Decoding the Paradox in Garcia Marquez’s One-Sentence-Long Story, “Great Enchanter”

Kira Andreeva

Tyumen State University, Volodarskogo Street, 6, Tyumen, Russia, 625003. Email:

 Volume 9, Number 2, 2017 I Full Text PDF

DOI: 10.21659/rupkatha.v9n2.20

Received May 12, 2017; Revised July 10, 2017; Accepted July 15, 2017; Published August 11, 2017.


The present article studies one unique postmodernist experiment of a complete violation of the traditional story construction by the Nobel Prize winner Garcia Marquez. One of his stories: “The Last Voyage of the Ghost Ship” is written in the form of one sentence, although, graphically occupying six or seven pages of the text. The genius of the writer let him combine such evident (but actually specially planned) violation of the norm with complete semantic transparency which led to the enthusiastic reception of the story by the press as well as by his readers. The aim of my article is to decode this evident paradox with the help of more traditional and modern cognitive approaches and technologies of text analysis. Thus, we make use of such several well-known and accepted linguistic notions as narrative structure, ekphrasis and others alike with innovations of general cognitive approach. The latter has the power to explain the surprising phenomenon of the readers’ complete embodiment into the picture created by the author (scientifically called “mental ekphrasis”). Different forms of multimodality contribute to the general effect. The whole architecture of the text is supported very elegantly and simply with the help of mainly coordinate conjunctions. The results of our empirical analysis prove our explanation of the evident effect of all these special tools of linguistic text construal expertly chosen by Garcia Marquez.

Keywords: Marquez’s anniversary, one-sentence-long story, norm violation, traditional and cognitive technologies, ekphrasis, notional ekphrasis, narrative structure, multimodality.

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