The archive of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez opened today for research at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas.
The humanities research center agreed to pay $2.2 million for the archive of the late Colombian author last year and announced the acquisition in November.
The author, who lived in Mexico City during his later years, is best known for such acclaimed novels as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967) and “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1985). He died in April of 2014 at the age of 87.
“This archive, strengthening UT’s world-class humanities collection, not only offers research opportunities to our students and to Texans, but will attract a global research community to Austin,” said UT President Gregory L. Fenves.
The archive contains more than 75 boxes of documents, and researchers will have access to manuscript drafts of published and unpublished works, correspondence, 43 photograph albums, 22 scrapbooks, research material, notebooks, newspaper clippings, screenplays and ephemera.
“With the establishment of the Gabriel García Márquez archive, Gabo has entered history,” said Stephen Enniss, director of the Ransom Center. “Like a character in one of his own novels, he has entered a place outside of time. Somewhere among these papers Florentino Ariza still waits outside the house of his first love; somewhere a colonel waits patiently for the weekly post. An archive is a timeless thing, and for years to come the materials that have been collected here will give up, to those who are patient, insights into the art of García Márquez.”
The Ransom Center has started supplementing the archive by acquiring materials that illuminate both the personal and professional activities of the author. A recent acquisition includes 48 letters written by García Márquez to Colombian writer Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza between 1961 and 1971. The letters reveal García Márquez’s thoughts about his work and his life, including difficulties and successes with writing, the center said.
Other additions include a carbon typescript of García Márquez’s “El colonel no tiene quien le escribe” (“No One Writes to the Colonel”), handwritten notes on personalized notecards, typed letters and a copy of “El general en su laberinto” (“The General in His Labyrinth”) with more than a dozen emendations in the author’s hand.
The archive is supported by the university’s LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, a partnership between the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. LLILAS is regarded as one of the strongest Latin American studies programs in the country, and the Benson Collection is recognized as one of the world’s premier libraries focusing on Latin American studies, the university said.
LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections and the Ransom Center will commemorate the opening of the archive with the symposium “Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy” Oct. 28–30.
Scholars, journalists, filmmakers and former colleagues of García Márquez’s will speak about his global influence in the fields of journalism, filmmaking and literature. Registration is full, but the symposium will be webcast live in English and Spanish via www.hrc.utexas.edu.
Author Salman Rushdie will deliver the opening keynote address Oct. 28, while journalist and author Elena Poniatowska will provide the closing keynote Oct. 30.
A selection of materials from the García Márquez archive is on display in the Ransom Center’s lobby through Nov. 1.
In addition to García Márquez, 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.