WILLIAM PLUMMER


The Faulkner Relation

The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he's a good one.... If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the "Ode on a Grecian Urn" is worth any number of old ladies.

— WILLIAM FAULKNER, Paris Review
interview with Jean Stein

Naturally, wanting to know more about the author after having had the top of my head blown off by One Hundred Years of Solitude, I looked around for interviews with Gabriel García Márquez.I learned that García Márquez is not keen on formal audiences with his admirers, in part because of a fear of becoming conscious where he should be unconscious, in greater part because he has yet to recover from the trauma of being the Latin American phenom of 1967. Prior to that date he had published four books in fifteen years to the lamentable tune of some five thousand copies sold. Suddenly, thanks to the chronicle of the Buendía family, García Márquez had an instant celebrity, comparable in its whirlwind intensity to Erica Jong's, as well as that rare popular-critical success on the order of Joseph Heller's with Catch-22. At one point new editions were spewing forth at the incredible rate of one a week.

The few interviews with García Márquez available in English offer a number of departures. But especially striking are the remarks about Faulkner, who might well be touted, by a thorough-going Bloomian, as the featured player in the Colombian writer's "family romance." Influence is, to say the least, a loaded word, and I don't want to tote Harold Bloom's cabalistic baggage. But the "relation" between García Márquez and

____________________
From Fiction International nos. 6/ 7 ( 1976). © 1976 by Fiction International, Joe David Bellamy , publisher.

-33-

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