Friday, September 17, 2010

La Voz de Literatura Latino: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Anyone who speaks the Spanish language has probably heard of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. In the states however he is much less known. I have never heard of any high school that requires any of his internationally acclaimed novels, even in world literature classes. I read him for my Spanish 5 class, but that's only because my high school is private and my Spanish teacher basically picked whatever he happened to feel like reading. Since then, Cien Anos de Soldad (One Hundred Years of Solitude) has become one of my favorite novels. It, like all of his works, gives an incredibly vivid picture of the world it takes place in. You can literally feel the individual emotions, actions, and even thoughts of the characters. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, the town of Macondo begins in a total primal state society-wise. Marquez uses somewhat of a rambling style for narration, switching back and forth between different characters being narrated about. He never talks about the characters inner feelings directly, instead focusing moreso on their actions and then giving a broad description of the motives. In doing so, the reader gets to know the characters in a similar manner that one gets to know someone in real life. It is a really different perspective that few authors have captured, and Marquez is the master. He was recognized for his skill with the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. Most of his novels tie in to the history or culture of Latin America in some way. However, the beauty of this is that the tie-ins are generally not very direct. More simply put, though the novels have themes taken from Latin American, especially Colombian, history, that is not the texts total purpose. One can interpret his writing in any way one sees fit. Marquez is an incredible writer, and there is a reason he is known as "the voice of Latin America." I highly recommend his novels to anyone who hasn't read them.

EDIT: Here is the beginning of Autumn of the Patriarch. It is a direct example of Marquez's ability to create a vivid setting where the reader can feel the experience and life that has taken place there.

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