Collected Stories

ISBN: 0060932686
ISBN 13: 9780060932688
By: Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez Gregory Rabassa J.S. Bernstein

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Classics Currently Reading Latin America Latin American Magic Realism Magical Realism Short Stories Short Story Stories To Read

About this book

Collected here are twenty-six of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's most brilliant and enchanting short stories, presented in the chronological order of their publication in Spanish from three volumes: Eyes of a Blue Dog, Big Mama's Funeral, and The Incredible and Sad Tale of lnnocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother. Combining mysticism, history, and humor, the stories in this collection span more than two decades, illuminating the development of Marquez's prose and exhibiting the themes of family, poverty, and death that resound throughout his fiction."Infinitely compelling....In all these stories, however surreal, there are moments of sudden, unexpected beauty."--Jan Morris, The Independent"Tiny masterpieces....Garcí­a Márquez's wonderful world is joyful."--Alberto Manguel, Globe and Mail

Reader's Thoughts


I Sell Dreams by Gabriel Garcia MarquezIt is intriguing to find in a story by the master of Magical Realism real people. Pablo Neruda makes an appearance in this short story, and only that by he dreams something interesting.He dreams about this outlandish woman who…dreams about his future.And to return in full Magical Realism, the woman herself dreams about Neruda and his dream.The irony of this very good story is that the woman who presumably can tell the future dies in the first lines of the story, swept away by a huge wave.Again, I am reminded by a line in Prizzi’s Honour, where Charlie Partana played by an outstanding Jack Nicholson says:- If Marxie Heller's so fucking smart, how come he's so fucking dead”...It is an oxymoron to be a fortune teller and then be killed by a wave, on the shore.On the other hand, Freda, the heroine was Selling Dreams.She stayed in Vienna, where she was dreaming and telling her dreams to a family that paid for her lodgings, meals and this job of telling them what to avoid and when to go out.Freda was in control of that family.Then Pablo Neruda makes an unexpected appearance, as a gluttonous man, presiding over tables and eating lobsters with gusto.This probably goes to prove that the Realism in Magical Realism is alive and kicking. It is actually part of the attraction, at least for this reader.I am not keen on magic which is just plain absurd, that’s probably why I do not fall for the Eugene Ionesco plays.In what concerns Freda’s dreams and her ability, or is it her subconscious’ capacity to tell the future from her dreams and not only that, but insert herself somehow into Neruda’s dream, I believe anything is possible.After reading psychology and research that shows how Magical human capacities are, I am open to find any outlandish story to be true.We are taken in a very short story to Columbia, Havana, and Vienna and then sent to Japan through a tea ceremony metaphor. After Neruda makes his Special Guest Star performance, Borges is mentioned and the passage of the dream of the poet which interacts with Freda’s dream:- This right out of Borges- If he did not write that…- It will be in one of his Labyrinths”It is marvelous how a fabulous writer can include so much in a few pages and reveal his talent in such small pieces. Small, but gems anyhow.I must express my admiration and gratitude to the giant writer for such moments of bliss, but I must confess that it puzzles me to find the other work I read now a bit too linear, I would not dare and say boring in its description of cows defecating in balconies, hens running amok in presidential palace saloons. It may be strange phenomena, all my fault – to become disinterested in the most outrageous happenings and situations. It is a proof though that when one starts reading a book in a style which is shocking, one feels the adrenaline rushing and eyes pop out of sockets.But with time, reading about testicles carried in wheel barrows and scandalous sex does not produce the same chemical reactions in the brain.Not in mine, alas.But it will happen again…Insh’Allah.


So, first of all, I have been reading this off and on for about three years now and I finally decided about two weeks ago to give it a serious effort from the beginning. This is more than just an interesting collection of stories; it's a document of Marquez's growth as a writer. The first third of the book is frankly pretty terrible. It's filled with failed experiments in which Marquez grows closer to developing his signature magical realism, but these experiments instead come off as ghost stories that get bogged down in maudlin torpor. Then, something clicks. The next two thirds of the book are incredible. Marquez finds his voice and more importantly, he starts to serve the story. The characters go somewhere instead of stagnating in their own ghastliness. The stories themselves are richer and they say something. The three standouts are "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings", "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" and "The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother".

Cecily Erker

This is one of the most difficult things I have ever read; it took me almost a month to get through it. I was at the library trying to find a copy of 100 Years of Solitude but they didn't have one, so I checked out this collection of his early short stories. His earliest writings are sometimes so abstract as to be obnoxious and once he uses the gimmick of writing a short story in one long sentence with hundreds of commas, but it was probably through these writings and his early experimentation with magical realism that he arrived to the economy and power of his later, greater novels. I've only read Love in the Time of Cholera so far, but I definitely saw glimpses of it in his evocations of place and time and the inner lives of his characters. Each story gets progressively better and you get to see the process of almost thirty years of his gradual maturation as a writer. I would not recommend this for beginning readers of Marquez because many of these writings, though beautiful, still evade my comprehension because they're so weird and so outside the norms of time and space and physical reality, but his images and ideas are so thought-provoking that you could spend an eternity puzzling over them.

Ahmed Salah

في هذا الكتاب بعض القصص المتنوعه المجمعه لعديد من الكتاب اصحاب الجنسيات المختلفه ولكن ما يجمعهم هي اللغه الاسبانه الكتاب ممتع جدا وفيه بعض الغموض


Terrific writing! By far my favorite read was " The very old man with enormous wings."


It goes without saying that Márquez is one of the most prolific writers of our time, but I'll say it anyway because I don't think it can ever be said enough. Of his works, all of which are incredibly astounding in my view, I found his Collected Stories to be a particularly special treat because it allows for us to delve into Márquez's wild imagination not once, but twenty-six times. This book of his most acclaimed short stories includes Márquez's most fantastical, other worldly tales, including my personal favorite, "Eyes of a Blue Dog" about lucid dreaming. His ability to use and manipulate words and language in their most basic forms is really something to be experienced. I only wish I could read Spanish well enough to enjoy his stories in his native tongue, as I'm sure they are even more beautiful. But no matter what language you read it in, Collected Stories is an excellent introduction for new Márquez readers to become acquainted with his writing style and fall in love with his work.


Marquez has a talent for the surreal and this collection of short stories is a fine example. The first half of the collection wander through the completely bizarre landscapes of spirits and ethereal presence, while the second is far more structured and less fantastical.There are a number of wonderful tragedies told in these stories and they are done with a caring and gentle touch. The writing doesn't shock or sensationalise the stories and instead presents them simply, leaving the shock and horror to be something of your own creation and not Marquez's. I must admit that at times I found it difficult to get excited about what I was reading, but I think that's kind of the point anyway. These stories aren't written to be blockbusters... instead they're beautiful portraits resting on the wall... easily ignored if one forgets to look closely.


مجموعة قصص ماركيز القصيرة شبيهة لدرجة كبيرة برواياته حتى في إسهابها وتفاصيلها الكثيرة وطولها في حالة بعض القصص، لدرجة جعلتني أتذكر رواياته المذهلة.وقبل تعليقي على القصص، أبدي حزني على الترجمة، على رغم كونها جيدة بعض الشئ إلا أن هناك الكثير من الأخطاء في ترجمة الكلمات لبعض القصص التي قرأتها بالانجليزية من قبل والتي أعرفها، لذلك لاحظت الكثير من الأخطاء وهذا سئ، لأن القصص جيدة فعلا!بالعودة إلى القصص، أعجبني معظمها مثل:"عينا كلب أزرق" وكيف أنها تدور في حلمي شخصين مختلفين على ما يبدو ويتقابلان في الحلم وربما في الواقع أيضاً دون أن يعرف ذلكأو "الإذعان الثالث" المرعبة والتي تدور أحداثها من وجهة نظر شخص "ميت" قضى حياته بأكملها ممداً في تابوت.و "جنازة الأم الكبرى" والتي شعرت كما لو أنها امتداد لرواية "مائة عام من العزلة" كما لو أنها فصلها الأخير أو ما شابه.أما أطول القصص وأروعها هي "الحكاية العجيبة والحزينة لطيبة القلب إيرينديرا و جدتها القاسية"، وهذه ليست قصة قصيرة عادية. هي ملحمة فتاة ظلت تتبع جدتها القاسية وتنصاع لأوامرها لسبب لازلت أجهله، ولكن هذا ما أضفى على القصة روعتها.أما في "جئت لأتصل بالتليفون فقط" فقط شعرت برعب ماريا، وبداية القصة كانت مبهرة، رغم أنني لم أفهم نهايتها جيداً.وفوجئت من تصرف الأطفال في قصة "الصيف السعيد للسيدة فوربس" وأعجبتني قصة "رحلة طيبة يا سيدي الرئيس" للغاية!أسلوب ماركيز ساحر ويجعلك تغرق في تفاصيل قصصه سواء أكانت عشر صفحات أم مائة صفحة. لم أمل منه يوماً، أعتقد أن فكرة أن أبدأ بأكبر أعماله "مائة عام من العزلة" نجحت في منحي تلك المناعة والقدرة على قرائته دون كلل أو ملل.

Greg Brown

This is the first I've read by Marquez and OK, I guess.One of Marquez's themes that becomes clear over the course of these twenty-six stories is the way that the odd quickly becomes familiar, and how some things that are familiar are actually rather odd in practice. The first batch of stories, published as "Eyes of a Blue Dog" in Spanish, are insistently concerned with the limits of physical existence. The characters experience blindness, death, and other hardships tied to their bodies. Marquez finds a way to pick out the salient details, creating drama out of even a man shaving himself using his own reflection.That reflection story in particular manages to hint at his later moves towards the fantastic. The third and final batch of stories starts with the excellent story "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings," which chronicles the arrival in town of a very old man with enormous wings. Initially a spectacle, he quickly ceases to hold any value for the town's residents, forced to subsist on mush in a chicken coop. Marquez shows how the ordinary can subtly be fantastic by presenting a fantastic situation that quickly turns ordinary. I suppose this is an aim of the larger magical realism movement too.The voice is hard to pin down, too. It's got that slippery feel of translated prose to it, but not the simple, plain-spoken quality of Murakami's take on magical realism. It can be sensuous one moment, and clinical the next. It dives into characters and spins out of them just as quickly. It refuses to be pinned down, but still feels as if it was all written by the same author. I could never really get my thumb on it, partially because the stories span such a length of time in the developing talent of Marquez.Overall, it was a pleasure to read but I can't say that I was blown away like I was by some of the other stuff I've read recently. The stories did have their wonderful moments, but they were diffuse and not quite as discrete-blow-to-the-cranium as the best ones are. The book felt weird, but too comfortable for my taste. Maybe it's because today's authors have already digested and iterated on Marquez's style, but the whole experience felt like I was reading something I'd seen somewhere else. I can understand why my friend Maggie so eagerly pushed it on me, but the effect was more of recognizing why it's good, not feeling why it's good.


مجموعة جميلة ورائعة ربما لم تنال بعض القصص أعجابي ولكنها مجموعة رائعة بحق فانها تمثل روئيه تامه لفكر ماركيز الروائي فهذه المجموعة كتبت على مدار 35 سنة من عام 1947 إلى عام 1982والجميل في ذلك أنك سترى التغير والتنوع في كتابة القصص لدى ماركيز وكذلك سترى الخيال المبهر الذي يجلعني وأنا اقراء الرواية أصدق أحاديثة وخيالة خصوصا قصة الضوءكالماء فهي قصة عجيبه بحق.ملاحظات جانبيةأول قصة في هذهـ المجموعة كتابها ماركيز كان عمرهـ 20 سنه.أول ظهور لقرية ماكوندو في خيال ماركيز عام 1955أول ظهور لريبيكا زوجة خوسية أركاديو بوينديا أخ الكولونيل عام 1962 قبل صدور مئة عام من العزلة بخمس سنوات وذلك في قصة يوم السبت ومن نفس القصة تم ذكر أحداث موجودة في مئة عام من العزلة مثل موت الطيور وقتل خوسية قبل صدور الرواية.هذا ما لدي وهنا سأضع القصص التي تستحق خمسة نجوم بالنسبة لي(مونولوج إيزبيل وهي ترى هطول المطر في ماكوندو, قيلولة الثلاثاء ,أجمل غريق في العالم , الضوء كالماء)وهناك قصص آخرى جميلة كذلك مثل الاذعان الثالث وعينا كلب ازرقوالقديسة ولكن ما بين قوسين هو أجمل ما راق لي والناس أذواق


All in all, this is a fairly uneven collection. The early works are clearly weaker and some are in fact hard to read. That being said, reading this is second only to Garcia Marquez's autobiography when it comes to witnessing the evolution of a writer. It was great not only to see the origins of Macondo but also the rounding out of the mythology, from the Thief shot by Rebeca to Big Mama's Funeral and beyond. "Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother" may be one of the best short stories I have read, both in the richness of material and the completeness of the story. All in all, there's some disappointment in the book, but by the end, I loved every letter.

Niles Stanley

This is an excellent documentation of how and when Gabriel Garcia Marquez grew as a storyteller, and shows the development of his style in a way very few collections do for authors. The first section, Eyes of a Blue Dog, was written while Marquez was between 19 and 26 years old, which is astounding when you begin to read them. The first section is largely experimental and idea based, and, in my opinion, very successful. The Third Resignation, about a boy who falls into a coma at the age of 7, follows his life for the next 18 years as he grows up inside the coffin he has lain in for the majority of his life, while his insane mother goes on living in the home as if nothing is the matter. The first collection tends to wax philosophical towards the ends in some stories, while others are the few attempts Marquez made as a young man to have twist endings for some stories. While I do enjoy everything in this first section, I am glad that he does change his style later on.The second two sections are much more similar to each other, in that they are sometimes a tad heavy handed in their use of political and religious allegory, and they are collections with overlapping characters and longer, summative stories at the end of them. These two collections also contain some of Marquez's finest work, including Tuesday Siesta, There Are No Thieves in This Town, One Day After Saturday, and Artificial Roses. These stories are more or less based in the real world and are masterpieces of understatement, similar to South America as Raymond Carver is to the United States.The third collection, including two of Marquez's most famous stories, Old Man With Enormous Wings and The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World is where you finally begin to see the full use of the magical realism that he is so known for, and it works so well, that you barely notice the fantastical elements as you read, they simply fold into the reality he creates, effortlessly. Death Constant Beyond Love and The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship are my two favorites from this collection, the latter being a single sentence story that spans 7 pages and places all dialogue in free indirect style that is simply delightful to read.


Marquez is the David Lynch of fiction - these stories read like dreams and every one is shot through with death. Beautiful corpses, drowned travelers, silent diseases, wandering spirits, unexpected magic, elegant decay.Once I realised that these were stories of atmosphere and were not, like Borges or Calvino, meant to give some kind of philosophical or intellectual satisfaction -- that rather, like dreams, they weave mysteries that aren't meant to be solved -- well, I liked them a bit better. Still, it's sometimes frustrating to have a situation set, the ropes of suspense rigged up tight... and then for there to be no release - just a vague feeling that there was a narrative there and that you've somehow been skirted around it. Like seeing a road accident far away, with the smoke billowing up towards the sky and the sound of ambulances and police cars, but the view is blocked, so that all you can do is stare at the dashboard of your own car and wonder. And remember perhaps that death is always there. Marquez is more interested in the dashboard than the accident, but maybe that is his genius maybe. And there are beautiful things here - paper butterflies that flutter our windows and ghost ships and dying angels. And prose! And surprises! But I didn't feel like I learned anything really, and I couldn't help but want to see the accident.

Ayman Zaaqoq

عندما تقرأ لأديب عملاق مثل ماركيز فإن سقف طموحاتك يطاول السماء، لكنك تكون مهموما بعوامل أخرى كالترجمة، خصوصا وأن الروايات المكتوبة بغير الانجليزية لا تكون عادة مترجمة إلى العربية من لغتها الأم، وإنما تكون مترجمة من ترجمات أخرى وسيطة كالانجليزية و الفرنسية.لكن هذا الكتاب مختلف، فقد اجتمعت فيه الترجمة الجيدة جدا - المباشرة و الأدبية - للمنوفي مع الأدب الأصيل الذهبي لماركيز مع غلاف جميل للفنانة فاطمة العرارجي، بالإضافة إلى طباعة جيدة و سعر زهيد للغاية.الكتاب يضم اثنتا عشرة قصة قصيرة من الناحية الفنية، لكن كل قصة منها هي عصارة تجربة غنية و فكرة مذهلة. والرائع في أعمال ماركيز أنها في منتهى البساطة الشكلية – سهلة التناول و مشوقة – لكنها دسمة المعنى، فتشعر أن وراء كل قطعة معان مختلفة، فتعيد قراءتها مرارا بنفس المتعة و الدهشة الأولتين. ويتسم أسلوب ماركيز في هذه المجموعة بالسخرية اللاذعة، التي قد تدفعك للابتسام ووجهك مبلل بدموع المأساة المروية، وهذا جانب آخر من جوانب عظمته.بهرتني ثلاث قصص تستحق النجوم الخمس: "جنازة الأم الكبرى" التي تصور مشاكل العالم الثالث المقموع و المقهور، "إيرينديرا وجدتها القاسية" التي تصور إذلال الإنسان المفزع للإنسان و ما يتبعه، "رحلة طيبة يا سيدي الرئيس" التي تظهر أن ضعف الإنسان واحد مهما علا شأنه.يلي ذلك ثلاث قصص قيمتها بأربع نجمات: "قيلولة الثلاثاء"، "الموت الدائم قيما وراء الحب"، "جئت لأتصل بالتليفون فقط".كتاب جميل يستحق القراءة.


There are three collections in this book, each with about eight short stories in it. I'm a big fan of García Márquez and enjoyed this book quite a bit. The collections included were Eyes of a Blue Dog, Big Mama's Funeral, and The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother. I liked a few stories from each section, but really loved the ones from Innocent Eréndira. "The Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" was so unusual, and "The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" was a lot of fun to read. The title story of Innocent Eréndira was amazing as well. One line really captured what I like about Garía Márquez's writing style "What I like about you," she said, "is the serious way you make up nonsense."

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