Monday, September 17, 2007
Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez (1928-)
At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. - from One Hundred Years of Solitude
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez, b. March 6, 1928. Colombian novelist, journalist, publisher, and political activist. He has lived mostly in Mexico and Europe. While Garcia Marquez is often considered the most famous of writers of magical realism, and while much of his writing has elements which are strongly associated with magical realism, Garcia Marquez's writing is simply too diverse to be bound within categories. Garcia Marquez got his start as a reporter for the Colombian daily El Espectador, and later worked as a foreign correspondent in Rome, Paris, Barcelona, Caracas, and New York City. His first major work was The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (Relato de un naufrago), which he wrote as a newspaper series in 1955. The book told the inglorious true story of a shipwreck that had been glorified by the government. This resulted in the beginning of his foreign correspondence, as it was unsafe for him to remain in Colombia. It was later published in 1970 and taken by many to have been a novel. Several of his works have been classified as both fiction and non-fiction, notably Chronicle of a Death Foretold (Chronica de una murete anuncida) (1981), which tells the tale of revenge killing in his hometown of Aracataca, and Love in the Time of Cholera (El amor en los tiempos del colera) (1985), which tells the story of his grandparents' courtship. In addition, many of his works, including those two, take place in the "Garcia Marquez universe", with characters, events, and locations appearing from book to book.
His most famous novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad) (1967) has sold more than ten million copies. It depicts the life of an isolated South American village and the strange occurrences which are portrayed as commonplace, certainly has elements of the magically real, however, it is much more than that, being also a philosophical reflection on the nature of time and isolation, and is also lacking the folkloric content which is a prerequisite of magic realism. Not everything strange and unexplained is folkloric; some of it is simply life. Garcia Marquez is also noted for his enthusiasm for Fidel Castro and his support for Latin American rebel groups. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982. [This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License and uses material adapted in whole or in part from the Wikipedia article on Gabriel Jose Garcia Marquez.]
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