Alejo Carpentier

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Alejo Carpentier y Valmont (December 26, 1904April 24, 1980) was a Cuban novelist, essay writer, and musicologist who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its famous "boom" period.

Carpentier was born in Havana. His mother was a Russian professor of languages and his father was a French architect. At 12, his family moved to Paris, where he began to study music theory. When they returned to Cuba, he began a study of architecture which he never completed. He became a leftist journalist and spent some time in prison before going into exile in France. There he was introduced to the surrealists, including André Breton, Paul Eluard, Louis Aragon, Jacques Prévert, and Antonin Artaud.

He returned to Cuba and taught music at the university. In 1943, he made a crucial trip to Haiti, during which he attended a voodoo ceremony that was to be very influential on his style of writing.

Widely known for his baroque style of writing and his theory of "lo real maravilloso," his most famous works include Ecue-yambo-o! ("Praised Be the Lord!", 1933), The Lost Steps (1953), and The Kingdom of this World (1957). It was in the prologue to The Kingdom that he described his vision of "lo real maravilloso" or the marvelous real, which some critics interpret as being synonymous with magical realism.

From 1945 to 1959, he lived in Venezuela, which is the obvious inspiration for the unnamed South American country in which much of The Lost Steps is set.

He returned to Cuba after the revolution in 1959 and served as Cuban ambassador to France. He received the Cervantes Prize in 1977 and the French Prix Medici in 1979.

He died in Paris.da:Alejo Carpentier es:Alejo Carpentier de:Alejo Carpentier

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