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From a foreign Correspondent: the Parisian Chronicles of Alejo Carpentier

Rae, Caroline ORCID: 2018. From a foreign Correspondent: the Parisian Chronicles of Alejo Carpentier. Kelly, Barbara L and Moore, Christopher, eds. Music criticism in France, 1918-1939: Authority, advocacy, legacy, Woodbridge: Boydell, pp. 193-217.

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The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980) was of French-Russian parentage and resided in Paris both during his formative years and after being forced to flee Havana in 1928 due to his leftist political activities. Remaining in self-imposed exile for a period of eleven years until 1939, Carpentier became closely involved with musical as well as literary and artistic circles of the contemporary Parisian avant-garde, and survived writing music and arts criticism. Before his enforced departure from Havana, Carpentier had established himself as a leading critic for the Cuban intellectual journals Social and Carteles; his monthly columns reveal his committed advocacy of European modernism at a time when musical and artistic life in Havana was as conservative as the political regime of Cuba’s president Machado was repressive. When he arrived in Paris, Carpentier continued to write for Social and Carteles, serving as a foreign correspondent reporting on musical and artistic life in the French capital to feed the ever-growing Cuban appetite for cultural news from the city that had long been the cultural promised land for Latin American musicians, artists and intellectuals. Although Carpentier’s Parisian articles were intended for a Cuban readership, his criticism provides a personal assessment of contemporary trends while shedding valuable light on the activities and interactions of the Parisian avant-garde. This paper discusses Carpentier’s Parisian music criticism of the interwar years, preserved in the multi-volume collections entitled Crónicas and Ese músico que llevo dentro, to reveal not only his commitment to new music of the age, but also his engagement with current issues in France.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Publisher: Boydell
ISBN: 978-1-78327-251-8
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 08:39

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