"The Master of Short Forms" by Gene H. Bell-Villada
Gene H. Bell-Villada offers a detailed analysis, examining both style and content, of García Márquez’s short fiction, from his early efforts in the volume Big Mama’s Funeral to the pieces collected in the Spanish edition of Innocent Eréndira. Although the examination does not delve into the short-fiction output of the author’s mature years (Pilgrim Stories, for instance), the reader comes out with a clear, sustained understanding of the strategies and structures employed. Ernest Hemingway is listed as a major influence, and Bell-Villada points to traces of Macondo and of certain motifs in One Hundred Years of Solitude in “Tuesday Siesta,” “One Day after Saturday,” and “Big Mama’s Funeral.” He also reflects on No One Writes to the Colonel, which belongs to the in-between genre of the novella. It remains to be discussed how the sparse, restrained strokes that García Márquez employs in his short fiction give place to the baroque, abundant vision of his larger narratives.