Chronicle of a Death Foretold

Chronicle of a Death Foretold The Boom: Latin American Literature in the mid to late 1900s

The "boom period" in Latin American Literature usually refers to the span from the 1950s to the 1970s in which Latin American Literature attained publicity that it had not known before. Important authors in the "boom" included Julio Cortazar, Manuel Puig, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Jose Donoso, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. These Latin American authors were greatly influenced by European and American authors of the generations preceding them, especially those who experimented with novelistic structure and chronology. Such authors include William Faulkner, James Joyce, Henry James and Virginia Woolf. The "boom" brought about a new genre of writing coined "magic realism" or "magical realism," because these Latin American novels tended to blend magic and dream-like features with an attentiveness to everyday reality.

Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude is often considered one of the most prominent works of the "boom" period. While Chronicle of a Death Foretold was published in 1981, which many consider to be after the "boom" period had ended, it clearly includes many of the aspects of that literary time. For instance, not only does Chronicle of a Death Foretold incorporate features of magic realism constantly through novel-including characters who practice the occult as well as several evil omens-but also Garcia Marquez experiments with structure and the fragmentation of time, two main characteristics of a "boom" novel.

Garcia Marquez was also ahead of his time when he wrote Chronicle of a Death Foretold in that he anticipated the recent Latin American trend of writing about the working classes. Authors of the recent "post-boom" period often incorporate young lower class characters in their novels. Marquez deals with the class struggles in Columbia, using Santiago Nasar to represent the upper middle-class, and characters such as Angela Vicario and her brothers to represent the lower working-class. Chronicle of a Death Foretold was written before the themes of class struggle became popular in Latin American novels, and is therefore a harbinger of the most recent Latin American literature.