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Creator / Gabriel García Márquez

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Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez (6 March 1927 – 17 April 2014). The name that is synonymous with Magic Realism. Born in Colombia in 1927, the man has been on the writing scene for a very long time and produced a solid body of work. In 1982, he gained the Nobel Prize in Literature. His book One Hundred Years of Solitude has become the definitive work of Magic Realism, not to mention his most famous book. It is now required reading in many schools in the Spanish-speaking world.

His grandmother was a great influence to his literary career. When he read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, he pereceived it to be quite similar to the style of his grandmother.

His books deal with themes like solitude, eternal cycles, Banana Republics, political disputes and civil wars, themes present in his life and the life of his country with distressful frequence.

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He has also immersed himself into the cinema, helping directors to turn some of his books into films.

Nowadays, García Márquez's fame has become a little awkward to Latin American writers, since it has generated the impression that all the literature of the zone is about angels, jungles and countryside. As a countermovement, the McOndo literary movement has been created by writers trying to present a more actualized Latin America. He’s still respected by those writers as a good writer, however.

On the 7th of July, 2012, Márquez's brother revealed that he was suffering from senile dementia and had given up writing for good. He passed away on April 17, 2014, at the age of 87.

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Books:

Novels

Short Story Collections

  • Eyes of a Blue Dog (1947)
  • Big Mama's Funeral (1962)
  • The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Erendira and Her Heartless Grandmother (1978)
  • Collected Stories (1984)
  • Strange Pilgrims (1993)

Non-Fiction

  • The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (1970)
  • The Solitude of Latin America (1982)
  • The Fragrance of Guava (1982, with Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza)
  • Clandestine in Chile (1986)
  • News of a Kidnapping (1996)
  • A Country for Children (1998)
  • Living to Tell the Tale (2002), his autobiography

García Márquez’s works contain examples of:

  • Banana Republic: The setting of almost all his books.
  • Battle Butler: José Palacios in The General in his Labyrinth.
  • Civil War: A common theme in his novels is the generational war between the liberals and conservatives of Colombia, whether in La Violencia from 1948-58, or the Thousand Days War from 1899-1902.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Leaf Storm is about a doctor who killed himself, and the town instead of burying him just wants to let him rot in his house.
  • Double Standard: Usually lampshaded.
  • Eternal Recurrence: A central theme in a lot of stories is the fact that some things are bound to repeat themselves over and over again.
  • The Generalissimo: An important character is most of his books. Actually, in some of them (The Autumn of the Patriarch, The General in his Labyrinth) he's the main character.
  • Historical Domain Character: Most of the main characters in The General in his Labyrinth, especially Simón Bolívar.
  • Historical Fiction Literature: Many of his books make implicit or explicit allusions to "La Violencia", a period of civil conflict in Colombia. Similarly, some of the books refer to the Thousand Days War (like One Hundred Years of Solitude or Memories of My Melancholy Whores). The General in his Labyrinth deals with the last days of Bolívar.
  • Robinsonade: His novel The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor is a non-fiction novel about one, in which a sailor called Luis Alejandro Velasco survives a broken ship and manages to return to his mainland in ten days, having survived the lack of food and water.
  • Small Reference Pools: When people are asked to name a Latin American writer, García Márquez is one of the few names that come up.

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