January 23, 2021

‘Camino a Macondo’, the story of the mythical territory of Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez, in an image from 2014

Gabriel García Márquez, in an image from 2014

The word ‘Macondo’ was etched in the mind of Gabriel Garcia Marquez the day he saw her at the entrance to a banana plantation and a book now goes through the history of this term since its appearance in the first stories of the author until its consecration as ‘mythical territory’ of literature.

‘Road to Macondo. Ficciones 1950-1966 ‘, published by Random House Literature, travels through the history of the word’ Macondo ‘ from his timid appearance in the first stories of Gabriel García Márquez to his emergence in novels like ‘La Hojarasca’, ‘The colonel has no one to write’ or ‘The bad hour’.

The edition of the book has been carried out by Conrado Zuluaga, an expert in the work of the Colombian Nobel Prize in Literature, a volume that brings us closer to the prelude to the creation of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and the evolution of Macondo.

Macondo, is not a place, but a state of mind that allows you to see what you want to see and see it as you want, “said García Márquez (1927-2014), who argued on various occasions that to write each book you first have to learn to write it.It took him almost twenty years to ‘live’ in Macondo to learn to write his novel ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’“, maintains Zuluaga.

García Márquez began in literature and journalism almost at the same time, shortly before the 1950s. With his friends he embarked on the publication of the magazine ‘Crónica’, a literary-sports weekly, in whose number 6 (from 3 June 1950) a text of his appears with the title ‘La casa de los Buendía’ and the subtitle ‘Notes for a novel’, which will be followed by ‘The return of the colonel’. There are the beginnings of the famous lineage that will star in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.

In those first texts, the town is generic, explains Zuluaga, who points out that the first mention of Macondo “may go unnoticed”: It is in the story ‘A day after Saturday’ that was published in 1954 where a Hotel Macondo appears. And in 1955 in another magazine he published a text entitled ‘Monologue of Isabel watching it rain in Macondo’. Some scenarios in which atmospheres and smells are already guessed that will be repeated in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.

Along with these first texts, the anthology brings together the works of the Nobel Prize winner for Literature ‘The leaf litter’, ‘The colonel has no one to write to him’, ‘The funerals of Big Mom’ and ‘The bad hour’.

With them, the person in charge of the edition of ‘Camino a Macondo’ has wanted show the search for García Márquez, through several texts prior to ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, of “that hallucinated fictional world that has the ambition to be real.” It is a chronological journey through the fictions on which one of the most important mythical territories of world literature is propped up until reaching ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, where Macondo and magical realism reached their maximum splendor, indicates.


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