I wish to extend my sincerest thanks to all who have aided in making this book possible. The earliest ideas I ever entertained about García Márquez were first heeded and encouraged in the 1970s by Enrique Anderson-Imbert and by the late Raimundo Lida, both of Harvard University. At different times over the years, insights and information and other forms of help have been furnished by Ronald Christ of Rutgers University; by the late Gregory Kolovakos of the New York State Council on the Arts; by Eduardo Camacho of Middlebury College in Madrid; by Marjorie Agosín of Wellesley College; by the late Thomas Smiley of Albuquerque, New Mexico; by many a good student in my literary courses at Williams College; and by Professors Antonio Giménez, Norman Petersen, and the late John Stambaugh, colleagues there.
Certain initial portions of the current study were read by Gustavo Mejía of the Vassar-Wesleyan Program in Madrid, and by my wife Audrey DobekBell; their support and corrective details have proved extremely useful. Raymond L. Williams of Washington University, Kathleen Newman of Syracuse University, Randall Hansis of North Adams State College, and Lorraine Roses and Joy Renjilian-Burgy of Wellesley College all kindly offered opportunities to rehearse some of my ideas in open forum. In the days when this project was still in its first stages of research, Nicholas Bromell of Boston Review and Chinweizu of South: The Third World Magazine allowed me a printed venue for my report on Colombia and my chat with García Márquez. Charles Rossman of the University of Texas, in his capacity as guest editor at Latin American Literary Review and at Contemporary Literature, prompted me to craft some of my gestating thoughts on García Márquez into essay form. An idea from Audrey Dobek-Bell, followed by the receptivity and work of my friends and colleagues in the Department of Romance Languages—Anson Piper, George Pistorius, and Antonio Giménez—together with concrete support from the Provost’s Office at Williams College, allowed me my extended look at the United Fruit Company and its crucial role both in Colombia and in García Márquez.
I am warmly grateful to several individuals in Mexico City—Jorge Aguilar Mora, Josefina Brun, Alva Rojo, Kaia Updike (Williams class of 1984), and the late Luis Vicens—for the essential personal guidance and the specific information I received from them in that town’s vast cultural network. Jomí García Ascot, who had been García Márquez’s neighbor in 1965–67, was particularly