Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion

By Rubén Pelayo | Go to book overview
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Literary Contexts

Gabriel García Márquez belongs in any list of great names in literature. He is probably the best-known Latin American writer of the twentieth century and a genius in his ability to touch people of all cultures and inspire many other writers. His name appears in all anthologies of Latin American Literature, as well as in the encyclopedias of world literature that are considered to represent the canon (an accepted standard). García Márquez is internationally recognized as a Latin American author of novels and short stories. He comments frequently, however, that he sees himself as a storyteller, first, and then as a journalist. García Márquez’s career as a journalist began in 1948. Since then, he has written countless reports, essays, and documentaries. His work often starts as a journalistic piece. The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor (1970), based on a true story, started as fourteen news articles he wrote for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador (The Spectator). Also based on a true story and using a journalistic style of reporting, Chronicle of a Death Foretold was published in 1981. Another journalistic work in documentary form that enjoys large readership is Clandestine in Chile: The Adventures of Miguel Littín (1986). In this book, García Márquez retells the story Miguel Littín told to him: it serves as a depiction of Chile after twelve years of dictatorship under Augusto Pinochet. In News of a Kidnapping (1996), García Márquez’s journalistic reporting deals with a notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and a wave of kidnappings. Among the kidnapped (ten in total) were important Colombian people from politics and the news media.

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