The Man, the Myth, the Writer

            One of my resources for the first experiment is the short story The Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel García Márquez. Gabriel García Márquez, most famous for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, is a short story writer and novelist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. However, before becoming a fictional writer, he was a journalist. In an interview of the Paris Review in 1981, he says “I’ve always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist.” But what really got him into story writing was Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. This book made him realize what was possible with writing.

            Although Márquez had writing background as a journalist, he did not become the famous man we know him today until he was forty years old. Before he published One Hundred Years of Solitude, most of his works were printed in small literary magazines and his four previous novels had limited success. Luckily a literary agent became interested in his work and Márquez ended up signing a contract that would lead to One Hundred Years of Solitude (after eighteen months of writing, revisions, and final editing). He now has written countless other short stories and books that have been published by large companies like Vintage Publishing and The New Yorker.

            Márquez started One Hundred Year of Solitude by writing the first line which seemingly to him out of nowhere. He didn’t know how he thought of it or where he was going with it, but he kept writing. Then as he continued to write he would glance back on past pages and edit. Continuously revise. He uses more of intuition rather than his intellect to guide him while writing. In that Paris Review he also says, “Intuition… is a special quality which helps you to decipher what is real without needing scientific knowledge, or any other special kind of learning.” Márquez relies on this ability as well as what he already knows. Although he uses magical realism and many fantastical elements in his writing, he says “there’s not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality.” This doesn’t mean that writing is easy though. As he became older, he relied more on technique than inspiration; it’s the skills he developed that carried him through his career. 

            Link to The Paris Review: https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/3196/gabriel-garcia-marquez-the-art-of-fiction-no-69-gabriel-garcia-marquez

2 thoughts to “The Man, the Myth, the Writer”

  1. I love Marquez’s short story “The Old Man With Enormous Wings,” so using it for your resource for experiment one sounds super interesting. Good luck with the rest of the project!

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