Why should you read "One Hundred Years of Solitude"? - Francisco Díez-Buzo
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García Máruqez hadn’t always planned on being a writer, but a pivotal moment in Colombia’s—and Latin America’s—history changed all that. In 1948, when García Márquez was a law student in Bogotá, Jorge Eliécer Gaítan, a prominent radical populist leader of Colombia’s Liberal Party, was assassinated. This happened while the U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall brought together leaders from across the Americas to create the Organization of American States (OAS) and to build a hemisphere-wide effort against communism. In the days after the assassination, massive riots, now called the bogotazo, occurred. The worst Colombian civil war to date, known as La Violencia, also broke out. Another law student, visiting from Cuba, was deeply affected by Eliécer Gaítan’s death. This student’s name was Fidel Castro. Interestingly, García Márquez and Castro—both socialists—would become close friends later on in life, despite not meeting during these tumultuous events.
One Hundred Years of Solitude’s success almost didn’t happen, but this article from Vanity Fair helps explain how a long-simmering idea became an international sensation.
When Gabriel García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in 1982, he gave a lecture that helped illuminate the plights that many Latin Americans faced on a daily basis. Since then, that lecture has also helped explain the political and social critiques deeply embedded in his novels. It was famous for being an indigenous overview of how political violence became entrenched in Latin America during the Cold War.In an interview with the New Left Review, he discussed a lot of the inspirations for his work, as well as his political beliefs.
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