Gabriel Garcia Marquez and the Magic Realism in Latin America


His Biography

Gabriel Jose de la Concordia Garcia Marquez, Colombian writer, journalist and winner of the 1892 Nobel Prize of literature was born in Aracataca on March 6, 1928. He was the eldest son of a large family of twelve children, but he grew up as an only child among his maternal grandparents and aunts. Gabriel’s grandparents were very peculiar characters that marked the literary career of the future Nobel. The Colonel Nicolas Ricardo Marquez used to tell little Gabriel plenty of stories of his youth, and great adventures of the civil war of the 19th century. He used to take him to the theaters and was his umbilical cord with history, reality, and imagination. His grandmother, Doña Tranquilina Iguaran, spent her time with Gabriel telling fables and family legends, while organizing the life of the house members with the messages she used to receive in dreams; every night she used to enter Gabriel's bedroom and terrified him with ghost stories. She was Gabriel’s source of the magical superstitious vision and supernatural reality. The house and its environment constituted the framework of numerous short stories.


His best-known novels are: “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967) this is a story of a Colombian family which recounts in epic tone; we can trace stylistic influences of the American author William Faulkner in this work. “The Autumn of the Patriarch” (1975) make reference to a political power and corruption. “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (1981) is the story of a murder in a small Latin American city. “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1985) is a love story that takes place also in Latin America. On the other hand “The General in His Labyrinth” (1989) is a fictional narrative of the last days of the revolutionary and statesman Simon Bolivar. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is also author of several short stories such as the incredible history of “Erendira and her Heartless Grandmother” (1972), and the “Twelve Pilgrim Tales” (1992). Garcia Marquez, has aroused admiration in many Western countries by the personal mix of reality and fantasy that takes place in his narrative works always located in Macondo, an imaginary city of his country.

His most Important literary works:


Literary Influences

In his younger years, Gabriel Garcia Marquez began to be associated with a literary circle called “The Barranquilla Group,” and under their influence he began to read the works of Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and more significantly, William Faulkner. In the short story entitled “Nabo: The Black Men Who Made the Angels Wait” (1951) appear similar Faulkner’s elements, as deliberate ambiguity and early painting of solitude; great example is the literary work of Faulkner “The Sound and The Fury.” He also undertook a study of the classics, and found great inspiration in the work of “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles; on many occasions Gabriel Garcia Marquez has expressed his admiration for the tragedies of Sophocles. Thereby, Marquez uses a quote from “Antigone” at the beginning of his book “The Leaf Storm,” and it has been said that the moral dilemma in Antigone provides the structural support for the work in this book.


The Magic Realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in Latin America

As and author of fiction, Garcia Marquez has always been associated with magic realism; in fact, he is considered the central figure of this genre. Magical realism is use to describe elements that have juxtaposition of fantasy and myth with everyday and ordinary activities. Garcia Marquez creates a world similar to everyday, but at the same time totally different to this; technically, he is a realist in the presentation of the real and unreal. Somehow it shows the reality in which the boundaries between truth and fantasy fade very naturally.

The magic realism is a path to the newer form of Latin American narrative experimentation; it is the search for reality through myth and history; to say the originality and the Hispanic-American uniqueness in the world. Magic realism flourished in Latin America literature in the splendor of the 1960s and 1970s due to differences between the culture of technology, and the culture of superstition. Outside the America, magic realism has influenced some critics and writers such as the Italian journalist and writer of short stories Italo Calvino, and the Czech Milan Kundera, as well as the Hindu Salman Rushdie.

The Magic Realism in “One Hundred Years of Solitude”


The most important representation of magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez is his novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” where the reality and the fantasy blended perfectly. These two trends, the realism and the magic mixed together forming only one called “the magic realism.” The same language, the same descriptive technique used to narrate the fantastic and the real.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez took eighteen months to write “One Hundred Years of Solitude.” On Tuesday, May 30, 1967 the first edition of the novel was published and ready to sell in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Three decades later it had been translated into 37 languages, and sold 25 million copies worldwide. The book was released to libraries without any kind of campaign of advertising. The novel sold out its first edition of 8000 copies within two weeks; soon the title and its magical realism became the mirror of the Latin American soul. “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a novel whose universe is the cyclic time in which fantastic stories happen as we can recount: the dialogue between the living and the dead, when Remedios the beautiful disappeared flying in a blanket, when there was a flood that lasted four years in Macondo, when the last member of the Buendia’s family was born with a pig tail. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” is a great metaphor in which the story of the Buendia’s family generation is related in the magical world of Macondo, from the founding of the town until the complete extinction of the breed.

Of perfect circular structure, the story raises an own world with mythical recreation of the Latin American real world that come to be called “magic realism,” with the constant encounter of realistic elements, appearances, and fanciful circumstances. This narrative formula keeps the Latin America literary tradition starting with the chronicles of the conquerors. The conquerors were plagued by legends and supernatural elements arising from the deep clash between the known world, and the culture of the Spaniards; also with the exuberant presence of the Latin American continent. The novel "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by the Colombian writer became a landmark and symbol within the Latin American culture; his magic realism reached universal recognition. Garcia Marquez believes that imagination is not only an instrument for the development of the reality, but that a novel is the encrypted representation of the reality; he stated "The is nothing in my novels that is not based in the reality." His realism is magical certainly because is real.

“The Autumn of the Patriarch” (1975) and “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (1981) also remain notable works of the genre.

Brief Interview of Gabriel Garcia Marquez by the American journalist Kathy Davis from Washington DC.

Works Cited
"Gabriel García Márquez." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2010): 1. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.
Vijh, Surekha. "Gabriel García Márquez: Creator of the Magic Realism Movement in Latin-American Literature." World & I 23.1 (2008): 9. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.
Hart, Stephen M. "Magical Realism in the Americas: Politicised Ghosts in One Hundred Years of Solitude , The House of the Spirits , and Beloved." Journal of Iberian & Latin American Studies 9.2 (2003): 115-123. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 7 Apr. 2011.
“Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Critical Companion”. Contributors: Rubén Pelayo - author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of Publication: Westport, CT. Publication Year: 2001.
"Gabriel García Márquez." Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2010): 1. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.

Image sources:
"Headshot portrait of Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, October 1982. (Photo by Agence France Presse/Getty Images)." (1982): Image Collection. EBSCO. Web. 13 Apr. 2011.

Melissa Carpenter's review of Gloria Escobar Wiki page

Gloria you really did a good job on the biography about the author. I would be careful not to talk too much about the author and focus more on his works or your key term, per the project guidelines.

It appears that the key term you are using is magical realism. I feel that you need to elaborate and give more examples to better explain magical realism. I was reading on the website, ****, that Marquez used “supernatural motifs like levitation and flying carpets” in his book One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Regarding the design, the only suggestion I have is maybe change ‘his” in your heading to maybe “Marquez” or remove it all together. Also I see your work cited but I don’t see any reference within the text of your page.

Leigha Williams' review of Gloria Escobar's Wiki Page


I enjoyed the Literary Influences section the most. I think you give great details in this section and that it is very informative. Personally, I would like it if your were to give more detail about Marquez's upbringing and the role that his "peculiar" grandparents played in his life. Some more details regarding Marquez's grandmother's dreams and abilities would be interesting details to add.


The sections are appropriately titled,which makes it easy to read. The paragraphs seem to be arranged well, they flow nicely. There are not a bunch of repetitive details; you make your point and move on. I think if you were to start your page off with some more details on the magic realism aspect of your page, you would be able to draw the reader in more effectively and be able to hold their attention better.


The page is a little overwhelming, with all of the pictures. While they can be interesting to look at, maybe you could just include pictures that are absolutely relevant to the page. Too many pictures can be distracting. Your use of white space was good. You broke up your content sections nicely.

Research and Documentation:

Your works cited page looks good. It is challenging to produce an appropriate amount of documentation for this type of project, but you did a nice job.


Honestly, I think you created a fantastic page. I learned alot from your page about this author and, after reading your page, I'm dying to read "One Hundred Years of Solitude".