Nabo, our protagonist loses his sense of narrative time; he’s stuck in a particular mentality and assumes that its only been a few moments and at most a few days since his accident. However we as the audience realizes that its been quite a while since the accident and that he’s been stricken and ill and locked up after the accident. He has lost himself to the moment while time flows forward.

“That’s right, Nabo, you’ve slept enough already. You’ve been asleep for almost three days.(Marquez 69)…We’re waiting for you, Nabo. You’ve been asleep for almost two years and you refuse to get up.” (Marquez 70)

He is stuck in an analepsis; a flashback or retrospection in which he is living quite within that particular moment. He does not comprehend that time has moved forward. We’re given cues that time has moved without Nabo; the horses are no longer in the stables and the man from the choir later states that it’s been two years since the accident. Nabo however is stuck in this retrospection and believes that by looking for particular things and memories, he can justify everything that has occurred to him after the horse kicking him in the head. This is evident in all the actions that occur around him. I.E. Rolling on his side, talking to his visitors and caretakers, listening to the gramophone, etc. It is also interesting to note that his conception of time has been distorted. It mixes his past and present together and Nabo can’t make any headway and progress forward. The people around him initially do not recognize this and try to get him to move forward and away from the incident by locking him up in the attic. However as the short story progresses and much time has passed by, Nabo is still stuck at the moment after the horse kicked him in the head. This is evident as years and years pass by him, Nabo is still stuck about being kicked in the head.The man that appears before Nabo is none other than the man with the saxophone in which Nabo used to visit in the town square. After his disappearance he suddenly appears before Nabo and request him to join the choir. The choir is the next step after life but Nabo can’t progress because he’s still alive and stuck in the eternity after the accident. Nabo’s stuck in an endless loop. The time of the story appears in different levels as Nabo, the girl, the man/angel, and the people are all integrated together in one continuous timeline but with various narrative times. Towards the end of the short story Nabo begins to progress as he realizes that all that has occurred has been because of the comb. He begins to bargain with the angel and the angel allows him to search for the comb although its been many years since Nabo’s been in the stables. His release from his confinements allows Nabo to frantically search for the reason behind his accident and his purgatory-like state. He is no longer living in a suspended state but has begun to move forward in search of the comb.

Garcia, Marquez Gabriel. “Nabo: The Black Man Who Made the Angels Wait.” Collected Stories. Trans. Gregory Rabassa and J. S. Bernstein. New York: Harper & Row, 1984. 68-77. Print.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

One Response to “Nabo: The Black Man Who Made The Angels Wait – Analepsis and Narrative Time”

  1.   salvarez said:

    Justin, the PIE structure’s looking pretty good. I think you actually have enough E here to start another paragraph. The line “It mixes his past and present together and Nabo can’t make any headway and progress forward” could be the first in a new paragraph exploring this “point.”

    Remember, block quotes don’t need quotation marks.

    Your title still needs some work. You have some of the critical terms, as well as the title of the text you’ll be analyzing (though you neglect to put the short story title in “quotation marks”), you don’t give the author’s name, nor the first half which should grab your audience’s attention. Here’s what you wrote:

    Nabo: The Black Man Who Made The Angels Wait – Analepsis and Narrative Time

    For the attention grabber, you could use a phrase like “Disjunctions in Effect” just to give your audience an idea. Here’s how the entire thing slightly re-fitted:

    Disjunctions in Effect: Analepsis and Narrative Time in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Nabo The Black Man Who Made The Angels Wait”

    You had most of the elements, but you’re still not quite there. Keep practicing these, they are an art form, and once you have them down, they will come easy.

    The idea about Nabo’s sense of time seems right on. Should a reader be confused when reading this story? Is that its intent?

    Notice all the “to be” verbs you use. I’ll be taking off points in the next few responses for too much “to be” so be sure to revise out as much of these as possible.

    For your works cited, make sure to use both Garcia Marquez’s last names in the citation, so it would read
    Garcia Marquez, Gabriel.

    4.5 out of 5 possible points.

Leave a Reply