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Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Magical Realism in the Hands of a Master Storyteller
by

Anastasia Bojanowski

on 22 January 2013

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Transcript of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”

“The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own, serves only to make us ever more unknown, ever less free, ever more solitary.”

“Fiction was invented the day Jonas arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale.” Quotations from Márquez The substance of some characters is “incredible,” yet the details through which they are described are themselves “highly realistic.”
Characters represent perspectives and/ or values in Latin American culture
In the short story, A very old man with enormous wings, the central character of the angel alludes to the Catholic faith within Latin American culture
The chimera of the spider maiden has folkloric qualities of Latin American culture Characters The fantastic elements may be intuitively logical but are never explained
Characters accept rather than question the logic of the magical element
Incorporates legend or folklore
Ends leaving the reader uncertain, whether to believe in the magical interpretation or the realist interpretation of the events in the story

~Characteristics taken from Zamora’s Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community Magical Realism “The tone that I eventually used in One Hundred Years of Solitude was based on the way my grandmother used to tell stories. She told things that sounded supernatural and fantastic, but she told them with complete naturalness. What was most important was the expression she had on her face. She did not change her expression at all when telling her stories and everyone was surprised. In previous attempts to write, I tried to tell the story without believing in it. I discovered that what I had to do was believe in them myself and write them with the same expression with which my grandmother told them: with a brick face.” –Gabriel García Márquez Homage to His Grandmother Maynard, M. (Ed.). (1985) Gabriel García Márquez. In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Vol. 2 (pp. 2089-93). New York, NY: Norton.

Zamora, L. P. (1995). Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community. Durham, NC: Duke UP. References One Hundred Years of Solitude (1958), Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982
Love in the Time of Cholera
The Incredible and Sad Story of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother (collection of short stories, including A very old man with enormous wings)
The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975)
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Love and Other Demons Major Works and Accolades Play on traditional values associated with angels in the Catholic tradition
Angels are the messengers of God and therefore speak Latin
Angels are pure creatures who emit light (sometimes seen as a halo)
The physical appearance is one of purity (white) and youth (ageless and healthy)
While angels do not perform miracles, they are themselves miraculous Márquez’s Angel Distorts time so that it is cyclical or so that it appears absent
Uses a mirroring of either past and present, astral and physical planes, or of characters
Inverts cause and effect
~ Characteristics taken from Zamora’s Magical Realism: Theory, History, Community Magical Realism Márquez’s writing “contrast of dreamlike and everyday reality create “magical” aspect of fictional creation, mythic overtones often rooted in local folklore, the representation of broader social and psychological conflicts through regional tales, the essential solitude of individuals facing love and death in a society of which they never quite seem a part” (Maynard, 1985, p. 2089) Magical Realism: Márquez Márquez also borrowed from his journalistic style in his literature
Blend details of facts with the supernatural
Used precise and intricate details to anchor readers in a perception of reality
Strategy was to persuade readers to accept details for reality, when actually describing the fantastic
In the short story, A very old man with enormous wings, the angel is described in detail as are the miracles performed and the chimeric figure of the spider maiden Journalistic Style in Literature Grandfather was a Colonel in the civil war of Columbia
Told stories of war
Grandmother would tell ghost stories and stories that are at once fantastic & real
Both the themes of war and the blending of the fantastic and reality would influence Marquez’s writing The Birth of a Storyteller Gabriel García Márquez Questions raised in the short story, A very old man with enormous wings:

In what ways does the town try to validate or discredit the angel’s identity?
Angels are usually treated with reverence (they are messengers of God), is the angel treated with reverence?
Why does the town believe the maiden/spider woman’s identity yet not the angel’s?
Why is Marquez presenting us with this representation of an angel? Angels Among Us “Intricate pattern of social, cultural, and psychological themes that are a symbolic picture of Latin American society” are traced onto narratives.
Borrows from Kafka “the allegory of the human condition and its fall from innocence” and images of alienation.
In the short story, A very old man with enormous wings, fantasy and realism project political, cultural and personal ramifications “and the larger social relationships may be symbolized in the town’s attitude toward the angel and spider woman.” Márquez: Themes The juxtaposition of fantastic and real images and situations focuses readers on cultural values that are sometimes called into question Magical Realism Born in Aracataca, Columbia in 1928
Lived with maternal grandparents until age eight
Worked as a journalist while studying law
Became the foreign correspondent to El Espectador
As a journalist traveled to Paris, Eastern Europe, Venezuela, Cuba, New York, Mexico
Currently lives in Mexico City, Mexico Biography Magical Realism in the Hands
of a Master Storyteller
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