A Cataclysm in Repose Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings"

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A Cataclysm in Repose

Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" is a short story that fuses together magical and realistic elements. In an interview, Marquez explains the influences and origins of this unique style of writing. The story (not surprisingly) is about an old man with enormous wings who somehow ends up in a small Caribbean or Central American town and the events that surround this occurrence. The story is written in such a way that magical elements appear in a seemingly realistic setting. The interview with Marquez, although never specifically mentioning the story, provides insight as to how he achieves writing in this oxymoronic style.

Marquez attributes his magical-realistic style of writing to the reciprocal relationship between novels and journalism. Marquez says that his "...true profession is that of a journalist (131." This background in journalism helps keep his writing in "...a

close relationship with reality (137)." Marquez further states that trying to "transpose" reality can lead to losing contact with it and journalism is a good guard against that. As a journalist Gabriel Garcia Marquez believes that writing is hard work that requires a certain technique with structure and careful attention to detail. Marquez also describes a "journalistic trick (138)" used to make things credible; saying that there are four hundred and twenty-five elephants in the sky is much more believable than simply stating there are elephants in the sky. Evidence of this journalistic influence is clearly seen throughout "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" and this makes the story seem much more believable.

Another important aspect of Marquez's writing is his use of vivid imagery. He began writing by drawing cartoons and in "... the genesis of all [his] books there's always an image (143)," such as...