9 December 2007

Gabriel García Márquez, No One Writes to the Colonel, 1961

The retired Colombian colonel is a man whose body, house and country are all falling apart, an elderly man with “no occupation other than waiting for the mail every Friday”, and in lieu of his ever-absent war pension the only thing that keeps him going is the windfall that may yet come from his prize rooster’s upcoming cockfight. Essentially it’s a rather cynical shaggy-dog story, and I recently read that the situation of the colonel, if not the character himself, was directly inspired by the experience of Márquez’s own grandfather, and this knowledge gives an extra vitriolic punch to the book’s final scene.   PY

MORE ON GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ :  THE MODERN WORLD  |  NOBEL PRIZE BIOGRAPHY  |  WIKIPEDIA

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