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Repetitions and reflections in Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Berg, Mary G. (1984) Repetitions and reflections in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Humanities Working Paper, 110. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA.

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Chronicle of ~ Death Foretold is a spiralling search for satisfying explanations of why events occur as they do. The first sentences prefigure the book's concern with the nature of memory and our perception of reality as describable in words. The narrator's declared intention of reassembling "the broken mirror of memory" allows the scrutiny of many kinds of reflections: dream images, recollections and retrospective insights, repetitions and contradictions. Memory is both individual and collective; separate voices are joined in a town history. The story of a small town murder becomes a chronicle of a universal need to understand the purpose of life. The fallibility of memory and of words is expanded into the impossibility of recovering the past objectively. We are able to perceive repeated patterns of behavior but the meaning of history eludes us. Interwoven throughout the cycling narrative fabric of repetitions, mockeries and fragmented insights are affirmations of the creativity and strength of human imagination, and Chronicle is ultimately a celebration of the power of words, despite the inadequacy of language to mirror objective reality.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Group:Humanities Working Papers
Series Name:Humanities Working Paper
Issue or Number:110
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100707-165252990
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Official Citation:Berg, Mary G. Repetitions and reflections in Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Pasadena, CA: California Institute of Technology, 1984. Humanities Working Paper, No.110.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18939
Deposited By: Lindsay Cleary
Deposited On:15 Jul 2010 20:14
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 01:50

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