Chronicle of a Death Foretold.docx - Chronicle of a Death Foretold | Study Guide Gabriel Garc\u00eda M\u00e1rquez Overview Author Gabriel Garc\u00eda M\u00e1rquez Year

Chronicle of a Death Foretold.docx - Chronicle of a Death...

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Chronicle of a Death Foretold | Study Guide Gabriel García Márquez Overview Author Gabriel García Márquez Year Published 1981 Type Novella Genre Fiction Perspective and Narrator Chronicle of a Death Foretold is told from the perspective of an unnamed narrator, allegedly the author, who pieces together a journalistic narrative of a past event. The story as related by the characters is told in the third person by the narrator, who also uses the first person to describe his own involvement in the story. Tense Chronicle of a Death Foretold is told in the past tense. About the Title The title Chronicle of a Death Foretold states that the novella is a chronicle , which narrates events in chronological order. However, the author uses the label chronicle with verbal irony (when what is meant is different from what is said), because the events in the story are not revealed in chronological order. Further, the title reveals that the story's death is foretold or known in advance—and this death occurs at the very beginning of the novella. So this, too, undermines the real-life, journalistic pretense of the author. In short, the title contrasts with the nonlinear and somewhat mysterious and inexplicable nature of the events in the narrative. Context Surrealist Fiction Surrealism is a type of art intended to defy rationality. According to Encyclopedia Britannica , surrealism aims to "renounce logic and realism and overturn social and cultural conventions of the time." With verbal irony (in which what is meant is different from what is said), the novella is called a chronicle ; it completely obfuscates the chronology during which key events occur. The accumulation of strange coincidences and the failure of memory also serve to make the central incident in the story seem uncanny or beyond what would normally be expected in the real world. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is surrealist fiction insofar as the overwhelming number of accidents, misunderstandings, misinterpretations, contradictions, and confused memories seem to completely undermine reason and human understanding regarding how events unfold in the real world. The mind cannot make sense of how or why all these interlocking mistakes and coincidences seem to conspire so that, together, they
make the death of the central character seem inevitable, or foretold. As author Isabel Rodriguez-Vergara points out, "The fragmentation of the stories of the 'other' participants is immediately apparent," and the uncertainty and ambiguity of this fragmentation adds further to the surreal quality of the narrative. Vergara also notes that "we already know the events [of the story, so] we must conclude that what is in question is the whole structure of the novel, not the events" it describes. Critic Jeff Vandermeer suggests the weight of surrealist fiction comes from its power to propose uncanny everyday mysteries. He says, these narratives aren't "quite what we expected, and in that space we discover some of the most powerful evocations of what it means to be human or inhuman." The fragmentary, ambiguous, contradictory, and

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