Eyes of a blue dog is a collection of 14 short stories by the Colombian Nobel Prize winner Garcia Marquez, who is best-known in the US for his novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985). The stories were written from 1947 to 1955 and show the inventiveness of the young Garcia Marquez.
Eyes of a blue dog is also the title of one of the stories in this collection. This mysterious story opens with the male narrator speaking; he is telling the reader about a recurring dream he has been having.
The scene is his bedroom and a woman is warming her hands in the heat coming from the chimney of an oil lamp while she is looking at the narrator. Is it the first time she has looked at him? The narrator thinks yes, but then changes his mind—it is the first time he has seen her, but she has seen him before. And then a nonsense phrase pops into his head and he says to her: “Eyes of a blue dog”. She replies: “Yes, that’s it.”
As the story evolves, the woman disrobes, revealing her copper toned skin in the flickering light of the lamp, but the narrator cannot touch her—she warns that to do so would ruin everything. The reader discovers that the narrator and the woman meet repeatedly in dreams, but he forgets her when he awakes.
They are lovers in a dreamland where they cannot embrace, and they can’t find each other in real life. She says that she will try to make contact with him in the real world via the catch phrase “Eyes of a blue dog”, which she will write graffiti style on walls and floors of public places.
How does it happen that the narrator can tell us about this dream? How is it that he now remembers her? Did the narrator discover the catch phrase written somewhere, or perhaps he touched her in a dream to break the spell? The story raises questions, but doesn’t give answers.
This story has been translated into English by an anonymous author on the Classic Short Stories web site. The translation is somewhat literal, which doesn’t convey well the mystery and suspense of the original Spanish, but it still makes for interesting reading. And, of course, the translation makes the story available to many English language readers who don’t read Spanish.
These stories by Garcia Marquez provide an interesting look into the early writing career of a Columbian journalist who is now one the most famous writers in the Spanish language.
Day 35: Ojos de perro azul (Gabriel García Márquez ) (1950, English title: Eyes of a blue dog).