Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion

By Rubén Pelayo | Go to book overview

4

No One Writes to the Colonel (1961)

No One Writes to the Colonel may seem unassuming, for the story line is simple and nonexperimental in technique. However, its narrative exposes a corrupt town and its institutions. No One Writes to the Colonel, to date, continues to be considered one of Gabriel García Márquez’s best works. (In 1999, Mexican movie director Arturo Ripstein released it as a film, which was entered in the 1999 Cannes Film Festival.) The trilogy of Leaf Storm, No One Writes to the Colonel, and Chronicle of a Death Foretold emphasizes the theme of the individual against the government, along with the themes of war and solitude.

No One Writes to the Colonel has been praised for its economy of language. The García Márquez reader will immediately recall the colonel in Leaf Storm, for the two novellas both portray an old colonel as the main character. Their differences, however, are clearly depicted. The two books, along with a third one, In Evil Hour (1966), hint at La violencia (the Violence), a bloody two decades of gunfire in Colombian history that started in 1948. This literary trilogy can be seen as the embryo for One Hundred Years of Solitude. No One Writes to the Colonel was first published in the magazine Mito in 1958. Three years later it was published again in book form.


PLOT DEVELOPMENT

The story opens with a series of incompletely explained occurrences. The morning when the colonel awakens is a difficult one for him, even

-43-

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Advisory Board vii
  • Contents ix
  • Series Foreword xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1 - The Life of Gabriel García Márquez 1
  • 2 - Literary Contexts 15
  • 3 - Leaf Storm (1955) 27
  • 4 - No One Writes to the Colonel (1961) 43
  • 5 - The Short Stories 63
  • 6 - One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) 89
  • 7 - Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) 111
  • 8 - Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) 135
  • Bibliography 163
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 181
  • Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers 183
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