Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez

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Title: Collected Stories by Gabriel García Márquez

Writer: Gabriel García Márquez

Publishing House: Penguin

Date of Publication: March 6th 2014  (first published November 1st 1984)

Rating: 5 stars

“Only his own death came between him and his grave. Resigned, he listened to the drop, thick, heavy, exact, as it dripped in the other world, in the mistaken and absurd world of rational creatures.’’

In twenty-six stories from Eyes of a Blue Dog, Big Mama’s Funeral, and The Incredible and Sad Tale of lnnocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother, the greatness of Gabriel García Márquez is confirmed once again. Stories of communities torn apart by dispute, poverty and superstition. Stories of communities brought together by hope and love and the daily struggle to survive. Towns where angels with gigantic wings roam free, demons spread their stink which the perfume of roses cannot disguise, women are either revered figures or seductresses that search for an escape from a bleak reality. Either way, it is women that hold the strings to the puppet show of a paranoid world.

‘’Every day I try to remember the phrase with which I am to find you,’’ I said. ‘’Now I don’t think I’ll forget it tomorrow. Still, I’ve always said the same thing and when I wake up I’ve always forgotten what the words I can find you with are.’’

  Eyes of A Blue Dog

It would be impossible to choose my favourite stories in the array of crumbling towns, and dirty harbours. In the company of fairs, civil servants and officials, shady encounters and enterprises and otherworldly women. In the nights of August, with its melancholy and strange magnetism, all things are possible. ‘’I remembered the August nights in whose wondrous silence nothing could be heard except the millenary sound that the earth makes as it spins on its rusty, unoiled axis. Suddenly I felt overcome by an overwhelming sadness.’’  

‘’Since it’s Sunday and it’s stopped raining, I think I’ll take a bouquet of roses to my grave.’’

Birds are breaking windows, invading houses only to die inside. In the August heat, the deserted streets, unwashed because of the droughts, are suffocating the pedestrians with the stench of death. What does the troubled priest actually see around him? The Wandering Jew or the Devil himself? Blind women try to warn others with their vision but who believes them? Wives ask to be buried alive, and a town is visited by the travelling show of the woman who was turned into a spider for having disobeyed her parents. The isolated, ruined towns have lost their multicoloured glory, eaten away by the vicious sun and the cruel sea. And there is no mercy in store for the residents. 

If we find each other sometime, put your ear to my ribs when I sleep on the left side and you’ll hear me echoing.’’

Eyes of a Blue Dog: A sensual, haunting, mesmerizing elegy of a relationship in a dream.

Someone Has Been Disarranging These Roses: Who is the ghost? Who is dead? Who is alive? A tale of loneliness, isolation, sanctity and sacred roses.

Monologue of Isabel Watching It Rain in Macondo: The desire for rain becomes an unimaginable terror for the community of Macondo. A story that represents the unique, lyrical voice of Márquez.

The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her heartless Grandmother: One of the most powerful, cruel, raw stories by Márquez. How much does innocence cost in a community that cannot find its way through the darkness?

Every passage written by Márquez is a revelation of the power of Literature. Its magic, its lyrical voice, its mesmerizing quality to carry you in dark worlds into your soul. In a site that supposedly promotes reading, it is astonishing to see many ‘’readers’’ dismissing Márquez on the grounds of ‘’magical realism’’ and being ‘’incomprehensible’’. How about you try a little more?

‘’The angel was the only one who took no part in his own act. He spent his time trying to get comfortable in his borrowed nest, befuddled by the hellish heat of the oil lamps and sacramental candles that had been placed along the wire.’’

‘’She’s done a lot of travelling’’, Mr Herbert said. ‘’She’s carrying behind the flowers from all the seas of the world.’’