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The perils of parody : joking with stereotypes in a postcolonial context in Cien años de soledad

McAleer, Paul


Paul McAleer


This article examines the comic treatment of the characters in Cien años de soledad. It challenges the previous studies of the novel’s comedy, which have tended to conclude that its comic formulas are necessarily subversive and carnivalesque. Employing Susan Purdie’s theory of comedy and Edward Said’s, Homi Bhabha’s and Walter Mignolo’s postcolonial theorisation of othering, the article analyses the ways in which Gabriel García Márquez’s comic depictions function as parodic exaggerations of certain stereotypical representations of the Latin American “other.” However, it is also argued that the diffuse nature of parody and of the technique of exaggeration open up these jokes to multiple readings. Moreover, according to Stuart Hall’s and Richard Dyer’s work on stereotypes, references to the “other” in jokes or in other types of narratives inevitably enter into an intertextual dialogue with established discourses, over which the author or text has little control. In this respect, the article aims to map the possible meanings of these jokes within the context of the novel’s global popularity. It investigates the possibility that certain comic representations of the “other” in Cien años de soledad run the risk of confirming certain discourses just as much as they have the potential to subvert them.


McAleer, P. (2016). The perils of parody : joking with stereotypes in a postcolonial context in Cien años de soledad. Journal of Iberian and Latin American Studies, 21(3), 187-203.

Acceptance Date Feb 7, 2016
Online Publication Date Jun 22, 2016
Publication Date 2016
Deposit Date Apr 18, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 9, 2018
Journal Journal of Iberian and Latin American research
Print ISSN 1470-1847
Electronic ISSN 1469-9524
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 21
Issue 3
Pages 187-203
Keywords Comedy; Characterisation; Stereotypes; Gender; Ethnicity; Otherness; Neo-colonialism; Post-colonialism; García Márquez, Gabriel, 1928-.Cien años de soledad
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Iberian and Latin American research on 22/06/2016, available online:
Contract Date Jan 9, 2018


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