Due to overload of this MOOC Space I’ve made a new website for this course in

21 July 2016

There are several references in Gabo’s novel to the Renaissance spanish poet Garcilaso de la Vega.

There’s a good website dedicated to Garcilaso de la Veja that includes his works, studies and articles.

«La crítica tradicional ha hecho de Garcilaso el paradigma del caballero al gusto romántico, elevando a arquetipo su figura de gentilhombre que tomaba con igual maestría “ora la espada, ora la pluma”. Pero a menudo el arquetipo oculta al hombre. Lo que esa antigua crítica entiende como feliz complementariedad de facetas literarias y guerreras Garcilaso lo sintió como desgarramiento de polos contradictorios: “Diverso entre contrarios” se definió, como autorretrato visionado en el espejo de su biografía bipartida.»

He was a professional soldier with a poetic soul.

Soneto V –
Oda a la flor de Gnido –

 20 July

This week is addressed to a new novel «Of Love and other Demons», published in 1995 –

A spanish version of the novel –

Critical analysis –

13 July 2016

Assignment on The General in his Labyrinth:

I suppose that power and history are stressed in this novel, though love is mentioned and recalled in the many love affairs of the General, who had an attraction effect on women, the latin gallant gentleman. It seems to me that love is a more central theme in other novels such as Love in the time of Cholera.

Power and history are more important themes in The general in His Labyrinth, in what concerns the independence from the spanish colonial government,  as an ideal of unity of territories and peoples in a stronger and more democratic country, free from slavery. The novel is about the struggle and battles to achieve that ideal, about political negotiations and treason. The novel deals with a national hero, challenging the oficial history, bringing up the more humane and frail character towards the end of his life, his most intimite moments, with a few trustworthy supporters it is also a story of solitude in the end. This aspect has a link to «The Autumn of the Patriarch», though I see no correspondence between The Patriarch, a tyrant and brutal illiterate character and the General, an educated man with a revolutionary ideal of freedom from colonial powers, gathering territories and peoples under a strong national government.

The author uses his protagonist as a voice for his own political views, critical of the barbarism and the brutal means to achieve independence. Latin America is enduring the times of turmoil of transition from colonizers to get independent. There is a direct criticism to the threat of USA as «omnipotent and terrible, and that its tale of liberty, will end in a plague of miseries for us all!» The turbulent and unstable era of the General extended throughout the century «revolutions have a long history of eating their progenitors».

This novel challenges the official history, which is just one interpretation of the truth. History is told from a fictional viewpoint that may be as real as reality. A history text is the result of how the historian interprets the facts. The general in His Labyrinth suggests new ways of writing the past, it takes account of voices that were never written down as part of official history.

A conference by Salman Rushdie, a tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at the University of Austin in 2015 –

12 July 2016

Salman Rushdy on Magic Realism


11 July 2016

A  link was shared for a book «Latin America’s New Historical Novel», Seymour Menton, but only the first 18 pages are available, not the chapter to the novels that relate to Simon Bolivar.

A long review «From Progress to Catastrophe» on historical novel –

An interesting article «The Trouble with History and Fiction» –

«More than a hundred years after Heredia, Georg Lukács, in his much-cited The Historical Novel, first published in 1937, was more concerned with the social aspect of the historical novel and its capacity to portray the lives of its protagonists. This form of writing, through its attention to the detail of minor events, was better at highlighting the social aspects than the greater moments of history. Lukács argues that the historical novel should focus on the “poetic awakening” of those who participated in great historical events rather than the events themselves (42). The reader should be able to experience first-hand “the social and human motives which led men to think, feel and act just as they did in historical reality” (ibid). Through historical fiction, the reader is thus able to gain a greater understanding of a specific period and why people acted as they did.»

 9 July 2016

My short literary analysis of The General in his Labyrinth in this screencast:


5 July 2016

Some parallel was established between Gabo’s novel and other work like this 15th century poem, by Jorge Manrique –, where life is associated to a river, which dies in the sea. In The General in his Labyrinth, Bolivar also follows the river to start a new life in Europe, but finally dies.

The Last Face, by Alvaro Mutis (extracts) –

Articles on The General in His Labyrinth –

A Slave to his own liberation –

Book Review –

Of Utopias, Labyrinths and UnfulfilledDreams in The General in His Labyrinth –

4 July 2016

We are now in Week 6 to analyse «The General in His Labyrinth», which is an humane account of the last seven months of Simon Bolivar’s life, it highlights the physical decay and fragility of a legend, as well as the decline of his power. He is 46 but he seems an old man, afflicted with illness, a mere shadow of the hero.
The novel tries an historiacl account, according to an author’s interpretation. Many prominent latin americans didn’t like this work, because it revealed a frail Bolivar and not the triumphant general who liberated Latin America from spanish colonization and tried to unify it.
At the end of the novel we are presented with a chronology of historical events, which is helpful to understand those times.
The ambience of the novel is quite oppressive – the weather, the heat, the floods, the political unstability, treachery, anarchy, civil war, the illness of the General. He dwindles in a labyrinth of travels and of memories. In some places he is welcomed and venerated, in others he meets scorn. The narrative expresses this labyrinth of memory, dreams, hallucinations. He recalls triumphs, battles won, love encounters, that contrast with present times of decline.

The novel is also a mirror of failed Latin American governments, where tyrants take advantage of treason and manipulation of power. The threat of being subjected to foreign debt and economic dependence. The threat of next door empire – the USA. Inviting US to the Congress of Panama is «like inviting the cat to the mice’s fiesta». Most dictatorships in Latin America were supported by US and big bargains to exploit Latin American natural resources.
The General in his Labyrinth is a sad outlook of of the ruthless political environment.

27 June 2016

Assignment on one of the characters of Love in the Time of Cholera:

«Dr. Juvenal Urbino della Calle impersonates progress, modernity and science achievements. He is a Liberal and dedicated to public reforms, elevating the standards of public health and culture. He is a prominent member of the local society, born in an aristocratic family, wealthy and influent. As one of the old and distinguished families in the city, he is used to getting his way and to being in charge. He has lived and studied in Paris, in an avant-garde environment. He introduces changes in what regards sanitary conditions to tackle the frequent disease epidemics. He is an educated and pragmatic man. He has a respected profession, as a doctor and he is the perfect gentleman. He follows the latest trends in European science, literature, and art, he is a great patron of cultural initiatives. He marries Fermina for practical reasons and his love for her is built on their communal lives, raising two children, having a good life and travelling for long periods. However, he reveals some conservative traits regarding the Church, the ritual of the mass, the roman-catholic tradition. He has only one serious love  affair with Barbara Lynch, which almost disrupts his marriage and leaves a wound to be healed together in their old age.»

26 June 2016

Assignment: on the end of the novel «Chronicle of a Death Foretold»:

«The death is announced at the beginning of the novel but only at the end the details of the death are described and the victim is his own witness when he ansers his aunt in the past time that «they have killed me» though he is still alive agonizing from the stabbing he suffered. Angela’s untrue confession is probably prejudiced against Nasar but it is also an escape to the spanking of her mother, believing that Santiago was so influent and rich that he would be untouchable and safe to any eventual threat.

The story is not just an investigation about a crime committed by two men, but an entire town’s complicity in that murder, repeatedly announced by the twin brothers, and ultimately, it is a story about a social backward mentality, where prejudice and machismo culture prevails, where values on virginity and family honour justify a crime.

A circular narrative where the narrator tells the tale in such a way that time keeps looping back on itself, flashbacks and flash forwards, digressions, commentaries on the different people involved. The story evolves in uncertainty, like a jigsaw puzzle of conflicting perceptions, dreams, thoughts, ambitions, and desires, in multiple characters viewpoints»

19 June 2016

At the moment in the course, we are entering in the chapter of Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

18 June 2016

As I’m ahead of the course, I’ve just finished my video analysis on Love in the Time of Cholera.

17 June 2016

I’ve submitted an assignment that is no better than other posts I’ve submitted. With a focus on «power»:

«This master piece of the Latin American literature develops a stereotype of a despotic dictator, who fakes death repeatedly and has a neverending life, surviving conspiracies and death threats. The ambience of the novel is magical and supernatural in many of the grotesque episodes of the patriarch’s life. The character gains a mytical aura, with his beastly and primitive feature, dragging his big feet of elephant around the palace. In spite of all pain and disease that afflicts him and the treason that surrounds him, he is capable of keeping power and defeat his enemies. Power inebriates to a point of making no distinction between what is real and imaginary. The longevity of his power creates a mytical phenomenon among his people. But to keep power for so long means to suspect of everyone and be alert to every sign of treachery, which makes him an extremely solitary and paranoic man. The secret police, represented by Saenz de la Barra, will lead a crusade of vicious and unscrupulous acts against innocent people, to justify his existence and build a parallel power through terror. A strong repressive political police plays a crucial role to keep dictators in power.
A good article on power, eternity and dictatorship by Jaime Montesinos of the University of Valencia –»

16 June 2016

I have been participating in the fora of discussion of the course. Just watched the last video on The Autumn of the Patriarch.

Another  resource was shared by a peer:

The Solitude of Latin America Gabriel Garcia Marquez – 

 6 June 2016

The new topic on The Autumn of the Patriarch started today and a referrence to Ruben Dario and his poem Marcha Triunfal made me look at at Ruben Dario biography and work in the Wikipedia -for the poem Marcha Triunfal (1895) together with a critical review –
The poem in Youtube –

Quotes from Spanish version El Otoño del Ptriarca, related to Ruben Dario, the Nicaraguen poet who influenced Gabo:

“…vio sin ser visto al minotauro espeso cuya voz de centella marina lo sacó en vilo de su sitio y de su instante y lo dejó flotando sin su permiso en el trueno de oro de los claros clarines de los arcos triunfales de Martes y Minervas de una gloria que no era la suya mi general, vio los atletas heroicos de los estandartes los negros mastines de presa los fuertes caballos de guerra de cascos de hierro las picas y lanzas de los paladines de rudos penachos que llevaban cautiva la extraña bandera para honor de unas armas que no eran las suyas, vio la tropa de jóvenes fieros que habían desafiado los soles del rojo verano las nieves y vientos del gélido invierno la noche y la escarcha y el odio y la muerte para esplendor eterno de una patria inmortal más grande y más gloriosa de cuantas él había soñado en los largos delirios de sus calenturas de guerrero descalzo, se sintió pobre y minúsculo en el estruendo sísmico de los aplausos que él aprobaba en la sombra pensando madre mía Bendición Alvarado eso sí es un desfile, no las mierdas que me organiza esta gente, sintiéndose disminuido y solo, oprimido por el sopor y los zancudos y las columnas de sapolín de oro y el terciopelo marchito del palco de honor, carajo, cómo es posible que este indio pueda escribir una cosa tan bella con la misma mano con que se limpia el culo, se decía, tan exaltado por la revelación de la belleza escrita que arrastraba sus grandes patas de elefante cautivo al compás de los golpes marciales de los timbaleros, se adormilaba al ritmo de las voces de gloria del canto sonoro del cálido coro que Leticia Nazareno recitaba para él a la sombra de los arcos triunfales de la ceiba del patio…”

“…porque un domingo de hacía muchos años se habían llevado al ciego callejero que por cinco centavos recitaba los versos del olvidado poeta Rubén Darío y había vuelto feliz con una morrocota legítima con que le pagaron un recital que había hecho sólo para él, aunque no lo había visto, por supuesto, no porque fuera ciego sino porque ningún mortal lo había visto desde los tiempos del vómito negro…”. El ciego callejero recitaba los poemas de Darío al patriarca, en su otoño, a quien el pueblo no miró por muchos años, a través de los cuales ejerció el poder como el típico dictador latinoamericano.

“…porque nadie sabía desde entonces si él existía a ciencia cierta, se había vuelto invisible, veíamos los muros fortificados en la colina de la Plaza de Armas, la casa del poder con el balcón de los discursos legendarios y las ventanas de visillos de encajes y macetas de flores en las cornisas que de noche parecía un buque de vapor navegando en el cielo, no sólo desde cualquier sitio de la ciudad sino también desde siete leguas en el mar después de que la pintaron de blanco y la iluminaron con globos de vidrio para celebrar la visita del conocido poeta Rubén Darío, aunque ninguno de esos signos demostraba a ciencia cierta que él estuviera ahí,…”

“…la furia del temporal que de milagro no echó a pique el barco bananero en que llegó pocas horas después el joven poeta Félix Rubén Darío Sarmiento que había de hacerse famoso con el nombre de Rubén Darío”. Según la novela, Darío ofrecería un recital lírico en el Teatro Nacional donde estarían presentes el Patriarca y su mujer, Leticia Nazareno.

Critical analyses in spanish:

El Otoño del Patriarca. Germen de una Novela, by Javier Fernandez Garcia –

Objeto, tiempo y colectividad en El otoño del patriarca, by Esteban Quesada –

El Otoño del Patriarca: En la novela del macho triunfa lo femenino*, by Marlene Arteaga Quintero –

Poder, Eternidad y Dictadura: El Otoño del Patriarca, Jaime Abad Montesinos, (Universitat de València)

Objeto, tiempo y colectividad en El otoño del patriarca, Esteban Quesada
Universidad Central, Colombia

El otoño del patriarca, la historia como repetición, Miguel Ángel Quemain

Dialnet-ElEspacioEnElOtonoDelPatriarcaDeGabrielGarciaMarqu-91629 (1), Ernesto Gil Lopez

2 June 2016

I have finished the reading of Love in the Time of Cholera. I’ll start soon its analysis, since I’ve just completed my presentation and transcript analysis of Chronicle of a Death Foretold to produce my video.

Critical analyses:

The trailer of the movie of 2007

1 June 2016

A review of the Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Salman Rushdie –

NYT review by Leonard Michaels –

«Chronicle of a DeathForetold,” which is very strange and brilliantly conceived, is a sort of metaphysical murder mystery in which the detective, Garcia Marquez himself, reconstructs events associated with the murder 27 years earlier of Santiago Nasar, a rich, handsome fellow who lived in the Caribbean town where the author grew up. Thus, as a character in his own novel, Garcia Marquez interviews people who remember the murder and studies documents assembled by the court.e accumulates many kinds of data – dreams, weather reports, gossip, philosophical speculation – and makes a record of what happened first, second, third, etc»

Book review –

«A vivid portrait of Latin American life that deals with the thorny issues of family honour, vengeance and unspoken, communal rites»

Critical analysis –

My video with the Chronicle’s analysis


31 May 2016

Other short stories are referred in the course, like The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship (1978)

A stylistic approach to «The Autumn of the Patriarch», the short story is written as a single long paragraph.

A comparison between Erendira story and La Gitanilla, a short novel by Cervantes was analysed –

I was not acquainted with La Gitannilla, by Cervantes and it’s striking the beginning of the story:
«Parece que los gitanos y gitanas solamente nacieron en el mundo para ser ladrones: nacen de padres ladrones, críanse con ladrones, estudian para ladrones y, finalmente, salen con ser ladrones corrientes y molientes a todo ruedo; y la gana del hurtar y el hurtar son en ellos como accidentes inseparables, que no se quitan sino con la muerte.»
It could have been written today because in many ways gypsies remain excluded in many countries in Europe –
Recently, a portugese indie film won an award addressing the prejudices against gypsies and a portuguese tradition to put ceramic frogs in shops in order to keep gypsies away. It seems too primitive but in fact I think that racism against gypsies is stronger than against black people.

30 May 2016

The course started today and the timeline presents a number of videos on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ life and works, like this documentary, segmented in various episodes.

The timeline also gathers a number of newspaper articles written by the author on varied issues – , among which one article of the 80’s about the Revolution of the Carnations in Portugal (1974) –

poster de abril

He mentions a famous poster of the revolution


17 May 2016

The first message to welcome participants arrived today with an invitation for introductions.

A Twitter account was shared – <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=”>#FLreadinggarciamarquez

The course will start next 30th May – 

12 May 2016

I have read Chronicle of a Death Foretold and a few reviews

10 May 2016

My video with a critical analysis of the Autumn of the Patriarch

Transcript The Autumn of the Patriarch

29 April 2016

After reading «The Autumn of the Patriarch», I started working on a presentation with a critical analysis, based on some critical reviews, such as:

enotes otono patriarca

A Stunning Portrait of a Monstruous Caribbean Tyrant, (1976) by William Kennedy . 

Dictation and Narration_otono patriarca (2015), by Paul Hyland

El ritmo prosistico_otono patriarca, (1983), by Julio Calnino Iglesias

The Autumn of the Patriarch Analysis (enotes)

“POWER” in Literature and Society, The “Double” in Gabriel García Márquez’s
The Autumn of the Patriarch, by José Anadón

In the Shadow of the Patriarch, (2009), by Enrique Krauze –

The Dictator in the Autumn of the Patriarch – Sadistic or Masochistic?, (2014), by Tahsina Yasmin

1 April 2016

I’ve produced a short video presentation with an analysis of The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother

Transcription of narration / Erendira analysis

4 March 2016

I was so excited with the announcement of Gabriel Garcia Marquez MOOC that I started to read and explore some of the works that will be the focus of the course.

So I’ve downloaded his story on Erendira and read it very quickly. Except for this story, The Autumn of the Patriarch and Of Love and Other Demons I have read before the other works and his masterpiece that is ommited in the course One Hundred Years of Solitude /1963. I have read translations into portuguese, now I’m reading in english. I suppose I prefer the latin versions, though I have not read the original in spanish. In spite of understanding spanish I’m not used to read in spanish.

I was surprised to find so many works available in the Internet for free download and a lot of analysis and essays on Gabo’s novels. He is one of those magic writers that gives us profound pleasure reading.

the omniscient narrator who communicates the characters’ vision of a meta-physical universe in which all things are possible.

Magical realism, magic realism, or marvelous realism is literature, painting, and film that, while encompassing a range of subtly different concepts, share in common an acceptance of magic in the rational world. It is also sometimes called fabulism, in reference to the conventions of fables, myths, and allegory. Of the four terms, Magical realism is the most commonly used and refers to literature in particular that portrays magical or unreal elements as a natural part in an otherwise realistic or mundane environment.

The beauty of the story, of course, lies in the descriptions, the atmosphere, the dialogue, the wondrous happenings, all of which combine to create a kaleidoscopic tapestry that many readers and critics would call “magic realism. …

Gabriel Garcia Marquez interview

His works are available in spanish – 

3 March 2016

FutureLearn announced a next MOOC, starting 30 May 2016, about Gabriel Garcia Marquez novels – The novels to explore can be found in the Internet for free reading.

This course will allow you to:

  1. Reach higher appreciation of Gabriel García Marquez’ work
  2. Comprehend how his literary production evolved over time
  3. Acquire the ability to establish relationships between his literary works
  4. Learn to identify and recognize the principal traits that characterize his work

Running in English and Spanish.