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Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Born on March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, a town in Northern Columbia ... He amazed him with his ability to reformulate his childhood into a mythical past. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Background on Marquez
  • Born on March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, a town in
    Northern Columbia
  • Raised by his maternal grandparents
  • Noble prize in 1982
  • Began career as a reporter in 1955
  • Still living and writing is memoirs
  • Good friends with Castro

Marquez and Castro
  • Ironically, although he claims to be good friends
    with Castro- helped him edit Chronicle of a Death
    Foretold- he spent the late seventies writing a
    very harsh, very frank book about the
    shortcomings of the Cuban Revolution and of life
    under Castros regime.
  • This book has not yet been published, and Garcia
    Marquez claims that he is holding it until
    relations between Cuba and the US are normalized.

Marquezs Inspiration
  • Marquez said that Faulkner was one of his biggest
    influences during the late forties and early
  • He amazed him with his ability to reformulate his
    childhood into a mythical past.
  • Faulkner taught him that a writer should write
    about what is close to him.

Columbian Literature
  • Colombian writers strive to explain the violence
    in Colombian history and society.
  • Colombia's rich ecology has yielded three
    commodities, each steeped in conflict. First from
    the Amazonian jungle came rubber. Then came the
    bananas from the swampy coast and finally cocaine
    from the Andean highlands.

Magical Realism, Surrealism, and Realism
  • MR borrows its freedom from Surrealism by weaving
    in realist elements. We will look at how these
    three work together

Magical Realism
  • Literature of this type is usually characterized
    by elements of the fantastic woven into the story
  • The term is not without a lot of controversy,
  • Some claim that it is a postcolonial hangover, a
    category used by "whites" to marginalize the
    fiction of the "other."
  • Others claim that it is a passé literary trend,
    or just a way to cash in on the Latin American
  • Still others feel the term is simply too
    limiting, and acts to remove the fiction in
    question from the world of serious literature.

  • In MR distortion stumbles on truth and beliefs
    and metaphors become forms of fact, and more
    ordinary facts become uncertain.
  • Key elements have no logical or psychological
    explanation. The Magical realist does not try to
    copy the surrounding reality (as the realists
    did) but to seize the mystery that breathes
    behind things (perfect depiction in Chronicle)

  • MR emerges from descriptions of living people
  • Marquez says that MR is a technique particular to
    Central and South America Our reality is in
    itself out of all proportion. He refers to
    Latin America as that boundless realm of haunted
    men and historic women.

What is Reality?
  • In Marquezs own words
  • reality isnt limited to the price of tomatoes
    and eggs. Everyday life in Latin America proves
    that reality is full of the most extraordinary
  • This is why Marquez is to be studied not for his
    MR, but because he offers reality in its several
    dimensions, the ones we are hard put to explain
    without recourse to naked formulas.

  • It insisted that there was higher truth than the
    truth offered by realism.
  • Surrealism is based on the belief in the superior
    reality of certain forms of previously neglected

MR and Surrealism
  • MR borrows its freedom from Surrealism. It moves
    surreal forward, away from the abstract, to a
    much more intimate relationship in literature
    between characters and their setting.

  • In 1949 MR comes to be known as a narrative
  • Not only does it depart from surrealism, but it
    also departs from the genre of fantasy literature

Fantasy, Fairy tales- how do these fit?
  • Fantasy is the sense of pure and simple,
    Walt-Disney style invention without any basis in
    reality.- Marquez
  • Fairy tales cannot be considered Magical realist
    because they adhere to relatively uniform plot
    structures an inevitable moral resolution of the
    conflict of the characters, and a classifiable
    number of motifs that have been cataloged by

Similarities Between Literature of Fantasy and MR
  • In both, the author describes events which are
    not likely to occur in everyday life. The
    fantastic is always a break in the acknowledged
    order. The same is true for MR.

Oh, but the differences
  • In fantasy, the entire story is governed by
    fantastic elements.
  • In MR, the instances of supernaturalism are
    intermittent they arrive and disappear quickly,
    so that the reader is always returned to the
    world of social reality.

  • MR that Marquez practices
  • Reader is asked to have total faith in the
    fantastic moment.
  • Goes to great lengths to add specificity to his
  • Characters accept the outlandish or the
    inconceivable as entirely natural with no
  • Fantasy confronts the reader with the dilemma of
    whether or not to believe in its departures from
  • MR also lacks the ambiguity about the
    supernatural that is often found in fantasy
  • MR never attempts to explain supernatural

Thematic differences between fantasy and MR
  • Fantasy love, desire, romance and seduction
  • MR is broader imperialism and colonialism, or
    history and racism
  • Most memorable MR moments are satiric, exposing
    the cruelty of human experience

A Summary of how MR differs from Surrealism and
  • MR does not use dream motifs neither does it
    distort reality or create imagined worlds, as
    fantasy or science fiction, it does not emphasize
    psychological analysis of characters.
  • MR is not an aesthetic movement either, neither
    is it interested in the creation of complex

How does MR differ from Magic Literature?
  • Its aim, unlike that of magic, is to express
    emotions, not to evoke them.
  • MR is , more than anything else, an attitude
    toward reality that can be expressed in popular
    or cultured forms, in elaborate or rustic styles,
    in closed or open structures. In MR the writer
    confronts reality and tries to untangle it.

Problems with MR
  • Dangers when younger, inexperienced writers
    attempt to attach realism to their narratives
    without purpose. Writers MUST have a thematic
  • No justification for enlisting MR unless there is
    a larger truth which cannot be reached but for
    distortion of ordinary social realism.
  • MR at its best relies not upon flights of
    fantasy, but on the particular fusion of fact and
    fantasy in the service of a quest for meaning.

Focused Study- Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Based on actual events
  • Marks the end of Marquezs period of silence
    (1976 -1981)
  • Promised not to publish anything as long as
    Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet remained in
  • It restarts his career

  • Non-Linear Structure
  • Interrelationships, juxtapositions, and
    connections are more important than a linear plot
    and clear character development
  • Counter-Cantus a story told many times, but
    distorted each time.
  • Function of Non- linear structure
  • Patterns Deceive

Literary Technique
  • Pieced together
  • Fragmentation and Disintegration
  • How through technique does he reveal what is the
    focus of the story?
  • Foreshadowing
  • References to dreams and visions
  • Concerns real events, highly surrealistic tone
    mixed with MR
  • Irony

  • What it means to be human
  • The nature of reality
  • Community/individual identities
  • Economic and social inequalities
  • Womens use and role
  • Male honor
  • Medieval Sense of honor
  • Moral Responsibility

P of V and Narrator
  • Power lies in the unique way in which Marquez
    relates the plot of the murder.
  • Typically, first person narrator gives his own
    point of view but does not know what other
    characters are thinking an ability usually
    reserved for the 3rd person omniscient, or
    all-knowing, point of view.
  • He bends the rules the narrator tells the story
    in First-person, he is all knowing- adds to the
    mystery of the murder.