Chronicle of a Death Foretold

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Journal Article
New Writing, 2008, 5 (1), pp. 27 - 34
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In Chronicle of a Death Foretold Gabriel Garciacutea Maacuterquez uses the device of an un-named shadowy narrator visiting the scene of a killing and beginning an investigation into the past. From the beginning of the text, the author sets up a dialogue between the past and the present. Garciacutea Maacuterquez does not assert that the truth exists objectively in the world and present a version of this reality to the passive reader as fact. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold the narrator and reader are forced to choose between contradictory versions of what constitutes the truth. His narrator is not all-knowing, but a shadowy detective figure who actively invites the reader's participation in the detective process. Juxtaposing viewpoints, making the most of the uncertainties of memory, Garciacutea Maacuterquez's questioning narrator is perfectly suited for a non-fiction narrative where the murderer or murderers are unknown. Where the truth is not straightforward. Working quietly as a detective in partnership with the reader he tries to reconstruct from the words and documents of others a true fiction, of what 'really' happened. For this work is an investigation not only of the past and a small Colombian community, but also a work which explores the dominant narrative in the lives of all human beings: the chronicle of a death that cannot be escaped, and which will bring every individual narrative to an end.
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