Scope of Contexts, Characters and Events of Latin America in Marquez's Novels

By Aghaei, Mohammad B. | Studies in Literature and Language, September 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Scope of Contexts, Characters and Events of Latin America in Marquez's Novels


Aghaei, Mohammad B., Studies in Literature and Language


Abstract

The notion of "Latin America" as a literary category principally consists of a comprehensive literary body that has an inclination to reflect the political tensions and struggles. A majority of the Latin American writers were closely connected to the political activities and have initially started their work as journalists, publishers and academicians. Although there are numerous diversities in their works, they share a common ground; that is, they are involved in the regional and national particularities of Latin America. As a Latin American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's literary discourse basically depicts the real contexts, characters and events of Latin America, particularly Colombia. This paper is intended to indicate these aspects of Marquez's literary discourse.

Key words: Political peculiarities; National predicaments; Regional groups; Colonialism; Caribbean zone

INTRODUCTION

Most of the Latin American writers have started their works at the regional level and then broadened their perspective to encompass the national level, i.e. considering Latin America as a country. A crystal clear example is Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude representing the historical and political peculiarities of Colombia and Latin America continent. It is in fact a multi-perspective novel that highlights the various aspects of Latin America. During the past two centuries, hundreds of novels have been written in the Latin American literature. Most of these novels have been concerned with the period of colonialism. Some of these novels such as Isaacs's Maria (1867) have acquired international attention. But it was only in the 1920s when the Latin American literature got an upsurge of novels exploring the regional predicaments, the local customs, and the historical and political aspects of Latin America. This caught the attention of the literary critics towards the Latin American literature, leading it to become now a significant phenomenon. Before the Latin American literature involved itself at the national level, the regional writers had made main contribution to literature. For instance, the works such as Jose Ustasio Rivera's The Vortex (1924), Ricardo Guiraldes's Don Segundo Sombra (1926), Graciliano's Don Barren Lives (1928) and Romulo Gallegos's Dona Barbara (1929) have highlighted the regional aspects of Latin America.

In the 1960s, the Latin American writers tried to write more about the national predicaments and succeeded to absorb an audience out of Latin America. In this decade, the emergence of Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Guillermo Cabrera Infante changed the situation and brought the Latin American literature into the international focus. Since most of them were active as writers in the Cuban Revolution, their narrative fictions mainly depict the social and political realities of Latin America. These writers, who were indeed friends with each other, have written many articles about the criticism of each other's works with a sense of common purpose. They have even used some similar characters which they have got from each other's works in their novels. This self-confident and selfcritical perspective on their own works brought them to a significant success as world-class writers who could surpass the greatest contemporary exponents of their genre in term of literary quality. After publishing the influential books by Emir Rodriguez Monegal and Jose Donoso, these writers came to be known as the novelists of "the Boom", a term suggesting an explosion and critical point in the Latin American literature. The influence of some European and American novelists such as Woolf, Mann, Conrad, Faulkner, and Proust is strongly felt in their works. These novelists have mostly extended the Faulknerian techniques in their novels where a story can be narrated or interpreted from the various contradictory points of views, where the novels create a kind of mystification and intrigue in the reader. …

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