Questions for Carpentie

Alright folks. Here are some questions I have about Carpentier’s text

Essentially every character in this text takes violence to be a norm. Violence is everywhere and Carpentier makes it graphic. Violence is public, violence is private, spoken and unspoken.

-Is Carpentier arguing that violence is simply a reality of Haiti and of slave societies? –                  -We also talked a little bit about fetishised objects last class. Is                                       violence fetishised? If so, who fetishises it?

-What can be said about Pauline and Soliman’s relationship? Do they “fall in love”? Why does he freak out so much during the statue/corpse scene? Can we make an assessment about the power dynamics in the relationship, or does Carpentier not allow us enough information to do so?

-“All the bourgeois norms had come tumbling down” (77) is how Carpentier describes the situation of the slave owners in Cuba. There’s definitely something going on there, in terms of significance and meaning for the larger work. The slave owners become free, in a sense. Why do the slaveowners just waste away in sin as they do?

-At the end of ch. 4 (pg. 127), Ti Noel returns to his straw pallet and questions whether “he had really gone to the Cap”. Is this just an example of Carpentier playing with the temporal? Or can more be said about this and the horrors he witnessed in town.

-Apparently, there’s a prologue written by Carpentier (not found in our versions) which outlines his idea of “lo real maravilloso ” and such. Why would the editor not choose to have this prologue in the edition?  What can be said about an author’s writing about his own text – does it help us read it better, can it limit our analysis? Considering some of the fantastical elements found in this novella, is a prologue necessary?



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *