The genre of ‘Popular Romance’ within the "Chronicle Of Death Foretold".
“She was reborn mistress of her fate for the first time, Angela Vicario discovered that love & hate are reciprocal passions (58)” An excess is something that spills over, that which cannot be contained within a closed narrative, that which lies outside the circle of events. The only generic content available to the Narrator/ Writer to take care of the excess is to depict the excess itself through the genre of popular romance. For popular romance is perhaps the only genre available to the Narrator through which a ‘woman as a desiring subject’ could be depicted, (in other genres the woman is always the object of desire!). The narrative seeks to bring closure to the (oh so romantic) Bayardo-Angelica story that turned out to be excess within the ‘Chronicle of a death foretold’. The Epilogue that handles this excess depicts the ‘other’ of the society; a woman and one as a desiring subject at that. The Epilogue tries to set free both the woman and her desires, that which the society (definitely Patriarchal!) seeks to contain. “What surprised me most was the way in which she’d ended up understanding her life (55)” The way a woman is interpreted by the (male) society comes in clash with the way Angelica interprets herself. Earlier active agency was denied to her when she was ‘obliged to marry without love’. The Epilogue deals with Angelica’s emergence from her previous representation, which she refuses to be framed in. “The truth is that she spoke about her misfortune without any shame in order to cover up the other misfortune, the real one, that was burning in her insides (57)”. The Narrator is surprised by her shamelessness, with which she narrates her misfortune. Angelica’s shamelessness in narrating her misfortune shows her non-conformity to patriarchal ideology, which attaches the clause of shame to the code of loss of honor. Her discourse then becomes the mode of silence, for she uses her narrative to silence something that lies inside her! Her misfortune resides in the ‘loss of Bayardo and not in the loss of honor’.
If Angelica were to interpret herself through societal gaze then her real misfortune would be in loss of honor attached to the returning of bride. But the moment her female subjectivity comes in to play, she sees her misfortune in losing Bayardo, the man she desired! “She was reborn” The patriarchal framework that tried to contain Angelica is seen by her (the newly liberated woman desiring& demanding agency) as a ‘cult of defects’. Angelica has now stepped out of that defective cult into her own. This emergence into her own self comes through her emergence from the societal code. She now gains possession of her own body through her desires. Angelica now does not read herself through the societal gaze but through her feminine subjectivity, and that allows her to see her interiority as real. She assumes agency for her desires by articulating her interiority, her female desires in the form of letters written to Bayardo. She reclaims herself, becomes the ‘mistress of her own fate’. This very articulation of female desire comes about through the stereotypical trope of popular romance that employs purple prose. What allows Angelica to claim possession of her self is her status as the ‘other of the society, the tainted one’. Her marginalized status then becomes her strength, which gives her the impetus to rebel against the patriarchal code. Marquez fused ‘form & content’ of epilogue; the form deals with the excess in terms of language and the excess in content deals with the notion of female desire, a spill over from the main focus of novel. The Epilogue takes care of the remainder, winds up the leftover, and tries to provide a closure to the ‘excess’.