GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

Bio & Legacy Left Behind

Background

Born: March 6, 1927

Died: April 17, 2014

Nationality: Colombian, born in Aracataca, Colombia

Personal Life

Garcia’s father dropped out of medical school. He had had four children out of wedlock. He didn't want to have children out of wedlock, so he pushed to get his marriage recognized, and succeeded. Gabriel García Márquez was the first of twelve children to come from this marriage. Marquez would use the inspiration of his parents’ romance as the basis for El Amor en los Tiempos de Cólera or Love in the Time of Cholera.


Until Marquez was eight, he lived with his grandparents in Aracataca. His grandmother, Tranquilina Iguaran Cotes, was a great storyteller. She gave Marquez a wide range of folkloric knowledge about omens, premonitions, dead ancestors and ghosts. The sincere manner in which she told her stories would have a profound effect on Gabriel's mature writings. His grandfather, Ricardo Marquez Mejia, had fought in at least two Colombian civil conflicts. His stories of battle and conflict captured Gabriel García Márquez’s imagination.

Career

Gabriel wanted to pursue a career in journalism after graduating high school. He was forced into studying law by his parents, but he hated it. In 1947, the literary supplement of El Espectador published one of Marquez’s short stories. This marked the first of ten stories El Espectador would print, along with the rest of his career.


In 1950, Gabriel García Márquez moved to Barranquilla. He wrote columns for El Heraldo, a daily paper. In Barranquilla, he lived in a small room located in a four-story hotel. Despite limited resources, his literary life prospered. He consumed the literature that inspired his later work: Virginia Woolf, Sophocles, William Faulkner, Franz Kafka, James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. Marquez wrote his first novella, which in 1952 he would revise as La Hojarasca or The Leaf Storm. In 1955, the friends of Gabriel García Márquez would find this manuscript and would have it published.

What works is he best known for? Why are they considered his major works?

One Hundred Years of Solitude 1967

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells of seven generations of the Buendía family in the village of Macondo. This story of prophetic gypsies and incest lovers was a bestseller, putting García Márquez into worldwide fame and initiating a global awareness in Latin American literature.


Love in the Time of Cholera 1985

Inspired by the marriage of his parents, Love in the Time of Cholera tells how the love between Florentino Arizo and Fermina Daza is prevented by Fermina's marriage to a doctor who is trying to get rid of cholera, only to be rekindled more than 60 years later.


News of a Kidnapping 1996

García Márquez continued working as a journalist, saying that it kept him "in contact with the real world". In this story, he examines a range of kidnappings organised by a Colombian drug dealer, Pablo Escobar's Medellín Cartel, in the 1990's.

How has he contributed to literature?

García Márquez was a master of the literary genre known as magical realism, in which the miraculous and the real come together. In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate, and corpses fail to decompose.


His acceptance speech for his Nobel Prize was entitled Solitude of Latin America. Marquez uses the civil conflict La Violencia—the war between the liberals and conservatives in Colombia that continued until the 1960's. Marquez never allowed his writing to turn into a platform for political commentary.


Overall, Marquez was a wise man. He left us with ideals and new thoughts that had the possibility to change our views of life.

Quotes to Remember Marquez By

"No medicine cures what happiness cannot."

- I agree with this quote. This is significant because there is so much disease in the world, and all people rely on nowadays is medicine. While medicine is good, it cannot heal the heart. Only happiness can do that. This shows how wise Marquez is, and how he knows the meaning of life and all the lessons it entails.


"There is always something left to love."

- I also agree with this quote. We are so quick to leave someone behind because they might not have anything to offer us. Even if they don't offer you anything, there is always something left to learn and love about them. This also shows how wise Marquez is, and how he knows what life has taught him, and he uses it to help others.