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A writer of considerable power, he shows his mastery most tellingly in this novel’s construction.

El Arpa y la Sombra by Alejo Carpentier (1999, Hardcover)

Divertido y muy serio. The seafaring element brings with it a surprising, instinctual excitement. The end does make the reading of the book worth it. Jul 28, Gabriel rated it really liked it.

His pitch has nothing to do with discovering new worlds, everything to do with commerce. Rather interesting book; has that Latin American quality of combining life and death as one-in-the-same, where the mortal xombra is, while compiling of the afterlife to come, not necessarilly more important than it.

Angela rated it it was amazing Dec 29, Published Carpntier by Alianza first published Dec 25, Gandalfu rated it it was amazing. Perhaps Cuba’s most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and Alejo Carpentier was a Cuban novelist, essayist, and musicologist, who greatly influenced Latin American literature during its “boom” period.


To read my full review, please go to: It is told in three parts Whereas the other Alejo Carpentier book I’ve read so far The Lost Steps or Los Pasos Perdidos was written with gargantuan paragraphs and cafpentier fit with the journey motif there, the same paragraphs here felt forced and carpetnier meaning until the end.

But this is what the book covers. Do you know about a cool way of traveling for free? Lists with This Book. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

El arpa y la sombra

I’d recommend the book; it is certainly important, and definitely fun. El arpa y la sombra by Alejo Carpentier.

We still argue about the validity of idolizing Christopher Columbus as the discoverer aroa the Americas, but teach it to our kids anyway. Davide rated it really liked it Jan 06, Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

But he does the sign the document to start the process — as history says, it actually did not work out. It begins with a pope’s attempt to canonize Christopher Columbus. Prior, Colombus had been maintained with that Western propaganda with hardly any blemish allowed, and therefore Carpentier’s book really set the story straight.

It’s a short, very sombrq book, and certainly entertaining but it’s apparent that Carpentier wanted something more from his writing here, carpenier prolific and earth-shattering.

El arpa y la sombra: Agencia Literaria Carmen Balcells

Martacastro rated it it was ok Feb 17, Pedro rated it really liked it Mar 11, This is my original review published in the San Francisco Chronicle in July And, again, it was for the time it was published, but now the book feels a little bit flat as the truth of Colombus’ character is more widely known. I look forward to finding an English copy of this book to further delve into the metaphors and twisting sentences most as long as normal paragraphs, as is Carpentier’s style and extracting that much more from the book.


I thought this was a very vivid and powerful character portrait.

This adroit and involving novel, originally published in Cuba inprovides a look inside Christopher Columbus’ head that is sure to add considerably to our understanding of an explorer who gets so much credit for such inglorious accomplishments. Diana rated it really liked it Jan 25, Jorge monge Fallas rated it it was amazing Feb 28, He looks back on his life with a minimum of self-delusion and filters out most of the myth-making that followed his explorations.

If your inner-scholar is looking for something more exciting than the accuracy of adolescent mannerisms in Harry Potter, than Carpentier is one place you could go.

Just in time for Columbus Day! Isabella is not at all impressed with the gold Columbus brings back — ”gold that wouldn’t fill the cavity in a molar” — carpenfier with the small, sick men he has abducted in a feeble attempt to impress her.