The Chase

Overview


About the Author:
Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (19041980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known for his novels, Carpentier also collaborated with such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. Born in Havana, he lived for many years in ...

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Overview


About the Author:
Perhaps Cuba's most important intellectual figure of the twentieth century, Alejo Carpentier (19041980) was a novelist, a classically trained pianist and musicologist, a producer of avant-garde radio programming, and an influential theorist of politics and literature. Best known for his novels, Carpentier also collaborated with such luminaries as Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, Georges Bataille, and Antonin Artaud. Born in Havana, he lived for many years in France and Venezuela but returned to Cuba after the 1959 revolution.

Written in 1956, The Chase is a thrilling tale told against the backdrop of Havana in the era of Batista's violent tyranny. Carpentier tells the story of how two men (a student on the run and a ticket seller at a concert hall) find their lives and fates intertwined.

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Editorial Reviews

Indepedent
In a nameless, Havana-like city, an anonymous man flees a team of shadowy, relentless political assassins, and ultimately takes refuge in a symphony auditorium during a performance of Beethoven's Eroica. . . . This nightmarish novel does not so much tell a story as map the secret political infrastructure of cities, governments, churches, music, and bodies.
New York Times Book Review
Carpentier was one of the early giants of modern Latin American literature, a man whose writing helped shape and define the period of 'magic realism.' . . . [The Chase is] a masterpiece.
San Francisco Chronicle
A taut tale of political violence and psychological suspense.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Written in 1956, this gem by a renowned Cuban novelist The Kingdom of This World; The Lost Steps is considered by many to be an esthetic watershed in Latin American fiction. Untranslated until now, it most clearly shows his method: a suspenseful, political situation delineated in a baroque elliptical style in which the details of landscape and feeling take the foreground and create their own suspense, transforming the story, a commonplace of modern fiction, into a luxuriant tropical canvas. Here the dubious hero, a young man who in his university days participated in revolutionary activity and was caught, tortured and became a partisan of a corrupt political leader, is now being trailed by hitmen of a rival seeking to take power. His story is framed by that of a box-office clerk an eccentric but a kind of Everyman at the concert hall where he has taken refuge. The chase is full of the formal suspense cliches of popular fiction, and Carpentier slows it down to reach for what is the grander total view. While some of the novelists of the Latin American boom claim him, Carpentier is a magic realist but no fabulist; he is, in fact, delineating an easily recognizable event in the history of Cuba. Readers who know Havana will be able to follow the chase from block to block, but the symbolism embedded in the references to the poet Heredia and the playing at the concert hall of Beethoven's Eroica may escape many. Carpentier was often nominated for the Nobel Prize but was neglected outside the Spanish-speaking world. Now Noonday Press promises uniform paperback editions of all the novels: a real boon for lovers of fiction. Sept.
Library Journal
Publication of this well-wrought translation of El acoso, a 1956 work by Cuba's outstanding 20th-century writer, marks the first time that this novel has appeared in English as a separate volume. The time frame of the plot, which consists primarily of the events surrounding a ticket seller and a fugitive's seeking refuge in a concert hall, runs contemporaneously with a performance of the Eroica Symphony. Although generally recognized as one of Carpentier's masterpieces, this novella is probably one of his most inaccessible, in part because of the multiple, disjointed narrations and the polyphonic structure. One hopes that it will be appreciated by more than its guaranteed audience of literature students for whom the original Spanish version is too abstruse. —Lawrence Olszewski, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816638093
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2001
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,024,144
  • Product dimensions: 5.44 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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