Negrofilia y negritud en perspectiva cubana. Una lectura de “Lettre des Antilles”, de Alejo Carpentier


  • Andrea Pagni



primitivism, ethnography, Carpentier, Bifur


In “Lettre des Antilles”, Carpentier interrogates the negrophile primitivism of the French avantgarde, comparing the essentialist conception of a homogenous Black identity with the multiple and constantly changing identities in the context of the diaspora. Taking into account the cultural location in which “Lettre des Antilles” is written, this paper analyzes how Carpentier subverts the model of ethnographic communication and translation: while the ethnographic text invites its reader to share a conspiratorial position of observation and superiority, Carpentier's narrator does not delineate a place of shared superiority for his French readers. The situation of intercultural communication created in “Lettre des Antilles” relies on a reader willing to be fascinated by alterity, and a narrator who calculates this effect exactly, revealing, from a position between cultures, the double gaze that would come to characterize the poetics of "lo real maravilloso". The original article is in Spanish.


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How to Cite

Pagni, A. (2012). Negrofilia y negritud en perspectiva cubana. Una lectura de “Lettre des Antilles”, de Alejo Carpentier. Tusaaji: A Translation Review, 1(1).