García Márquez, Gabriel

García Márquez, Gabriel

(gäbrēĕl` gärsē`ä mär`kās), 1927–2014, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, b. Aracataca. Widely considered one of the great Latin American masters of narrative and one of the finest literary stylists of the 20th cent., García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. Drawing on his own history and that of his family, town, and nation and reflecting the influence of writers such as Jorges Luis BorgesBorges, Jorge Luis
, 1899–1986, Argentine poet, critic, and short-story writer, b. Buenos Aires. Borges has been widely hailed as the foremost contemporary Spanish-American writer.
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, Miguel Angel AsturiasAsturias, Miguel Ángel
, 1899–1974, Guatemalan novelist, poet, and diplomat. Living in Paris in the 1920s, Asturias was influenced by Romain Rolland, Valéry, and the surrealists.
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, and Alejo CarpentierCarpentier, Alejo
, 1904–80, Cuban novelist and musicologist. As a political exile in Paris between 1928 and 1939, Carpentier was strongly influenced by Antonin Artaud, Jacques Prévert, and the surrealists.
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, his fiction focuses on the physical and moral travail of coastal Colombia, which is given universal meaning in his books. He began his literary career while a law student in Barranquilla, earning a sparse living writing for local newspapers while also publishing stories in local magazines. He left Colombia in the late 1950s and subsequently lived in many places, from 1961 on mainly in Mexico City.

His two masterpieces One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967, tr. 1970), his best-known work and the one that vaulted him to international fame, and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985, tr. 1988), present his central themes of violence, solitude, time, memory, and the overwhelming human need for love. García Márquez's style marks a high point in Latin American magic realismmagic realism,
primarily Latin American literary movement that arose in the 1960s. The term has been attributed to the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, who first applied it to Latin-American fiction in 1949.
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; it is rich and lucid, mixing reality and fantasy. Among his 15 other works of fiction are Leaf Storm and Other Stories (1955, tr. 1972), No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories (1958, tr. 1968), Innocent Erendira and Other Stories (1972, tr. 1978), The Autumn of the Patriarch (1975, tr. 1976), The General in His Labyrinth (1989, tr. 1990), Of Love and Other Demons (1994, tr. 1995), and Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004, tr. 2005). His nonfiction work News of a Kidnapping (1996, tr. 1997) chronicles drug-related abductions in Colombia. Living to Tell the Tale (2002, tr. 2003) is the first volume of a projected three-volume autobiography that García Márquez did not complete.


See selections from his journalism in The Scandal of the Century: And Other Writings (2019, ed. by C. Pera); P. A. Mendoza, The Fragrance of Guava: Conversations with Gabriel García Márquez (1982); oral history by S. Paternostro (2019); biography by G. Martin (2009); I. Stavans, Gabriel García Márquez: The Early Years (2010); studies by G. R. McMurray, ed. (1987), B. McGuirle and R. A. Cardwell, ed. (1987), J. Ortega, ed. (1988), K. McNerney (1989), M. Wood (1990), H. Oberhelman (1991), M. Bell (1993), R. Fiddian, ed. (1995), J. Mellen (2000), C. Kline (2002), H. Bloom, ed. (rev. ed. 2007), and P. Swanson, ed. (2010).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

García Márquez, Gabriel


Born 1928, in Aracataca, Colombia. Colombian writer.

García Márquez has been the author of screenplays, a reporter for the liberal newspaper El Espectador both in Bogotá and Europe, and a correspondent from 1959 to 1960 for the Cuban Prensa Latina agency. His novellas Leaf Storm (1955), No One Writes to the Colonel (1958), and An Ill Time (1962) are written in a realistic style with strong critical themes. He introduced fantasy into his stories for the first time in the collection Mama Grande’s Funeral (1962). This fantastic element became one of the primary artistic devices of his epic novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967; Russian translation, 1970), but Colombian history serves as its real base. Marked by a complicated multileveled structure, the novel presents a satirical picture of bourgeois civilization.


In Russian translation:
Sto let odinochestva. Afterword by V. Stolbov. Moscow, 1971.


“Buendia, Makondo i mir.” Latinskaia Amerika, 1971, no. 3.
“Revoliutsionnyi dolg pisatelia—pisat’ khorosho’ (Gabriel’ Garsia Markes o svoem tvorchestve i o sebe),” Inostrannaia literatura, 1971, no. 6.
Recopilación de textos sobre Gabriel García Márquez. Havana, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.