Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez translated by Gregory Rabassa

Publisher: Penguin Books

Date Read: May 2018

No. of Pages: 128 pages

Date Published: April 23, 2014


I find it really hard to explain this word Honor to people who live in modern nations and since this word with its meaning could be found in many societies but unless you lived in traditional society this short novella wouldn’t have much resonance with you.

how can you explain how my people consider Honor which is made up of  certainly a women, and that how my society sees women doesn’t look much different than how this novella town sees them, men honor depends on women and women honor depends on her virginity,what i found strange how a person dignity and humanity can be summarized to a small sheath of skin which determines how good or bad she is.

how many wars between tribes happened and how many people lost their life because of this word and how many societal tragedies has happened because of this word,

for instance in my hometown a women has fell in love and  run away with a man since her family refused the idea of her marrying a man from lower castes and since she run away with man she has dishonored her family name and the family has killed her with her lover,what i found inhumane was that no one tried to save the girl when she screamed for help and  the people divided between those ignoring her call for help and others actually cheering and supporting this crime.

The brothers were brought up to be men. The girls had been reared to get married

this short novella which is my second book i read for Garcia and i have read in almost two hours consecutively and while reading it it both reminded me how sexist societies are and how unfair they are to women and how your gender can determine how your parent would welcome you in the first hours of your birth to how much education you get and how much income your receive.

Chronicle of a Death Foretold, by Nobel prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a novella which the story of Santiago Naser who is murdered by the twin Pedro and pablo Vicario  and how his murder was so foretold that no one believed when it happened and everyone is doubted it could happen.

when Bayardo San Romá  proposed to Angela Vicario she didn’t feel any affection or love toward him and she told her family of her refusal to marry him but

her mother demolished it with a single phrase:
“Love can be learned too.”

and after get married and her husband discovers her loss of virginity he peacefully returns her to her mother who with her twin brothers forced her to say the name of her lover

found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.
“Santiago Nasar,” she said.

but what is wrong in this murder is that no one was sure that Santiago was her lover since no one saw them together but since Santiago reputation was famous as womanizer around the town no one also thought he was innocent also


and since the twins were so much eager to revenge against Santiago but also so hesitant they told all the town about their impending crime so someone could stop them but no one thought their talk was serous so no one tried to warn and save the victim earnestly

eventually crime occurs and the twins will be pardoned since this is honor crime.

although this is a short novella it fills you with so many questions about sexist societies are and  how humans are so fragile and weak that no one remembers the same thing exactly and still in many societies including my own how women value is determined by her virginity and how men value is determined by how he protects his women or how he takes revenge for it.

ironically just as i finished this novella i discovered in Sudan a young teen Noura Hussein who was forced to marry  a man and she accidentally killed him was sentenced to death because of that




    1. he really is fine writer and i hope you discover his works one day.
      it really is frightening specially for women how in some societies everything is conspiring to contain and control her life and thanks to many women now days who became more visible and less tolerant to men mistake i believe this custom will die away with more awareness hopefully.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I think it’s good that someone with the status of Marquez is writing about this, because while I agree with what Karen says about how this kind of thinking must change, it is easier said than done. It’s a cultural phenomenon based on long-held attitudes as we can see in India where ‘honour killings’ happen too even though they are illegal and have been for a long time. So someone like Marquez could be very influential, I hope.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. well first of all as individual of these cultures which practice this ugly custom should first see it as wrong way of thinking and after that we make it illegal but if we make it illegal but without changing the mentality nothing will change.
      but what makes me optimist is that regardless of push back FGM is decreasing in my country and thanks to people becoming more aware about its horror more people are refusing to make their daughters to pass through that ugly custom


  2. I have only read one book for Márquez, i didn’t knew they had the same tradition in there … because of our society i hate the word “Honor” it gaves me goosebumps, a good review btw

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marquez is amazing, his qualities show up in his short books as much as in his long ones. He manages to capture the problems of society in a gripping tale, he forces you to look at yourself.
    This was a very good review, Ina.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot Silvia
      he really is one of the finest writer Latin America has produced . and just like you said just by mere novella he captured one of bad customs some tradition societies have and also trigger to look at it in a new light


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