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IN REVIEW Quality Control Leaf Storm and other stories, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, trans. by Gregory Rabassa, Harper & Row, 146 pages, $6.50. Austin With the fiction lists of major publishers looking more and more like the elephants’ graveyard, and with various small leafy elephants trumpeting their own importance as “innovators” in “new literary forms” at tremendous fees and in flashy clothes, with the quality lit biz becoming only slightly less trendy than the Dow. Jones Industrials \(the time is ripe for a really vicious going back to sleep, I would like to here note the third volume of Garbiel Garcia Marquez’ fiction to become available in English. Garcia Marquez is a 44-year-old Colombian who in 1967 published One Hundred Years of Solitude, one of the most beautiful novels of recent years, and a reassurance to anyone who keeps in his closet a reasonably reactionary esthetic theory one which for instance cares more for language than for significance or the SDS. Since the English edition appeared in 1970, Harper & Row has gone on to make available Garcia Marquez’ other work, issuing two other books, No One Writes to the Colonel and this present one. I suspect that their motives are less than pure, but greed, like hatred, has been unfairly represented as lacking in redeeming social value. Without greed, no little girls with blue smeared above the eyes. Published last spring, Leaf . Storm and other stories is a rather erratic collection of originally published over a 20 year period. The hundred-page title story and two shorter ones were written in the early fifties and exhibit ability, competence, talent, promise, but they don’t really succeed completely in making you happy. The other four stories all show a publication date of 1968, and are more resonant, smoother and beautifully polished, but in terms of elaborate moves, vicious gestures and general randy play only one measures up to Garcia Marquez’ great novel. Which is a little like asking for quality control in miracles. IN THE NOVELLA, Leaf Storm, three intertwined narratives relate the history of the mythical town of Macondo in the early 20th century. A doctor who wandered into town 25 years earlier has hung himself in the little house in which he has shut himself up. The people of the town hate him and want to get their revenge by refusing to bury him, letting him rot. But the three narrators, an old man, his daughter Isabel, and her son, go to the house and prepare to carry out the burial, mostly to redeem a promise the old man made years before. Sitting around in the dead doctor’s room while the preparations are being made and while the mayor tries legal maneuvering to stop them \(“We can’t be sure that he’s dead them mentally wander over the past 30 years in Macondo. The three narrators are suitably distinct and each is interesting, but the artificiality of the technique is not completely overcome. Garcia Marquez quietly indicates who is speaking in each new section, and they fade out and in gradually with plenty of time to relocate yourself. But even so, it is occasionally jarring to pick up one story where you left off after the instrusion of part of another very different story told in a very different voice. The boy is bored and uncomfortable, only occasionally reflecting on what is happening \(“I always thought that dead people should have hats on. Now I can see concerned, but irritated at her father for going against their neighbors, depriving them of their revenge. She recalls the doctor and his sins against the community and the family \(with whom he had lived burying him. The doctor \(“He was looked on with curiosity, like a gloomy animal who had spent a long time in the shadows town emergency, to tend to the wounded, remaining shut up in his little house. On another occasion he had even refused to come to the bedside of an Indian girl who lived with the family and who later became his mistress. The old man knows circumstances and details which explain, if they do not justify, the doctor’s behavior, and in his mind the situation takes on its authentic complexity. THE LEAF STORM of the title describes the chaotic period in the middle of the history in which a banana company came to Macondo and brought with it people, excitement and energy, and … what had been a narrow street with a river at one end and a corral for the dead at the other was changed into a different and more complex town, created out of the rubbish of other towns. In a strange sort of way, the obsessive hatred of the townspeople for the doctor becomes emblematic of this new complexity. After the banana company has left with most of the energy and the dreams, the town settles and the obsession with the reticent and alien doctor becomes a kind of focus for their bitterness. The intensity of their hatred suggests greater cause than the doctor’s intransigence. November 17, 1972 21