GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ: THE PROCESS

Hillside, Point Reyes

During an informal survey in one of my English classes, the professor moved down a line of students, asking each person the same question: What is your favorite book? 
The answers that came, with few exceptions, were identical: One Hundred Years of Solitude.
So, when I read Marquez’s obituary in the Economist, detailing how that book came into being, I thought I would share:

“In July 1965 Garbriel Garcia Marquez – Gabo to all who revered him later – decided to lock himself away in a house on Calle de La Loma in Mexico City. He ordered his wife to sell the car and get credit from the butcher. For 15 months, using only his index fingers, he typed for six hours a day in a room he called “The Cave of the Mafia.” He survived on a diet of good Scotch and constant cigarettes. At five in the afternoon he would emerge in to the fading light with his eyes wide, as though he had discoursed with the dead… 

“‘One Hundred Years of Solitude,’ the fruit of his self-imprisonment, sold 50m copies in more than 30 languages… 

“Writing was difficult; the words came as painfully as kidney stones. Nonetheless, there was nothing else he had wanted to do in life. He burned ‘to write so I would not die.'”

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