Characterized by a thread of common themes and characters that link his work into a multifaceted depiction of the experiences of Latin American life, Gabriel García Márquez captured the day-to-day life of people and had an eye for the nuances of everyday life blended with humour and an perspective of acceptance and wonder. Gabriel’s characters experienced life’s magic and joy and endured the ache of solitude and isolation but with an innate dignity.
His vision touched real life with its local values, and in the process it shows criticism of politics, the U.S. imperialism, and the Church, as they contributed to the Latin American experience. A place of prominence in the literary canon, Gabriel’s literary works continue to garner the admiration of millions of readers around the world. Here are some of his best short stories shortlisted for readers to rediscover an obsession with the works of one of the literary greats.
A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings
The story is centered around a family by the sea who suddenly find a winged old man in their yard. He, who doesn’t speak any known language, has wings. However, he is too sick to fly away. Expressed in a short and fairly straightforward plot, the thematic elements turn out to be quite unpredictable as the read progresses. The story leaves readers wondering just like the people in the book, whether the old man should be terrorised or not. Nonetheless, he is treated less than human.
The Autumn of the Patriarch
One of his most intricate and ambitious works, this is a brilliant tale of the corruption of power and a Caribbean tyrant. From charity to deceit, fear of God to extreme cruelty, benevolence to violence, the plot embodies the best as well as the worst of human nature. The renowned master of magical realism, Gabriel vividly depicts the dying tyrant caught in jail of his own dictatorship. Employing a dreamlike style, and brimming with symbolic descriptions, The Autumn of the Patriarch transports the reader to a place that is fanciful but vividly real.
Eyes of a Blue Dog
A 1950 short story, later anthologized in a 1972 short story collection, depicts a turbulent relationship between a man and a woman, actually happening in one of its narrator’s dreams. An interesting read, which starts getting complex upon reflection. Written with a sleepy eloquence, Eyes of a Blue Dog portrays a dream-like setup for the reader. The intricacies of the unconscious mind are beautifully explored, especially in relation to the conscious mind and how certain unconscious desires manifest themselves in daily life.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
In the novella, Gabrield blends his journalism experience with his mastery of technique to narrate a tale based on a real event which occurred in 1955 in Sucre, where he resided at the time. The genius writer used records and witness testimony to unfold his story on the lines of a detective plot. It is based on the revenge taken by the brothers of Angela Vicario’s brothers on their friend Santiago Nasar, who apparently took Angela’s virginity. The tension of the reader, who knows the final outcome, keeps building as the mystery of how or why it will occur spirals.
No One Writes to the Colonel
Gabriel proves he is capable of capturing a portrait in words, results of the same are witnessed in this well-structured novella. The central character is a man who has been promised a military pension. Being a dignified individual with a deep sense of honour, he goes to the post office in anticipation for mail that never comes. It is about a patient man whose eternal wait does not come to an end for sixty years. The political background is subtly depicted as the story begins with the funeral of the first person ever to die of natural causes in the town for a long time.