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The short stories
Topic Started: Dec 2 2006, 08:11 PM (3,372 Views)
Alex
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Glorious Imperator
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This may put some people off, but personally I think that Márquez is at his best in small doses. His collected fiction is a great book for newcomers. Especially with his long sentences and paragraphs, it can sometimes get very dense (and I can only imagine what it would feel like reading him in his original Spanish!), so I'd recommend anyone to start with one of the story collections. Mind you, his novels are great too, it's just that they can be so offputting to a beginner, who might need a "lighter" introduction to his works. If you can speak of "light" in terms of Márquez, that is.
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Animal Mother
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Yes, I enjoyed the short stories that I read last summer. Only got two or three in before this girl in Honolulu borrowed the book and disappeared forever, however. I can't remember the name, but in one of the stories a family puts an old angel in a chicken coop and people pay to come and look at it.
I sympathize with your trepidation at Marquez' long scentences and so forth. I tried to read The Autumn of the Patriarch once upon a time, and soon found that it has no paragraph breaks, just one block of text composed of scentences that go on for half a page or more. Kind of like a novel put in a blender. Loved One Hundred Years though.
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kline19
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worker bee
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"Eyes of a Blue Dog" is one of my all time favorite short story and it happened to be by Senor Marquez. His books are equally beautiful.
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kline19
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worker bee
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Here is the link i found online:
Eyes of A Blue Dog
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onefatman
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Early or later stories better? (In germany they're in separate volumes i think)
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kline19
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worker bee
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onefateman: i read his stories in one of those "collections" format. I dun think they were chronologically listed... cheers!
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fidusachates
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among his short stories, i'm partial to the trail of blood in snow as translated by a college room mate.
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Nihilo
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Yes, "The trail of blood in snow" is nice. My favorite: "El verano feliz de la señora Forbes".
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Jacek
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I'm finishing up Gregory Rabassa's translation of the stories in the "Eyes of a Blue Dog" collection, and wow are they bad. Fortunately I also just read "No One Writes to the Colonel" which, though not great necessarily, was at least good, and far far better than the stories from his 20s. I remember reading recently that he felt liberated by reading Kafka's Metamorphosis, since he didn't know that kind of thing was allowed in fiction—well, the Kafka-inspired doggerel he spewed out soon afterwards certainly should not have been allowed.

Given Marquez's renown, I'm clearly not starting in the right place...
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Heteronym
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Jacek
Mar 16 2011, 10:47 AM
I'm finishing up Gregory Rabassa's translation of the stories in the "Eyes of a Blue Dog" collection, and wow are they bad.

Given Marquez's renown, I'm clearly not starting in the right place...
You may have started in the worst possible place. Well, no, you could have tried Leaf Storm instead.

I once had a García Márquez phase; I think it was the effect of reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. It changed me as a reader and for years I considered it the greatest thing ever written. But it also blinded me to Gabo's mediocre works. I read a lot of bad books by him that I forced myself to see as good because, well, he wrote 'Solitude.'

His early short-stories and novels are not very good. And I think even his more mature material is often hit and miss. Although Vargas Llosa isn't as popular and may not have written a game-changing novel like 'Solitude,' I think he's more consistent and has written a bigger number of good novels than Gabo.

García Márquez for me is basically: One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, No One Writes to the Colonel, Innocent Eréndira.
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nnyhav
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itinerant kibitzer
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Heteronym
Dec 16 2011, 12:14 PM
Jacek
Mar 16 2011, 10:47 AM
I'm finishing up Gregory Rabassa's translation of the stories in the "Eyes of a Blue Dog" collection, and wow are they bad.

Given Marquez's renown, I'm clearly not starting in the right place...
You may have started in the worst possible place. Well, no, you could have tried Leaf Storm instead. [...]
García Márquez for me is basically: One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Autumn of the Patriarch, Love in the Time of Cholera, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, No One Writes to the Colonel, Innocent Eréndira.
izzat in order of merit?

After Solitude I read the Harperennial Collected Stories which put me off Gabo; want to give him the best second chance ...
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Heteronym
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Funny, I didn't consciously set out to put them in order of merit; but now that I look at the list, yeah, that's exactly how I'd order them!

I don't think you'll go wrong with The Autumn of the Patriarch.
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