Saturday, July 14, 2007

Innocent Erendera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Title: Innocent Erendira
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

ISBN: 0140157522

Publishers: Penguin Books/1996

Pages: 183

Genre: Short Stories

One author I always end up picking is Marquez. I cannot resist him. Innocent Erendira is a collection of short stories spanning 25 years. Marquez explores, love, death, betrayal, power and duty in the short stories. One or two stories are not easy to interpret in one reading. There are eleven short stories and a novella---The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother.

The novella is a very poignant rendering about Erendira, who is only fourteen when we first meet her and is punished by her grand mother in a very diabolical manner when she accidentally burns her grand mother’s house. The way Erendira has to repay is heart rending. She runs away numerous times only to be brought back..

“The Sea of Last Time” has lots of imagery with unusual smell of the ocean. “Death Constant Beyond Love” is a strange love story where a senator falls in love with a nineteen year old when he had only six months to live.

In “The Third Resignation”, the last sentence ‘….he is so resigned to dying that he might as well die of resignation’ sums up the state of mind of a person who has been in coma for a long time.

One cannot read Marquez at just about any time. One has to have that mindset. As his writings are multi-layered, his characters are multi-faceted; sometimes there are open ends to his endings. Most of his stories are based on real life. His stories contain strange emotions, underlying mysteries and of course mastery over words and the world. Marquez appears to be obsessed with death and in those stories that is highlighted very well.

I would not recommend Marquez for the faint hearted or the die-hard romantic.