Alejo Carpentier and the Musical Text

Katia Chornik

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review


The Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier (1904–1980), a Cervantes-Prize laureate, is widely known for his novels The Kingdom of this World and The Lost Steps, and for coining the notion of ‘the real marvellous’ (now better known as ‘magic realism’). Carpentier’s lesser known activity in music as a researcher, radio and record producer, concert promoter and writer of song lyrics and libretti profoundly shaped his fiction, in which he incorporated music extensively, more than any other Latin American writer of his time. Chornik’s study focuses on Carpentier’s writings from a music scholarship perspective, bridging intermediality and intertextuality through an examination of music as formative, as form, and as performed. Among her contributions is her English translation and analysis of Carpentier’s text ‘The Origins of Music and Primitive Music’, the repository of ideas for The Lost Steps, published here for the first time. Chornik’s study will appeal to scholars and students in literary studies, cultural studies, musicology and ethnomusicology, and to a specifically interdisciplinary readership.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOxford
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2015

Publication series

NameLegenda: Studies in Hispanic and Lusophone Cultures
PublisherModern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing; republished by Routledge


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