Gabriel García Márquez’s novel Chronicle of a Death Foretold, first issued in English in 1982, is one of the Nobel Prize winning writer’s shorter stories, but past and contemporary censors agree that the book’s small size conceals a huge work of art.
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The book’s supremacy is in the exclusive way in which García Márquez narrates the plot of an assassination about which everybody knows before it occurs. The author narrates the story in the first person, as an eyewitness to the incidents that happened. Yet the author is narrating the tale years later from an omniscient point of view, dividing all of the characters’ ideas and notions. García Márquez’s application of these original methods adds to the ambiguity of the murder. Moreover, the replicated prediction of the crime assists in creating the apprehension. Even though the killers’ personalities are known, the precise features of the killing are not.
The reason for the killing of Santiago Nasar stays unknown for the reader until halfway through the novel, while everyone identifies that Nasar will be killed. Then, after a night of reveling, the Vicario brothers, Pedro and Pablo, get home at their mother’s request. The family depresses a confounded Angela, the twins’ sister, to tell the cause for her disgraced return from her wedding bed. When Angela says, “Santiago Nasar,” the twins decide instantly that they must protect their sister’s honor. The twins’ legal representative regards the act as “murder in justifiable protection of honor,” which is advocated by the court. The priest asks the twins’ surrender “an act of immense distinction”.
Marquez’s storyteller gradually discharges the narration and in the end only one issue stays not replied – was Santiago Nasar really the one who took Angela’s virginity? The reader will never really find it out, but the author himself is quite doubtful of her accuses. Even her reconfirmation those 27 years later is short of certainty.
As for the matters of philosophy of death, it is necessary to mention, that the poets of the lost generation genre may be compared with the tragicalness by Marquez. Federico Garcia Lorca and Ezra Pound are the two poets, that most closely approach the theme of death:
After a short visit to Cuba, García Lorca came back in Spain by 1931, and went on with theatre productions. He became the leader the wandering theatrical group, La Barraca, which brought traditional performances and other plays to the regions. After the death of his friend, a bullfighter, García Lorca wrote “Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter” (1935). It has been viewed by most censors as his greatest poem.
His eyes did not close
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When he saw the horns near,
But the terrible mothers
Lifted their heads.
And across the ranches
Went a breath of secret voices
By which the herdsmen of the pallid mist
Called to their heavenly bulls.
Ezra Pound In his essays, wrote of rhythm as “the hardest quality of a man’s style to counterfeit.” He challenged young poets to train their ear with translation work to learn how the choice of words and the movement of the words combined. “The grand bogies for young men who want really to learn strophe writing are Catullus and François Villon. I personally have been reduced to setting them to music as I cannot translate them.” While he habitually wrote out verse rhythms as musical lines, Pound did not set his own poetry to music.
Her father was ill and near death at the time and she was perplexed because of the meaningless outcome of an affair in which she had just been involved. Other girls of her age in Winesburg were marrying men she had always known, grocery clerks or young farmers.
Ezra Pound The Cantos of Ezra Pound New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1996.
Federico Garcia Lorca Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter: And Other Poems AMS Press publishing 1976.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez Chronicle of a Death Foretold Vintage publishing, 2003.
Sherwood Anderson Winesburg, Ohio Signet Classics, 1993.