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Sanjay Subrahmanyam: Gabriel​ García Márquez

27 August 2009
Gabriel​ García Márquez: A Life 
by Gerald Martin.
Bloomsbury, 668 pp., £25, October 2008, 978 0 7475 9476 5
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... At the very end of his long book on the life of one of the 20th century’s great creative writers, who has also been an unceasing and relentless manipulator of his own image, Gerald Martin writes of Gabriel García Márquez: ‘Literature and politics have been the two most effective ways of achieving immortality in the transient world that Western civilisation has created for the planet; few would hold ...

Angel Gabriel

Salman Rushdie

16 September 1982
Chronicle of a Death Foretold 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa.
Cape, 122 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 224 01990 2
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... We had suspected for a long time that the man Gabriel was capable of miracles, because for many years he had talked too much about angels for someone who had no wings, so that when the miracle of the printing presses occurred we nodded our heads ...
5 June 1980
In Evil Hour 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa.
Cape, 183 pp., £5.50, January 1980, 0 224 01775 6
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... A reader who has some acquaintance with GarciaMarquez is almost bound to approach a new novel by him with certain questions about connectedness in mind. There is first of all the issue of the connectedness of his career: which resolves itself at once ...

At Tranquilina’s Knee

G. Cabrera Infante

2 June 1983
The Fragrance of Guava: Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza in conversation with Gabriel Garcia​ Marquez 
translated by Ann Wright.
Verso, 126 pp., £9.95, May 1983, 0 86091 065 2
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... To judge by the reaction of some of his staunchest admirers, many readers of GabrielGarciaMarquez were truly taken aback by what he wrote about the alleged behaviour of British troops in the trenches during the Little War for the Falklands. It’s surprising, however, that most of his ...

Darkest Peru

John Sturrock

19 February 1987
The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta 
by Mario Vargas Llosa.
Faber, 310 pp., £9.95, October 1986, 0 571 14579 5
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The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Randolph Hogan.
Cape, 106 pp., £8.95, November 1986, 0 224 02160 5
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... high skills as a maker of fiction to the serious political purpose of showing how only a modest truthfulness can save. That is an irony that would be altogether lost, to be sure, on the Colombian GabrielGarciaMarquez, a hothead impatient with the political moderation and decent meliorism that are what Vargas Llosa would ask for. He likes to call not for changes but for Change, the big one, some ...

Diary

Tariq Ali: Murder in the Family

18 December 2008
... If cheating in bed was always settled by the bullet, many of us would be dead. Gerald Martin’s new biography of Gabriel García Márquez reveals that Chronicle of a Death Foretold was based on the murder of the novelist’s friend Cayetano Gentile in Sucre in 1951. He had seduced, deflowered and abandoned Margarita ...
30 October 1997
News of a Kidnapping 
by Gabriel​ García Márquez, translated by Edith Grossman.
Cape, 291 pp., £16.99, July 1997, 0 224 05002 8
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Chapolas Negras 
by Fernando Vallejo.
Alfaguara, 262 pp., £15, March 1996, 958 24 0283 0
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José Asunción Silva: Obra Completa 
edited by Hector Orjuela.
Unesco/Casa de la Poesía Silva, 747 pp., £40, April 1996, 84 89666 06 7
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... in New England when the revered poet was in residence on some campus or other. Matchless friends, great souls, universal intelligences, and often even accomplished cooks. Think how the shadow of Gabriel García Márquez has loomed over Colombia. Thirty years ago he published One Hundred Years of Solitude, the foundation stone of an unmanageable fame rivalled in the Spanish-speaking world only by ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: The Size of Wales

23 May 2002
... Wales. Nonetheless, Cervantes’s romance has been voted the best book ever by a bunch of writers – a hundred or so well-known authors from 54 countries, not including Isabel Allende, Bob Dylan or Gabriel García Márquez, who admirably declined to vote. The Guardian did a vox pop. New Puritan about town Nicholas Blincoe rather proudly let slip that he’s read 81 of the top 100; smashing Mark Lawson ...

Lost in the rain

Michael Wood

24 January 1991
The General in his Labyrinth 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, translated by Edith Grossman.
Cape, 285 pp., £13.99, January 1991, 0 224 03083 3
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... left Bogota in May 1830, making a trip down the River Magdalena into the tropics, ostensibly on his way to take ship for Europe. He died near Santa Marta, on the Caribbean, in December of that year. GarciaMarquez’s novel recounts those last months of Bolivar’s life but includes memories of earlier times. His fictional Bolivar makes all kinds of splendid phrases – ‘Superstitions are harder to ...

Love Letters

Mona Simpson

1 September 1988
Love in the Time of Cholera 
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Edith Grossman.
Cape, 352 pp., £11.95, June 1988, 0 224 02570 8
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... new. With gorgeous, lucent writing, full of brilliant stops and starts, majestic whirls, thrilling endings, splendour and humour, the magician of our century takes on psychological realism. GabrielGarciaMarquez tells his stories with a strange omniscience. He is as capable of seeing the dignity in homeliness and poverty as the hidden jokes and rituals of opulence, as comfortable with science, magic ...

Jasmines in the Hallway

Michael Wood: García Márquez tells his story

3 June 2004
Living to Tell the Tale 
by Gabriel​ García Márquez, translated by Edith Grossman.
Cape, 484 pp., £18.99, November 2003, 0 224 07278 1
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... In English as in Spanish the title has several meanings. The most obvious one involves survival, hanging on after some disaster or adventure. Another suggests a telling which has become a life, perhaps even a compulsion or a doom, like that of the Ancient Mariner. And García Márquez himself spells out a third possibility: that you live, that you always have lived, for the sake of the future story ...

Flame-Broiled Whopper

Theo Tait: Salman Rushdie

6 October 2005
Shalimar the Clown 
by Salman Rushdie.
Cape, 398 pp., £17.99, September 2005, 0 224 06161 5
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... With time and overuse, artistic style degenerates into mannerism. This is especially true of magic realism. Following the success of Gabriel García Márquez, a flood of semi-supernatural sagas was released all over the world – full of omens, prodigies, legendary feats, hallucinatory exaggerations, fairytale motifs, strange coincidences ...

Sandinismo

Jonathan Steele

19 December 1985
Fire from the Mountain: The Making of a Sandinista 
by Omar Cabezas, translated by Kathleen Weaver.
Cape, 233 pp., £9.95, September 1985, 0 224 02814 6
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... energy which is unimaginable in comparable memoirs of the long-drawn-out Vietnamese and Angolan revolutions. But there is also a specifically romantic Latin American quality, a note first struck by GabrielGarciaMarquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Now, six years after Somoza’s defeat, the revolution is under greater threat than ever. Mounting economic difficulties, largely provoked by the CIA ...
9 June 1994
... about Ward’s, I said I was working on a novel about bombers in London. It, and a thousand windows above it, have just been blown to kingdom come.’ In another letter to Theroux, Greene referred to Gabriel García Márquez as ‘quite a nice man’. In 1983 García Márquez sent him a photograph of himself receiving the Nobel Prize, a curious and double-edged gift, with a note at the bottom of the ...

A Show of Heads

Carlos Fuentes

19 March 1987
I the Supreme 
by Augusto Roa Bastos, translated by Helen Lane.
Faber, 433 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 0 571 14626 0
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... a wide variety of writers who included, if my recall is as good as that of Roa Bastos’s El Supremo, Roa Bastos himself, Argentina’s Julio Cortazar, Venezuela’s Miguel Otero Silva, Colombia’s Gabriel García Marquez, Cuba’s Alejo Carpentier, the Dominican Republic’s Juan Bosch and Chile’s José Donoso and Jorge Edwards (one of them promised to take on a Bolivian dictator). When the project ...

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