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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsOne of the most interesting aspects of No One Writes to the Colonel is its use of language. The Colombian critic, Hernando Téllez, has said, for example, that a fundamental characteristic of the book is the simplicity of its design, almost the ease with which the reader can go from episode to episode in the book. When it comes to language, what interests us in this MOOC is the fact that the question of violence is not specifically present in the novella, but is merely suggested. We know, for example, that the colonel’s son has been murdered at the cock-fighting pit.

Skip to 1 minute and 1 secondWe know that the presence of this son is felt not only in memory but also in the figure of the rooster that appears throughout the book. Given this simplicity, or rather the ease with which the book seems to have been written, the purpose of this module of the MOOC is to carry out a careful reading of the way in which, for example, certain objects with clear symbolic meaning are presented. It is very important to bear in mind that fundamental to this novella, as also to all great literature, is its polysemic nature. That is, the artist imbues it with many senses and many meanings.

Skip to 1 minute and 58 secondsWe present a relevant or faithful interpretation, but that does not mean ours is the only possible view. There might be many other interpretations too. Given that one of the principal virtues of the novella is the ease with which it appears to have been written and the transparent way it is presented to the reader, this module will carry out a careful analysis of the title and, for example, of the first paragraph. In addition, in our analysis of one of the most intense passages in the novella —the meeting between the colonel and his son’s murderer— we will attempt to carry out a detailed analysis of the rhythms of the prose that is used to describe the event.

Skip to 2 minutes and 53 secondsAll these nuances in our analysis of the novella are intended to bring us to the fundamental point, and that is to recognise the depth with which the central character is presented and, above all,

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 secondsan aspect that we believe to be of great importance in this connection: the compassion that Gabriel García Márquez appears to invest in the story of the colonel.

Presentación de El coronel no tiene quién le escriba

En el video, el profesor Hugo Hernán Ramírez nos presenta algunas de las características que hacen de esta novela una de las obras maestras de Gabriel García Márquez. El coronel no tiene quien le escriba parece haber sido escrita con gran facilidad, no solo por el ritmo y la simplicidad de su diseño sino también por la densidad con la que se presenta al personaje principal.

Sin embargo, esta novela tiene un carácter polisémico, es decir que el autor presenta muchos sentidos o significados en su contenido. Un ejemplo de esto lo estudiaremos a través del análisis que haremos de la valoración simbólica de los objetos.

Por otra parte, estudiaremos también el título y el primer párrafo, así como la forma en que García Márquez ha manejado el tema de la violencia, que apenas aparece sugerida.

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This video is from the free online course:

Leer a Macondo: La obra de Gabriel García Márquez

University of Los Andes

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join:

  • Presentación de la obra
    Presentación de la obra
    video

    Read One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Nobel Prize winner García Márquez, in which he weaves together mythical, fantastic and historical episodes.