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El reino de este mundo es una novela publicada en 1949 por el escritor cubano Alejo Carpentier cuyo tema principal, lo real maravilloso, se enmarca en la Revolución haitiana. En esta novela, ampliamente aceptada por la crítica y que pertenece ya al canon académico, el lector se introduce, a través de los ojos de un esclavo, en la fascinante atmósfera de una Haití en busca de independencia, un mundo de pasiones que se desenvuelven en medio de la feroz caricatura de los extraordinarios lujos de la corte bonapartista. Novela pionera del realismo mágico, en una América donde lo mágico es cotidiano y real.

Published: LD Books - Lectorum on Jan 16, 1980
List price: $5.99
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Through the eyes of a slave, Ti Noel, we see the traumatic and brutal evolution of Haiti's history after liberation from the colonial French rule, when the black regime of King Henri Christophe, at first so promising, sinks into the same morass of social injustice as the former rulers. For many years, the blacks suffered from white oppression. Social order was based on the exploitation of the natives for the comfort of the white masters. Through folk wisdom, voodoo,and ancestral worship, a charismatic leader, Macandal whips his followers into an uprising, drums beating across the island as machete-bearing slaves overran the sleeping plantations, slaughtering all in their path, masters, livestock, women and children. The uprising is put down, Macandal is eventually captured and burned before the eyes of the slaves. When Ti Noel returns years later to Haiti as a free man, the island is now ruled by King Henri Christophe, a black kingdom. The freedom from previous enslavement, however, so dearly purchased, has merely opened the way for the reestablishment of slavery under the mulatto controlling class. The unthinkable has happened: the enslavement of people of African descent by people of African descent. A short yet sweeping novel based on historical events, Carpentier writes with power and brilliant imagery. I enjoyed this book immensely, and it goes to my list of top reads for the year.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The book follows a black slave (Ti Noel) during the build up to the slave revolt and the short lived black dominated republic it lead to. Ti Noel is owned by a French landowner, whose brutality direct results in the beginning of the revolution, which was started by another of his slaves (Macandal). His owner's decadent lifestyle makes him a prime target and he flees to Cuba with Ti Noel. While they are in Cuba, the black republic is formed. Ti Noel returns to find the new black rulers as decadent as the whites before them, and Haiti in an eternal state of revolt.The Kingdom of this World, is a socialist novel, but its message was delivered with a lightness of touch. It is not a realist novel, with vodou presented as a real power in the black community. Characters can transform into animals, undergo incredible trials of pain, and even rise from the dead. It is definitely a Haitians-eye view (or at least, one that practised vodou anyway). Haiti is presented as a blighted land, with Africa featuring as the promised land. The contrast between the remote God and flaccid leaders of the Europeans, and the active gods and warrior kings of Africa is emphasised. It is presented as part of the motivation for the peasant revolt - the fact that Africans are portrayed as being less afraid to wield power than their European owners.Ultimately the book's message is a socialist one. Classes spring into being, and inequalities result, from whoever is ruling Haiti, and whatever race they belong to. At the end of the book the mulattoes are poised to rule, but Ti Noel doesn't have any more faith in their ability to free Haitians from poverty than he did the whites (and, eventually, the blacks).read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier is a writer that I've always kind of liked but not liked a lot. I don't know if 'The Kingdom of this World' is one of the books he built his reputation from but to me it's the best of the five books of his that I've read. It's set in Haiti (beginning in the late 18th century) and follows the slave Ti Noel from early manhood until his death in old age. One sees through his eyes the rebellion against the French and then the various homegrown dictatorial regimes that will replace them in the next several decades more often than not reinstituting the same kinds of policies that the French regime in Haiti were hated for. Through it all though Ti Noel never loses his humanity nor his spirit to resist. It is a very good book. And on the same subject matter are a trilogy of books by the American novelist Madison Smartt Bell--All souls' rising--The Master of the Crossroads--The stone that the builder refused which are Tolstoyan in scope and extremely well written historical fiction.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Through the eyes of a slave, Ti Noel, we see the traumatic and brutal evolution of Haiti's history after liberation from the colonial French rule, when the black regime of King Henri Christophe, at first so promising, sinks into the same morass of social injustice as the former rulers. For many years, the blacks suffered from white oppression. Social order was based on the exploitation of the natives for the comfort of the white masters. Through folk wisdom, voodoo,and ancestral worship, a charismatic leader, Macandal whips his followers into an uprising, drums beating across the island as machete-bearing slaves overran the sleeping plantations, slaughtering all in their path, masters, livestock, women and children. The uprising is put down, Macandal is eventually captured and burned before the eyes of the slaves. When Ti Noel returns years later to Haiti as a free man, the island is now ruled by King Henri Christophe, a black kingdom. The freedom from previous enslavement, however, so dearly purchased, has merely opened the way for the reestablishment of slavery under the mulatto controlling class. The unthinkable has happened: the enslavement of people of African descent by people of African descent. A short yet sweeping novel based on historical events, Carpentier writes with power and brilliant imagery. I enjoyed this book immensely, and it goes to my list of top reads for the year.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The book follows a black slave (Ti Noel) during the build up to the slave revolt and the short lived black dominated republic it lead to. Ti Noel is owned by a French landowner, whose brutality direct results in the beginning of the revolution, which was started by another of his slaves (Macandal). His owner's decadent lifestyle makes him a prime target and he flees to Cuba with Ti Noel. While they are in Cuba, the black republic is formed. Ti Noel returns to find the new black rulers as decadent as the whites before them, and Haiti in an eternal state of revolt.The Kingdom of this World, is a socialist novel, but its message was delivered with a lightness of touch. It is not a realist novel, with vodou presented as a real power in the black community. Characters can transform into animals, undergo incredible trials of pain, and even rise from the dead. It is definitely a Haitians-eye view (or at least, one that practised vodou anyway). Haiti is presented as a blighted land, with Africa featuring as the promised land. The contrast between the remote God and flaccid leaders of the Europeans, and the active gods and warrior kings of Africa is emphasised. It is presented as part of the motivation for the peasant revolt - the fact that Africans are portrayed as being less afraid to wield power than their European owners.Ultimately the book's message is a socialist one. Classes spring into being, and inequalities result, from whoever is ruling Haiti, and whatever race they belong to. At the end of the book the mulattoes are poised to rule, but Ti Noel doesn't have any more faith in their ability to free Haitians from poverty than he did the whites (and, eventually, the blacks).
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier is a writer that I've always kind of liked but not liked a lot. I don't know if 'The Kingdom of this World' is one of the books he built his reputation from but to me it's the best of the five books of his that I've read. It's set in Haiti (beginning in the late 18th century) and follows the slave Ti Noel from early manhood until his death in old age. One sees through his eyes the rebellion against the French and then the various homegrown dictatorial regimes that will replace them in the next several decades more often than not reinstituting the same kinds of policies that the French regime in Haiti were hated for. Through it all though Ti Noel never loses his humanity nor his spirit to resist. It is a very good book. And on the same subject matter are a trilogy of books by the American novelist Madison Smartt Bell--All souls' rising--The Master of the Crossroads--The stone that the builder refused which are Tolstoyan in scope and extremely well written historical fiction.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Amazing how he managed to squeeze such a story into so short a book. Beautiful, yet brutal & tragic also.
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