Gabriel García Marquez

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The author Gabriel García Márquez (2002)
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Gabriel García Marquez

Gabriel José García Márquez (born March 6, 1927 in Aracataca , Colombia ; † April 17, 2014 in Mexico City , Mexico ), also known in Spanish-speaking countries as Gabo , a nickname for Gabriel , was a Colombian writer , journalist and Nobel laureate in literature . García Márquez popularized the style of magical realism , which integrates magical elements into realistic situations. Many of his works address the individual isolation as well as the isolation of Latin America .


Gabriel García Márquez was born as the son of the telegraphist , homeopath and later pharmacist Gabriel Eligio García Martínez and his wife Luisa Santiaga Márquez Iguarán in the northern Colombian town of Aracataca near the Caribbean coast. He was the oldest of eleven siblings, six brothers and four sisters. The second oldest brother, Luis Enrique, was born on September 8, 1928. His youngest brother (1947-2001) was called Eligio Gabriel Garcia Márquez and was also a writer.

There were various statements in the literature about Gabriel's year of birth. Some sources incorrectly gave 1928 as the year of his birth; in his autobiography he himself mentions the year 1927. In January 1929 the family moved to the Departamento de Sucre , while he himself was in Aracataca with his maternal grandparents, Doña Tranquilina Iguarán Cortés and Coronel Nicolás Ricardo Márquez Mejía, a veteran of the “ War of the Thousand” Days ”, grew up. His father was that of Argemira García Paternina's seven children, whom she had from Gabriel Martínez, whom she did not marry. When his grandfather died in 1936, Gabriel had to return to his parents in Sucre.

At the age of twelve, García Márquez received a scholarship that enabled him to attend the Jesuit college in Zipaquirá , 30 km north of Bogotá . In 1946, according to his parents' wishes, he began studying law at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Bogotá. At this time García Márquez also met Mercedes Barcha Pardo, his future wife, who died in August 2020 at the age of 87.

Bored of his law studies, which he finally gave up in 1950, García Márquez began to occupy himself intensively with poetry and literature (especially with the works of Ernest Hemingway , James Joyce , Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner ).

From 1954 he worked for the newspaper El Espectador , where he initially wrote short stories and film reviews, later also for El Universal and El Tiempo . In the years that followed, his work as a journalist took him to Rome , Geneva , Poland , Hungary , Paris , Barcelona , Mexico , Caracas and New York , where his first son Rodrigo was born in 1959 .

In the same year he was asked by Fidel Castro to write a book about his victorious revolution and became a good friend of Castro. García Márquez often stayed in Cuba later . This friendship was repeatedly criticized: it led to the break of his long-standing friendship as a writer with the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa , who called him Castro's courtier ("cortesano de Castro") in a speech at the 1986 PEN Congress , and In 2003, Susan Sontag unsuccessfully asked García Márquez to join the protest against an alleged "wave of repression" in Cuba. García Márquez was an avowed socialist .

Gabriel García Márquez wrote scripts, columns, reports, short stories, short stories, novels and memoirs. With the Colombian novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (“Cien años de soledad”), which sold more than 30 million copies, he achieved his breakthrough as a writer in 1967. In 1972 he was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature . In 1982 García Márquez was honored with the Nobel Prize for Literature - for his works "which combine the fantastic and the realistic [...], reflecting the life and conflict of a continent". He invested the money from the Nobel Prize in founding the daily newspaper El Otro ; In 1998 he became a co-owner of Cambio magazine .

Politically, García Márquez was very active, which is clear in his books: The adventure of Miguel Littín describes the repression that people suffered under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in Chile. Kidnapping News is about the kidnapping of civilians by the Colombian drug mafia.

In addition to articles, he was also involved in political matters with public speeches such as B. on August 6, 1986 at the Conferencia de Ixtapa in Mexico on the anniversary of the first atomic bomb drop on the Japanese city of Hiroshima . In the same year, several thousand copies of the book The Adventure of Miguel Littín were burned in Valparaíso ( Chile ) for political reasons . For political reasons, García Márquez did not speak in English.

In 1999, García Márquez fell ill with cancer and underwent chemotherapy . He later suffered from dementia . He died on April 17, 2014 at the age of 87 in Mexico City, where he had mostly lived. The heirs sold his estate to the University of Texas . It has been open to literary scholars since November 2015. Some of his remains were buried on May 22nd, 2016 in the Claustro de la Merced in Cartagena de Indias , some remained in Mexico.


The American literary scholar Harold Bloom sees Márquez's work primarily shaped by William Faulkner and Franz Kafka . In One Hundred Years of Solitude , they may be replaced by Jorge Luis Borges and Alejo Carpentier as literary role models.

Honors (selection)

Works (selection)

Gabriel García Marquez (2009)

Film adaptations

Literary template


  • 1965: time of dying (Tiempo de morir)
  • 1982: The unbelievable and sad story of the innocent Eréndira and her heartless grandmother (Eréndira)
  • 1982: The hostage-taking (¡Viva Sandino!)
  • 1985: Time of Vengeance (Tiempo de revancha)
  • 1988: Letters from the Park (Cartas del parque)
  • 1988: The Miracle of Rome (Milagro en Roma)
  • 1988: The beautiful pigeon fancier (La fabula della bella palomera)
  • 1988: A very old man with big wings (Un señor muy viejo con unas alas enormouses)
  • 1988: Lucky for a Sunday (Un domingo feliz)

García Márquez as a literary motif

Literature (selection)

  • Dagmar Ploetz : Gabriel García Márquez. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1992, ISBN 3-499-50461-8 .
  • Dasso Saldívar: Journey to the Origin. A biography of Gabriel García Márquez. Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Cologne 1998, ISBN 3-462-02751-4 .
  • Harold Bloom : Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Chelsea House, Philadelphia 2003, ISBN 0-7910-7046-8 .
  • Harald Irnberger : Gabriel García Márquez. The magic of reality. Biography. Artemis & Winkler, Düsseldorf and Zurich 2003, ISBN 3-538-07169-1 .
  • Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza: The smell of guayava. Conversations with Gabriel García Márquez. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004, ISBN 3-596-16263-7 .
  • Gerald Martin: Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life . Bloomsbury, London 2008, ISBN 978-0-7475-9476-5 .
  • Paul Ingendaay : The wonderful has been rehabilitated. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , January 6, 2009: ... "García Márquez [...], who sits as securely on his throne as Mickey Mouse " ...
  • Kian-Harald Karimi: “La nuit dure longtemps mais le jour finit pour arriver.” Tropical dictators put to the test of hybrid language in “En attendant le vote des bêtes sauvages” by Ahmadou Kourouma and “El otoño del patriarca” by Gabriel García Márquez. In: René Ceballos, Cornelia Sieber et al. (Eds.), Passages: Hybridity, Transmédialité, Transculturalidad , Olms, Hildesheim 2010, ISBN 978-3-487-14288-3 , pp. 557-571.
  • Dagmar Ploetz: Gabriel García Márquez. Life and work. Kiepenheuer and Witsch, Cologne 2010, ISBN 978-3-462-04161-3 .

Films (selection)

  • Gabriel García Márquez - Writing to Live. (Alternative title: Gabo. ) Documentary, Germany, 2015, 90 min., Script and director: Justin Webster, production: JWProductions, Ronachan Films, Horne Productions, gebrueder beetz filmproduction, ZDF , Caracol Televisión , Discovery Channel , cinema premiere: Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias (FICCI), Colombia, March 13, 2015 German first broadcast: April 17, 2016 arte , movie data , Summary of arte.
  • Gabriel García Marquez. Conversation, France, 1998 52 min., Written and directed: Mauricio Martinez-Cavard, Yves Billon, production: Les Films du Village, France 3 , ABCiné, Zarafa Films, summary from, ( memento from January 13, 2010 in Internet Archive ).

Web links

Commons : Gabriel García Márquez  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Ruben Pelayo, Gabriel García Márquez - A Critical Companion , Greenwood Press, Westport 2001, ISBN 0-313-31260-5 , p. 136.
  2. Ilan Stavans, GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ , Palgrave Macmillan 2010, p. 23
  3. Ilan Stavans, GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ , Palgrave Macmillan 2010, p. 15
  4. news from August 16, 2020: Gabriel García Márquez: Wife of the Nobel Prize Laureate has died , accessed on August 18, 2020
  6. Peter Brockmeier and Gerhard R. Kaiser (eds.), Censorship and self-censorship in literature , Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2001, ISBN 3-8260-1133-3 , p. 256.
  7. Paul Ingendaay : Men's Association. Fidel and Gabo: Friends to the grave. In: FAZ , March 9, 2004.
    "the most glaring example of the ability of an artist to be impressed by power"
  8. Manuel Gogos: On the death of Gabriel García Márquez. Magician of realism and storyteller against death. In: Tagesspiegel , April 18, 2014.
  9. ^ Gabriel García Marquez: El cataclismo de Damocles. Lecture at the Conferencia de Ixtapa , México, 1986, (Spanish).
  10. Helge Malchow : You should dance! Memories of his publisher. In: FAS , April 20, 2014, p. 34.
  11. fln / dpa / dapd : Gabriel García Márquez: Nobel laureate in literature suffers from dementia. In: SpOn , July 8th, 2012: "Can he still speak?"
  12. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of November 26, 2014, p. 13.
  13. ^ Dpa ticker: University of Texas opens archive: Gabriel García Márquez's estate accessible. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung , November 11, 2015, p. 43.
  14. Colombia: Cartagena lays to rest Garcia Marquez's ashes in: Global Times, May 24, 2016, p. 19, accessed May 27, 2016
  15. Harold Bloom : Introduction. In: the same (ed.): Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. Chelsea House, Philadelphia 2003, ISBN 0-7910-7046-8 , pp. 1-4; here: p. 1 .
  16. Honorary Members: Gabriel García Márquez. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed March 11, 2019 .