This week we look at the language and influence of another contemporary giant in the world of literature, Gabriel García Márquez. Born in Aracataca, Colombia in March 1927, his full name is Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez, though he is known throughout the Latin American world simply as ‘Gabo’, a mark of the great affection in which he is held.
Márquez began his writing career as a journalist and went on to pen a number of acclaimed short stories and non-fiction works. He is, however, best known for his novels. His first full-length novel, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ (Cien años de soledad), won him international recognition when it was published in 1967 and popularised the literary style known as ‘magical realism’, which blends supernatural elements with events and experiences in the natural, everyday world.
Márquez went on to write several 20th-century classics in the same genre, employing his vivid imagination, great storytelling prowess and again combining the fantastical with the mundane. His stories often centre on a dead, dying or about to die character, such as in ‘Autumn of the Patriarch’ (El otoño del patriarca), which studies the character, corruption and tyranny of an archetypal dictator as he faces his impending death.
Márquez was recognised with the Nobel Prize for Literature 1982. Very sadly, it was announced in 2012 that his writing career was effectively at an end after the onset of dementia. He leaves a fine body of work for future generations to enjoy, including ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ and ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ amongst his best-known novels. He also leaves several titles which, to date, are only published in Spanish. Our Private Spanish Lessons could equip you with the skills you need to discover them.