Quotes from The Lost Steps

Alejo Carpentier ·  296 pages

Rating: (2.1K votes)


“The truth was much more beautiful.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Un día, los hombres descubrirán un alfabeto en los ojos de las calcedonias, en los pardos terciopelos de la falena, y entonces se sabrá con asombro que cada caracol manchado era, desde siempre, un poema.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“A day will come when men will discover an alphabet in the eyes of chalcedonies, in the markings of the moth, and will learn in astonishment that every spotted snail has always been a poem.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“El mito es reflejo de la realidad”.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Lo que dicen los libros es verdad.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps



“Quien actúa de modo automático es esencia sin existencia”.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Los años se restan, se diluyen, se esfuman, en vertiginoso retroceso del tiempo”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Cuando aquí se casan, intercambian anillos, pagan arras, reciben puñados de arroz en la cabeza, ignorantes de la simbólica milenaria de sus propios gestos. Buscan el haba en la torta de Epifanía, llevan almendras al bautismo, cubren un abeto de luces y guirnaldas, sin saber qué es el haba, ni la almendra, ni el árbol que enjoyaron. Los hombres de acá ponen su orgullo en conservar tradiciones de origen olvidado, reducidas, la más de las veces, al automatismo de un reflejo colectivo - a recoger objetos de un uso desconocido, cubiertos de inscripciones que dejaron de hablar hace cuarenta siglos.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Si en estos países se moría por pasiones que me fueran incomprensibles, no por ello era la muerte menos muerte.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Es indudable que la naturaleza que aquí nos circunda es implacable, terrible, a pesar de su belleza. Pero los que en medio de ella viven la consideran menos mala, más tratable, que los espantos y sobresaltos, las crueldades frías, las amenzas siempre renovadas, del mundo de allá. Aquí, las plagas, los padecimientos posibles, los peligros naturales, son aceptados de antemano: forman parte de un Orden que tiene sus rigores. La Creación no es algo divertido, y todos lo admiten por instinto, aceptando el papel asignado a cada cual en la vasta tragedia de lo creado.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps



“La selva era el mundo de la mentira, de la trampa, y del falso semblante; allí todo era disfraz, estratagema, juego de apariencias, metamorfosis.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Llego a preguntarme a veces si las formas superiores de la emoción estética no consistirán, simplemente, en un supremo entendimiento de lo creado. Un día, los hombres descubrirán un alfabeto en los ojos de las calcedonias, en los pardos terciopelos de la falena, y entonces se sabrá con asombro que cada caracol manchado era, desde siempre, un poema”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Cuando se festejaba mi cumpleaños en medio de las mismas caras, en los mismos lugares, con la misma canción repetida en coro, me asaltaba invariablemente la idea de que esto sólo difería del cumpleaños anterior en la aparición de una vela más sobre un pastel cuyo sabor era idéntico al de la vez pasada.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“No acepto ya la condición de Hombre-Avispa, de Hombre-Ninguno, ni admito que el ritmo de mi existencia sea marcado por el mazo de un cómitre.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“I asked myself whether, in bygone days, men had longed for bygone days as I, this summer morning, longed for certain ways of life that man had lost forever.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps



“لقد خلا حساب الزمن في وجودي خلال أسابيع وأسابيع ومواسم تركتني بلا ذاكرة حقيقية وبلا شعور غير اعتيادي ودون عاطفة مستديمة، أيامًا خلقت لدي احساسًا أن كل ايماءة أؤديها تجعلني مهووسا بفكرةستحوذ على مخيلتي هي أنني أديت تلك الحركة نفسها في وقت وفي ظروف مشابهة وأنني كنت جالسا في الركن نفسه
وأنني قلت الشيء نفسه وأنا أنظر إلى المركب الشراعي الحبيس في زجاج شفاف بخفة الورق”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“Además, ¿cuál era mi idioma verdadero? Sabía el alemán, por mi padre. Con Ruth hablaba el inglés, idioma de mis estudios secundarios; con Mouche, a menudo el francés; el español de mi Epítome de Gramática-Estos, Fabio…- con Rosario. Pero este último idioma era también el de las Vidas de Santos, empastadas en terciopelo morado, que tanto me había leído mi Madre: Santa Rosa de Lima, Rosario.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


“In the quarter where the sun should have appeared, the sky was covered by a strange reddish cloud, like smoke, like hot ashes, like a dark pollen that had arisen swiftly, stretching from one horizon to the other. When the cloud moved overhead, it began to rain butterflies on the roofs, the water jars, our shoulders. They were little butterflies, deep amaranth in color, striped in violet, which had come together by myriads in some unknown spot behind the immense jungle, frightened, perhaps, driven away, after multiplying frenziedly, by some cataclysm, some awful occurrence, without witnesses or record. The Adelantado told me that these swarms of butterflies were nothing new in the region, and that when they took place the sun was almost blotted out for the whole day. The burial of the father would have to be carried out by candlelight in a day that was night, reddened by wings.”
― Alejo Carpentier, quote from The Lost Steps


About the author

Alejo Carpentier
Born place: in Lausanne, Switzerland
Born date December 26, 1904
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