Visual Images: Magical Realism & The New World Baroque

Monsters & Martyrs:
García Márquez's Baroque Iconography

Lois Parkinson Zamora
University of Houston

Passions of the Soul | El barroco gabrielino | Notes


[1] John Rupert Martin, Baroque (New York: Harper and Row, 1977), p. 73.

[2] Two exhibitions are recent reminders of the extensive depiction of this figure during the Baroque period: "In Search of Mary Magdalene: Images and Traditions," at the American Bible Society, 2002; and at the Museo de San Carlos in Mexico City, 2001, with an excellent catalogue of the same title, María Magdalena: éxtasis y arrepentimiento (Mexico City: Conaculta/INBA, 2001).

[3] In fact, the woman who washed Christ's feet is unnamed (viz. Luke 7:36-50), but over time Mary Magdalene accrued her identity and that of several other biblical women—Mary the sister of Lazarus, two other Mary's at the empty tomb—a kind of cumulative self who embodies an array of functions and roles. See María Magdalena: éxtasis y arrepentimiento, cited above, and The Oxford Companion to Christian Art and Architecture, eds. Peter and Linda Murray (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 291-93.

[4] J.E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols, trans. Jack Sage (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1962), p. 239.

[5] Jaime Cuadriello, Catálogo comentado del acervo del Museo Nacional de Arte: Nueva España, Vol . 1, Museo Nacional de Arte. (Mexico City: UNAM/Conaculta-INBA, 1999), pp. 57-8.

[6] See Vera Kutzinski, "The Logic of Wings: Gabriel García Márquez and Afro-American Literature," in García Márquez, ed. Robin Fiddian (London: Longman, 1995), pp. 214-28. Kutzinski depends upon Enrique Pupo-Walker's research in Afro-Caribbean narrative, especially his essay "El carnero y una forma seminal del relato afro-hispánico," in Homenaje a Lydia Cabrera, ed. Reinaldo Sánchez and José A. Madrigal (Barcelona: Ediciones Universal, 1977), pp. 251-57.

[7] Viz. Mark 16:9 and Luke 8:2-3. Cayetano Delaura refers to these and other biblical exorcisms in a conversation with Sierva María's father: "He explained the significance and methodology of exorcism. He spoke of the power given by Jesus to his disciples to expel unclean spirits from bodies and to heal sickness and disease. He recounted the Gospel parable of Legion and the two thousand swine inhabited by demons." Of Love and Other Demons, p. 110.

[8] In his autobiography, García Márquez writes of the language spoken during his childhood in his grandparents' home; he refers to the grandparents of his grandparents:

La lengua doméstica era la que sus abuelos habían traído de España a través de Venezuela en el siglo anterior, revitalizada con localismos caribes, africanismos de esclavos y retazos de la lengua guajira, que iban filtrándose gota a gota en la nuestra. La abuela se servía de ella para despistarme sin saber que yo la entendía mejor por mis tratos directos con la servidumbre. Aún recuerdo muchos: atunkeshi, tengo sueño; jamusaitshi taya, tengo hambre; ipuwots, la mujer encinta; aríjuna, el forastero, que mi abuela usaba en cierto modo para refersis al español, al hombre blanco y en fin de cuentas al enemigo (75-6).

Our everyday speech was brought by [my grandparents'] grandparents from Spain by way of Venezuela in the previous century, revitalized by Caribbean locutions, the Africanisms of slaves and bits of the Guajira language that had filtered drop by drop into ours. Grandmother made use of it to hide things from me without realizing that I understood it because of my dealings with the servants. I still remember many words: atunkeshi, I'm sleepy; jumasaitshi taya, I'm hungry; ipuwots, pregnant woman; aríjuna, foreigner, which my grandmother used in a certain way to refer to the Spaniard, to the white man and, in the end, the enemy.

Vivir para contarla (New York: Knopf, 2002), pp. 75-6, my translation.

Passions of the Soul | El barroco gabrielino | Notes