Yamba-O!" (as a dialect of Cuban blacks are the words 'Glory to God'). In the book, where a considerable place is occupied by the description of black customs and rituals, story of a family of Negroes, which the American industrial concern to the survival of their native land.

In 1937 participates in the 2 nd International Congress of Writers in the protection of culture, held in Madrid (painting the Spanish civil war depicted in the documentary book "Spain under the bombs"). Thirties also noted the active work - the writer gets around, visiting Berlin and Paris. Worked as musical director at the French radio, . collaborates with the French singer Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972) and actress and dancer Mistenget (1873-1956), . serves as a producer of German composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950), . communicates with Ernest Hemingway, . Gertrude Stein, . John Dos Passos,

In 1939 returned to Cuba, where he engaged in musicology and journalism. In the 1940's has close relationship with Cuban artists Vifredo Lam (1902-1982) and RenцL Portocarrero (1914-1984)

. At the end of 1945 Carpentier newly emigrated from Cuba and moved to Venezuela, . works in an advertising agency, . in 1946, has served as head of the department of Cultural History at the School of Plastic Arts in Caracas, . in the same year he published a monograph Music of Cuba, . world's first study on this topic,

He tries again to realize their creative individuality, to find a new style. He reads a lot, for several years studying the works of chroniclers, describing the development of West Indies.

In 1949, out in the light novel "The kingdom on earth", the prologue of which can be called a manifesto, which sets out the aesthetic canons of the future of the new Latin American novel. Forever goodbye to surreal past, Carpentier distinguishes between what they knew 'miraculous' surrealists, and the way he understands it. He calls 'an old and false story' story about the meeting on a dissecting table, umbrella and sewing machine (image taken from the 'Tracks Maldorora' Lotreamona, one of the key for the Surrealist works). Such a world is created on the principle of jugglers. Yet ': the world is wonderful, only then it becomes absolutely real, . when there is a sudden transfiguration of reality (a miracle), . of heightened comprehension of reality, . of unusual or particularly advantageous lighting treasures, . actually harbored, . while a necessary condition is the extreme intensity of perception, . generated by the degree of exaltation of the spirit, . which leads him into a kind of 'state of limiting stress "',
. On the idea of the existence of the world has prompted contemplation of the ruins of the palace Pauline Bonaparte, sister of the French Emperor, who Carpentier saw in Haiti, visited the island in 1943.

The novel covers the historical period from 18 to mid twenties, 19 centuries. and tells of an uprising of black slaves, followers of voodoo religion, which they raised against the Haitian dictator. One of the key symbolic scenes of the novel - scene of healing, . when the former leader of the uprising, . King Henri Christophe treats according to ancient tradition, the old maid-Negress, . prying apart the fire on the precious marble floor, . against tapestry, . which depicts Venus and Vulcan,

Released in 1953 novel "Lost footprints, too, has an unusual background to the creative. In 1947 a plane mapping service Carpentier flew over the Orinoco river (reporting on this trip were published from 19 October to 7 December the same year in the newspaper 'El Nacional'). A year later, the writer undertook a new journey: he rode the bus from Caracas to El Tigre, and thence to Ciudad Bolivar, after the ship sailed on the Orinoco, and then examined sections of its tributaries - rivers and Sipapo Ventuari. During this journey, and emerged in his consciousness novel in all the smallest details.

The book is written on behalf of the fictional hero, in the form of travel writing. The hero of its composer, the son of a Spanish and a German, working in film, unnecessarily wasting his talent. In the novel are not named place of action, but in all likelihood, this is New York, Caracas and the Venezuelan tropics. Trip to the jungles of folk instruments, which offers the hero a major museum, turns his life. Climbing up the river, he seemed to pass different stages of history, leaving behind the period of the conquest of America, the Middle Ages, Stone Age, and assisting on the first day of creation. River - is both a symbol of the passage of time, and a symbol of history itself ( 'river time' was called in 18. a map in the form of a giant river was a scheme of human development). In the opinion of the author, co-exist in America all stages of civilization. Of course, guess a hero that it may be that America will have to create a symbiosis of different cultures, also belong to the author. Joining a world where 'to replace the myths and legends came speech, to be replaced dogma - the slogans', the hero, away from civilization, all the more spiritually cleansed, he finds himself. But the wonderful world opens only once: at the time of returning to the city to settle the case, the hero can not find the wonderful village in the jungle. Carpentier rewrote the novel three times before deciding that the book is finished.

In the story "The Chase", which appeared in 1955, Carpentier experiments with narrative time, and fully display while composing your gift. According to his confession, the story is constructed in the form of a sonata: the first part - the exposition, followed by three subjects, seventeen variations and conclude, as package. And if the act puts in 46 minutes (so much in the concert hall performance sounds Eroica Symphony of Beethoven), whereas in the subjective perception of each character has its own length.

In 1959, after the fall of the Batista regime, Carpentier returned to Cuba. Revolution led by Fidel Castro, he took it as one of the most important historical achievements. Initiated, although not finished until the end of the novel, dedicated to this event, and introduced himself - "1959 Year". Carpentier took a number of important posts in the new state: he was appointed professor at the University of Havana, and in 1962 - the director of the National Publishing, part of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.

In 1962 appeared the novel "The Age of Enlightenment", written in exile and developed over three years, telling about the events of the French Revolution and what the implications were revolutionary developments in overseas colonies. Venue - the Caribbean islands, France, Spain, French Guiana, the time of action - three decades. One of the central characters - a real historical person: Viktor South, revolutionary, Commissioner of the Jacobin Convent in the colonies, gradually turns into a tyrant. Novelistic structure is symmetrical, rational, it seems to be a reflection of the rationalism of the Enlightenment. Product increased allegorical and symbolic.

In 1966, Carpentier is sent to France as ambassador and cultural attache

. Among the works, . he created in the last period of life, . - Novel, . received in the Russian translation of the title "Playing by the method" (1974), . While it is true, it would be - "Revision of the method", . because the author created his book, . controversy with the work of French philosopher Rene Descartes' Discourse on Method,
. The contents of each of the twenty-two chapters presupposed refutes each of these epigraphs, borrowed from Descartes, for the truth to suit a different reality and a different time, are not suitable for Latin America, 20 centuries. The novel, whose action takes place from 1913 to 1927, tells of the Head of the Nation, a dictator (one of the major themes of the Latin American novel, it is enough to recall the "Autumn of the Patriarch" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, or "I'm High" Augusto Roa Bastos). The image of him is drawn satirically, but not grotesque.

In 1975 saw the light of the novel "A concert of Baroque", a fantasy, in the center of which - a journey of a wealthy Spaniard Montezuma and the accompanying black Filomeno on cities and continents. Traveling this ends in Venice, where raging Carnival. In the carnival crush of visitors are met famous musicians Antonio Vivaldi, . Domenico Scarlatti, . Georg Friedrich Handel, . and in the hall the women's monastery is an excellent impromptu concert, . where the rules of jazz jam session on the percussion soloist suddenly Negro Filomeno,
. When prompted Mexican Vivaldi wrote the opera "Montezuma," the plot is horribly distorts the real historical events, but opera and must live endless assumptions and conventions. And in the ending Filomeno Listening pipe Louis Armstrong. Fantastic story plot actually embodies one of the most important aesthetic postulates: Baroque, . such importance to cultural history in general and in particular Carpentier, . is not localized in time and space style, . is - a cultural constant, . possible for any time and space,

Roman 1978 "Rite of Spring", reflecting events from 1915 to 1961, when opponents of Fidel Castro tried to land in Cuba, a landing to seize power, built using the plot and the ballet score of Stravinsky. Carpentier, who in 1950 met with the composer in Brazil, has received permission to use such an unusual piece of music. Carpentier said: 'All my previous books I would call the stages of the path that led me to the Spring'. The fate of Cuban architect Enrique and Russian ballerina Vera particles are vast kaleidoscope of historical facts, recollections, citations, created by novelist.

Last essay Carpentier story "Harp and the Shadow" (1979) tells of a failed canonization of Christopher Columbus, was not one figure that is worthy to embody holiness. He was a man, though endowed with a mass of weaknesses, but making history.

Carpentier's works are in one piece, a sort of picture where the characters try to understand themselves and their origins, and are presented as historical events that changed the world, which, in turn, influenced the history of America

. Alejo Carpentier, . whose life is originally connected the various cultural influences (even his wife embody different cultures, . first - Frenchwoman Eva Frezhavy - European, . second - Cuban Lilia Esteban - Latin American), . one of the most educated writers of 20 at., . died April 24, 1980 in Paris,

His contribution to Cuban and world culture appreciated.

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