Complete summary of Alejo Carpentier’s The Lost Steps. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Lost Steps. The Lost Steps was first published as Los pasos perdidos in Mexico in It was written whilst Alejo Carpentier was living in Caracas. The Lost Steps, by Alejo Carpentier. I discovered this book on the office charity table and picked it up for a dollar. I had only heard of Carpentier.

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While on his journey he grows bored with his mistress and takes a native woman as lover.

The foremost of these is its unabashed machismo: Email required Address never made public. A small party continues up river in canoes. Knocked my socks off in the 70’s. I would only recommend this book to people who have a large bulk of time in which they can read and thf the novel and better understand all of the references Carpentier uses.

The Lost Steps by Alejo Carpentier

He was also a musicologist. The setting is never identified beyond; a large metropolis, a South American city, a South American jungle. I had lived once in a jungle-like place and I know that the reality of mosquitoes in the jungle makes a real hell out of any picturesque primitive paradise. loxt

His major works deal with the impact of European ideas in the Latin-American region — The Kingdom of This World covers the first successful slave revolution in San Domingo Haiti and El siglo de las luces Explosion in a Cathedral deals with the consequences of the French Revolution in the Caribbean and South America.


Tue has great realistic characters and a good story and the exploration of a life in upheaval is compelling reading. Although born in Switzerland, he grew up in Havana, Cuba, and strongly self-identified as Cuban throughout his life. Dec 23, Tony rated it liked it Shelves: Most characters are alemo identified by what they do rather than names.

It spoke to me. And Carpentier is intelligent and honest enough to realize that a return to such a society has an immense cost. The narrator is never named.

He is besieged in the hotel, which is invaded by insects.

The Lost Steps

I couldn’t help but think he was just showing off. The imaginative writers that seem to me to be facing these issues — Lawrence and Hardy and Orwell in his Essays — are close to me for this reason.

None amounted to a person or a concise mission I enjoyed following, nor any satisfying thread. Monthly archives March January December It frustrates me that some authors feel in order to convey a point, they need to be vulgar and inappropriate.

It was a spurting of words, poetic and skilled as they were singly. For this reason, so he justifies to himself, he has a mistress. However, attempts are reading the novel as a way of understanding the biographical Carpentier are limiting.

Unfortunately, but unsurprisingly given the novel’s date of publication, Carpentier invokes a trio of roundly-unlikeable females to exemplify his narrator’s journey.

But other times, when my attention was flagging after a long day, I could hardly concentrate on the complex workings of what he was saying. All of his interpretations are shaped by his own history, which involves civilization and extensive knowledge of Western art and mythology.


Just thought I’d let you know. The protagonist is insatiable to a fault; I can understand wanting to escape the city in favor of returning to one’s roots, but nothing is ever enough for him, and it becomes harder and harder to tolerate the character as he refuses to be grateful for anything or anyone. Such magical transformations of common material appear again and again in this book, purely because of the quality of Carpentier’s prose, his ability to hit on precisely the right phrase.

The novel; begins in what seems to be New York City. Here is Bloom in his usual mode of bald assertion: May 17, Yoon-ho rated it it was ok. Thus, many of his analogies and observations are linked in some way to music composition or theory. His narratives are decidedly pedestrian, but there’s a rewarding richness in his well-researched and meticulously designed structures, and his themes and passions remain provocative and relevant in the 21st century.

Let’s just say he gets everything he deserves.