Martes, 17 de enero de 2017

| 2009/05/28 00:00

Unraveling the Labyrinthine Life of a Magical Realist

May 28 -- In a January 2006 interview with a Barcelona newspaper, Gabriel García Márquez, whose memory had begun to fail, deflected a question about his past. “You will have to ask my official biographer, Gerald Martin, about that sort of thing,” he said, “only I think he’s waiting for something to happen to me before he finishes.”

Unraveling the Labyrinthine Life of a Magical Realist

This otherwise doom-laden remark brought good news to the newly designated “official biographer.” Mr. Martin at that point had devoted 15 years of his own life to chronicling that of Mr. García Márquez, though he spent a total of only a month in that Nobel laureate’s company during his extended research. Until that point Mr. Martin had called this project only a “tolerated biography.” It has turned out to be much, much more.

This intensive, assured, penetratingly analytical book will be the authoritative English-language study of Mr. García Márquez until Mr. Martin can complete an already 2,000-page, 6,000-footnote version “in a few more years, if life is kind.” He compressed that sprawling magnum opus into 545 pages (plus notes and index), a “brief, relatively compact narrative,” so it could be published “while the subject of this work, now a man past 80, is still alive and in a position to read it.” Both author and subject have been treated for lymphoma, Mr. Martin says.
 
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