Upon reading Dialogue with the Mirror, I was immediately intrigued by the title. Dialogue with the Mirror is an interesting title for the short novella by Garcia Marquez. Contrary to the title, the entire novella does not contain any traditional and standard dialogue contained between quotations. Rather the dialogue is the interaction between the man and the man in the mirror; the actions the man does is copied and reacted upon by the imitation. Another point of interest is when the narrator speaks, it shifts perspectives from an omnipotent speaker to the man interacting with the mirror. It is a seamless flow between the two and as the reader, I myself find myself lost between differential between the two. The initial introduction for example is spoken by a third-person narrator and is shifted to the thoughts of the man that the narrator was describing; the focalization changes between an external focalizer to an internal focalizer and back. The focalization changes constantly as the short novella continues. It contains free-indirect discourse; it switches between a homodiegetic and heterodiegetic narrator.

“He smiled. (It smiled.) He showed-to himself- his tongue. (It showed – to the real one – its tongue.) The one in the mirror had a pasty, yellow tongue: “Your stomach is upset,” he diagnosed (a wordless expression) with a grimace. He smiled again. (It smiled again.) But now he could see that there was something stupid, artificial, and false in the smile that was returned to him. He smoothed his hair (it smoothed its hair) with his right hand (left hand), returning the bashful smile at once (and disappearing.) He was surprised at his own behavior, standing in front of the mirror and making faces like an idiot. Nevertheless, he thought that everybody behaved the same way in front of a mirror and his indignation was greater then with the certainty that since the world was idiotic, he was only rendering tribute to vulgarity. Eight-seventeen.” (Marquez 43)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply