One of the American traditions is National Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15th to October 15th. The purpose of this tradition is to remember all Hispanics and Latinos who have made a significant contribution to different spheres of American development. These people improved the lifestyle of the US residents, enriched literature and other kinds of art, and influenced American society and political structure. One of those who certainly need to be remembered is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whose biggest passion was writing and whose name has always been associated with Latin American Boom. Gabriel Marquez is the best-known representative of “magical realism,” who gave voice to Latin America and influenced writers and readers from different corners of the world.
Gabriel Marquez had a bright and long life, which was filled with both trials and success. Thus, the future writer, known as Gabo in Latin America, was born in Aracataca, Columbia, in 1927. He was raised by his grandfather, a retired colonel, and his grandmother, who played an influential role in his upbringing, telling him different myths and legends (Zuluaga 16). After school, Marquez entered the law faculty of the National University of Columbia. However, interrupting his studies, he became a reporter and a member of a local writer’s group. In 1958, Marquez married Mercedes Barcha, who became the mother of his two sons. They met at first when Mercedes was only 13, but Marquez immediately understood that she was a woman for whom he had written all poems (Zuluaga 55). Always supporting him, she became the major success of his life.
In the literary field, Marques also could not avoid difficulties, but he steadfastly overcame them. His first novella, Leaf Storm, was waiting seven years for its publisher. Soon Marquez moved to Mexico, where he wrote scripts, articles, and books. The novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, “almost a warning that expresses a strong note the loss of tradition and cultural history will definitely lead mankind to doom” (Prabha 187), became a commercial success. Marquez’s ability to mix reality and fantasy made him “not just a world writer, but the world writer” (Bell-Villada 14). In 1973, Marquez took a vow of silence to protect his texts from “the mafia” in power. Without waiting for the fall of that political regime, he nevertheless broke his vow and published Chronicle of Death Foretold (Limas 55). In 1982, the writer received the Nobel Prize for his novels and short stories, in which he ably combined fantasy and reality.
Gabriel Marquez managed to become a legend in his lifetime. In 1989, a writer who smoked three packs of cigarettes a day was diagnosed with lung cancer. However, Marquez had two operations and could defeat this disease. He died only in April 2014 at the age of 87 (Zuluaga 76). In connection with the death of the writer, three days of mourning were declared in Colombia. Thus, Gabriel Marquez had to withstand such trials as childhood without parental care, deportation from Columbia due to his political views, debts, and terrible illness. Nevertheless, the writer had overwhelming success, as evidenced by the Neustadt International Prize for Literature and Nobel Prize he received. Marquez was also a film critic and the head of the Latin American Film Foundation.
Gabriel Marquez has made a significant contribution to the development of literature and cinema with his “magic realism.” He is considered a father of fiction in Latin America who won millions of readers’ hearts with his brilliant works about difficult everyday life. Thus, being one of the most well-known authors of the 20th century Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the most outstanding Spanish-language author since Miguel de Cervantes.
Bell-Villada, Gehe, editor. Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Retrospective. Lexington Books, 2016.
Limas, Raphaele. The Figure of the Author in a Global Context: a case study of Gabriel García Marquez and his authorial brand. Editora Dialetica, 2021.
Prabha, Divya and Dr. G. Kalvikkarasi. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude – Deconstructing the Decadence of a Golden Period in Colombia and Latin America. Research Journal of English Language and Literature, vol. 6, no. 4, 2018, pp. 185-187.
Zuluaga, Conrado. I Will Not Fully Die: A Biography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Luna Libros, 2019.