Nobel Prize-Winning author Gabriel García Márquez’s archive acquired by Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center has acquired the archive of Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel-Prize winning author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967) and “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1985).

The influential author, one of the leading lights of Latin American literature, died in April at the age of 87.

Gabriel García Márquez in 2002
Gabriel García Márquez in 2002

“This acquisition marks an important extension of the Center’s literary holdings,” Harry Ransom Center director Stephen Enniss said in press release. “García Márquez has had as important an influence on the novel of the second half of the 20th century as James Joyce had on the first half.”

Spanning more than half a century, García Márquez’s archive includes original manuscript material, predominantly in Spanish, for 10 books, including the above and more than 2,000 pieces of correspondence, including letters from Carlos Fuentes and Graham Greene.

It also includes drafts of his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, more than 40 photograph albums documenting more than nine decades, two Smith Corona typewriters and five computers on which he composed many of his greatest works and scrapbooks documenting his career via news clippings from Latin America and around the world.

Highlights in the archive include multiple drafts of García Márquez’s unpublished novel “We’ll See Each Other in August,” research for “The General and His Labyrinth” (1989) and a heavily annotated typescript of the novella “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” (1981).

“Heir and admirer of literary innovators like Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, García Márquez experimented with intricate narrative structures, with lush and winding long sentences, with the clash of the ordinary and the impossible,” said José Montelongo, interim Latin American bibliographer at the university’s Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. “He was a master of the short form in novellas that read like Greek tragedies set in the Caribbean, as well as a consummate long-distance literary runner, master of the sprawling novel in which everything fits, including history and crime and love and miracles.”

The archive will reside at the Ransom Center alongside the work of many of the 20th century’s most notable authors, including such Márquez influences as Borges, William Faulkner and James Joyce.

Other Nobel laureates represented in the Ransom Center’s collections are Samuel Beckett, J. M. Coetzee, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Doris Lessing, George Bernard Shaw, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Steinbeck and W. B. Yeats.

Future plans relating to the archive include digitizing portions of the collection to make them widely accessible and a university symposium to explore the breadth and influence of García Márquez’s life and career. The García Márquez materials will be accessible once processed and cataloged.

Author: Joe Gross

Joe Gross has covered books, movies, music and culture for the American-Statesman since 2002. He tweets at @joegross.

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