Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion

By Rubén Pelayo | Go to book overview

3

Leaf Storm (1955)

García Márquez’s first novella, Leaf Storm, was translated into English in 1972, eighteen years after it was published in Spanish and two years after the English-speaking public first read his acclaimed masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude (referred to in this chapter as Solitude). As might be expected, some critics in the United States used Solitude as the model against which to compare this novella. In a novella (which is generally shorter than a novel), as in the short story, a fictional narrative is restricted to a single event, situation, or conflict. As the British author and literary critic John Anthony Cuddon noted, while this often

produces an element of suspense and leads to an unexpected turning point so that the conclusion surprises even while it is a logical outcome, the novella is also characterized by its length, which although indeterminate, nevertheless lies between a short story and a full-length novel. (Cuddon 642)

As examples of novellas, one may think of The Old Man and the Sea (1952) by Ernest Hemingway, as well as two others by García Márquez: No One Writes to the Colonel (1961) and In Evil Hour (1962).

La hojarasca (as it was published in Spanish in 1955) appeared in English as Leaf Storm and Other Stories. Some critics were initially unable to appreciate Leaf Storm. A reviewer for Time magazine, Martha Duffy, wrote that Leaf Storm was in most ways a disappointment, as she found

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