A Marvelous Journey of Return in The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier

1227 Words5 Pages
A Marvelous Journey of Return The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier is the author’s journey of return to his Latin American root. He tries to decipher the myths and complexity of African identity and achieves it by opening up a new realm of interpretation and representation through literature work. In the novel, there are elements that can only come as a result of his experience of observing, questioning and criticizing, among which I think several are very noteworthy. First is Carpentier’s reflection of his own identity search in the novel, second is his application of magic realism in the writing that shows the juxtaposition between fiction and history and lastly, his depiction of a repeating cycle of the Haitian history in those stories, all of which contributes to the explosion and expansion of Latin American literature that follows Carpentier’s initiation in the field. As a Cuban writer, Carpentier has an in-depth understanding about the development of the entire Latin American Literature as a result of his experience working in journalism as well as being exiled and prisoned several times in his life. The Kingdom of This World and perhaps many other Carpentier’s works have demonstrated the influence of Western civilization, while Carpentier is aware of its limited effect on real Latin American culture in essence. For example, there is this depiction of a pastoral ball held in Santiago by the Cubans who try to imitate outdated French fashion style. “An air of license, of fantasy, of disorder swept the city. The young Cubans began to copy the fashions of the émigrés…Cuban ladies took lessons in French etiquette and practiced the art of turning out their feet to show off the elegance of their slippers.” On the other h... ... middle of paper ... ...mbodied by the suffering and the miraculous power of Macandal in the novel. The boundless sense of magical realism generated by the entire black race has far exceeded any sense of tragedy that comes from life itself in the story. I think this is also why Ti Noël does not get lost in the disappearance of Macandal but comes to his own sense and become a new Macandal for his people. Some clues can be found as early as the beginning chapter of the Kingdom of This World, as Carpentier writes “Although Ti Noël had little learning, he had been instructed in these truths by the deep wisdom of Macandal. In Africa the king was warrior, hunter, judge and priest; his precious seed distended hundreds of bellies with a might strain of heroes.” Ti Noël’s inner self believes that Macandal’s magic power does not go away with his physical body and there is always a path of return.

More about A Marvelous Journey of Return in The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier

Open Document