The life story of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabo, living with his grandparents, actually stored stories and ambiance in his head as a boy, which will make him world-famous. And in order to understand his works, it is necessary to get to know his private life.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was a magician, a wizard of words and a virtuoso of imagination. He wrote about eternal love, loneliness, evil and people. He made the impossible possible, imagined by reality… He talked about life and wrote that it is like a story, it is not important how long it is, but how good it is. His life was both long and good, but like any story he had to come to an end.

And the end of the life of the Latin American wizard came on April 17, 2014. Then he moved to his fictional Macondo, Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez, whom everyone affectionately called Gabo.

This is the life story of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a famous writer!

Childhood with grandparents

Gabo, alias Gabriel Jose de la Concordia Garcia Marquez, was born on March 6, 1927, in the Colombian town of Aracataca. Immediately after his birth, Gabriel’s father Eligio Garcia and his mother Louise Santiago Marquez went to the small town of Barranquilla, where Gabriel got a job as a pharmacist. Newborn Gabo or Gabito, he stays with his mother’s parents, grandfather, Colonel Nicolas Ricardo Marquez Mejih and grandmother, Trankilina Iguaran.

Due to that separation, he will have a very distant relationship with his parents for many years, marked by mutual misunderstanding. But it also had its good side. Gabo, living with his grandparents, actually already stored stories and ambiance in his head that would make him world-famous. And in order to understand his works, it is necessary to get to know his private life.

A living connection between history and reality

His grandfather, Colonel Marquez, was an unwavering liberal and a fighter against any dictatorship and oppression. He was known as the hero of the so-called The Millennium War, which was a revolt of liberals against dictatorship and clericalism in Colombia. However, he was not just that. It can be said that it was a real wasteland. It was said that no woman was safe near him, so he was often caught “in the act” and ended up in fights. He even had one illegitimate child.

When his grandson was already entrusted with the care and upbringing, then he decided to do it in his own way. Speaking about him, Gabriel Garcia repeated that his grandfather never told him or read any fairy tales. Since his grandfather was eloquent, he told him stories based on terms from dictionaries and lexicons, with constant repetition of his experiences from military and political-liberal clashes.

Grandpa was a kind of “connection between history and reality.” He regularly took his grandson to the circus and gave him one great revelation: ice. He took him to the store of the American company “United Fruit Company”, where they used artificial ice to store bananas. Marquez would later describe this “miracle” in the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.

An inexhaustible source of magic

If the grandfather made his grandson a lifelong liberal and a convinced leftist, the grandmother is, perhaps, more deserving of his literary style. Grandma’s house was full of stories and ghosts, bad or good premonitions, predictions and fatal signs. This, of course, was meticulously ignored by my grandfather for the rest of his life. Gabo said that his grandmother was “an inexhaustible source of a magical view of the world based on superstition and supernatural phenomena.”

He enjoyed the way she told her superstitious stories. As fantastic and unbelievable as they were, she would tell them, serious in the face, as if it were an undeniable truth. It is clear that my grandmother’s style of storytelling found its place in the Nobel Prize-winning novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude”.

We only remember how in that novel, the perfectly fantastic becomes the perfectly real, and the real loses all meaning. For example, when the locals see the ice of the fictional Macondo for the first time, they marvel at it as a “great discovery of our time”, and when the Roma bring a flying carpet, they are as interested as the Roma carousel.

Love persistence

But in his literary work, he will find a place and love between his parents. Namely, when his parents fell in love with each other, that love would infuriate the debauched colonel. He felt that the stiff conservative, as well as the pharmacist, was not suitable for his daughter. However, the courtship was persistent and long-lasting, and it can also be said imaginatively: in the evening, the father played the serenade on his beloved’s violin, wrote songs, sent countless letters, and even declared his love by telegram.

This only irritated the colonel even more, so one day he sent his daughter unit out of town. They did everything to get rid of the aggressive young man, but in vain. In the end, they surrendered and gave a blessing for the wedding. This tragicomic story of courtship will later, in a somewhat altered form, find its place in the novel “Love in the Age of Cholera”.

An agreement between two young people

In the meantime, Gabo moved in with his parents and as a bright and smart, but quite withdrawn and shy, a 12-year-old boy received a scholarship to study at a Jesuit college near the capital of Colombia, Bogota.

The father, the proud owner of his own pharmacy, wanted his son to study law. In order to satisfy his parents’ wishes, he enrolled in law studies in Bogotá in 1946. Then he will meet his future wife, Mercedes Barka Pardo, who was 13 at the time. The agreement between the two young people was that they would get married when the young Mercedes finished her schooling. This will happen in 1958.

In the meantime, the future Nobel laureate got tired of legal sciences, which he ended in 1950. He was much more interested in literature and journalism. He feverishly dealt with the works of Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and especially William Faulkner, whose descriptions of the southern United States, because of its resemblance to his homeland, will leave an indelible mark on Marquez. He soon discovered journalism, which he began to deal with in 1948. But it will be engaged, liberal journalism.

An idea for a book

He wrote his first articles for “El Universal” from Carthage in 1948 and 1949, and from the beginning of the 1950s, he became a correspondent for the Venezuelan newspaper “El Momento”, and in December 1957, he completely moved to the editorial office of that newspaper in Caracas. But, because of his liberal writing, he came into conflict with the editor and moved to other newspapers the following year.

A few years later, in 1961, with his wife and young son Rodrigo, he set out on a tour of the southern United States, but did not return to Venezuela or Colombia, but settled in the Mexican capital, Mexico City, where his second son was born three years later. Gonzalo.

Despite a successful journalistic career, Marquez had a burning desire to realize the dream he had as an eighteen-year-old – to write a novel based on the stories he heard at his grandparents’ house. However, he could not find the right tone and way to express his ideas. But as it happens, the idea came suddenly.

“One hundred years of solitude”

Namely, when one day he went with his family by car on a trip to Acapulco, the idea simply hit him in the head. He turned the car around and returned home. He sold a car and almost all electrical appliances in the house in order to somehow feed his family and buy huge quantities of paper. Writing dragged on for eighteen months of daily work.

The wife prayed for the verisimilitude at the local grocer and bakery, and they did not pay the rent for the whole nine months. And finally, in 1967, the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” was published. It immediately became a real commercial hit and sold 30 million copies.

The chronicle of seven generations of the Buendi family in the fictional Latin American village of Macondo, enchanted the world. And not only that. A new literary direction was born: magical realism. The writer William Kennedy said about that book: “It is a literary work that every man should read after the biblical Book of Genesis”.

Politics and literature

Marquez will receive the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, which states that the prize is awarded “for his novels and short stories in which he fantastically and realistically combines in a richly composed world of imagination, which depicts the life and conflicts of an entire continent”.

After the book was published, Marquez moved with his family to Barcelona, where he will stay for the next seven years. The newly gained popularity will make him friends with many world leaders, including Fidel Castro. That friendship will cause the biggest scandal in the world of literature, when Marquez was slapped by Mario Vargas Liosa, calling him Castro’s courtier.

Susan Sontag asked Marquez in 2003 to break off her friendship with Castro, when she called him a communist dictator and condemned him for a new wave of repression against political dissidents. In her plan, she failed. Marquez himself will explain his relationship with Castro: “Our friendship is of an intellectual nature. It may not be widely known, but Fidel is a very cultured man. When we’re together, we mostly talk about literature. ”

Because of Marquez’s friendships and leftist views, the American authorities branded him as subversive, so that only President Bill Clinton approved the issuance of a visa for the United States.

Marquez donated the money he earned from the sale of the world’s bestseller to leftists in Angola, Colombia and Nicaragua. Financially and with his world reputation, he helped found the organization “HABEAS”, dedicated to preventing abuses of power and releasing political prisoners.

Novel after novel

The novel “Autumn of the Patriarch” began to be written in 1968 and ended three years later. The novel is inspired by the fall of the first Latin American dictator, Marcos Perez Jimenez. His intention was to synthesize all Latin American dictators (that is why the main character, the “general” in the novel, has no name), as well as to show the loneliness brought about by absolute power. After the novel was published, Gabo left Barcelona with his family and moved to Mexico City.

Then, in 1981, the novel “Chronicle of Announced Death” will follow, which combines journalism, realism and a detective story. In Marquez’s style, in this book we get the answer to the question “Who is the killer?” At the beginning, where the action takes place backwards.

This will be followed by “Love in the Age of Cholera”. A lot of elements from his parents’ love story are woven into it, noting that his parents got married after all, and as soon as they did that, Marquez explains, they became further literary uninteresting.

The turbulent fate of Marquez’s books

However, the love story of two old men, Fermin Daz and Florentina Ariza, is true and he found it in the newspaper. The two men, in their eighties, met secretly every year on a ship in Acapulco. During the last encounter, they were killed by a sailor. Marquez will say about that: “Through their death, it became known about their love romance. That fascinated me, because they were both married to someone else. ”

Because of his politically engaged novel, The Adventures of Miguel Litin, which deals with the repression and oppression of people under the dictatorial boot of Augusto Pinochet, in 1986 several thousand copies of the book were burned in Valparaiso, Chile. In protest of American support for Latin American dictators, he never wanted to speak English.

A similar fate befell his book “Memories of my melancholic whores”, which talks about the romance between a 90-year-old man and a newly grown girl. The sale of that book was banned in Iran, but only after about 5,000 copies of it were sold.

One point where the past and the future meet

Of course, there were stories, short stories, novels and successes. They loved and hated him, praised and rebuked him. Then in 1999, the news broke: Marquez has lymph node cancer. Chemotherapy was successful and the disease was stopped. Then he began to write even more feverishly. Three years later, he published the first volume of the planned autobiographical trilogy “I Live to Tell a Story”. But the disease was slowly returning and he was getting weaker.

In a statement given in 2005, he will say: “This was the first year in my life that I did not write a sentence. With my experience, I could write a novel without any problems, but people will understand that my heart is not in it. ”

His younger brother, Jaime, will state in 2012 that Marquez suffers from dementia. He will die at the age of 87, in Mexico City. Only the presidents of Colombia and Mexico will attend the urn laying at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City on April 22, along with the closest family members. The day before, residents of his hometown of Aracatake performed a symbolic funeral in his honor.

Although a lot could be said, let’s end the article with Gab’s words: “What has passed no longer exists, what will be has not yet come.” There is only one point where the past and the future meet. That’s where your whole life is. Use it”!


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