|Gabriel Garcia Marquez's portrait in the exhibition in the National University's library.|
|Publications by and about Marquez |
in the Nacho's library.
Paradoxically, a lot more information about Marquez was on display recently in an interesting and detailed exhibition that was up only during a brief book fair on the university's Ché Plaza.
The exhibition in the library will interest Marquez fans: there's his university inscription document, as well as editions of books by and about the novelist. But it's embarrassingly sparse for a man of such accomplishment and the university's most famous ex-student.
I wish I knew where the book fair exhibition is stored away. Perhaps somewhere in the university's
|Marquez's Universidad Nacional registration paper.|
That exhibition included Marquez's famous (or infamous) description of the Bogotá he encountered in 1942 on arriving from the warm and sunny coast.
"Bogotá was then a remote and sad city, where a drizzle had been falling since the beginning of the century."
But Marquez grew to like - or at least appreciate - the Colombian capital's quirks and characters, including its spark-throwing streetcars and dignified funerals. He also became an habitué of the cafés in the city center, where he debated literature with other intellectuals.
Marquez enrolled in a high school in Zipaquira, north of Bogotá. The school was incorrigibly leftist,
"I dare to think that most of my professors graded me more on my personality than my tests," Marquez wrote.
But, he added, a professor named Calderon saw talent in one of Marquez's short stories and urged him to continue writing, despite classmates' teasing, "if only for my mental health."
|Marquez's first published |
story 'The third resignation.'
It was in Bogotá that Marquez read a version of Franz Kafka's 'Metamorphosis' rewritten by Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges, which revolutionized Marquez's literary mindset. In 1947 and '48 he published his first three stories in El Espectador: 'The third resignation,' 'Eva is inside her cat,' and 'Tubal-Cain forges a star.' The three displayed the influence of Kafka and of the Bible.
Marquez later recalled how he'd been told to climb to the second floor and hand his manuscript to the
|Marquez admired populist politician Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, |
whose 1948 assassination sent Marquez to Cartagena.
Four years earlier, Marquez's first published work, a poem called 'Song,' (Canción), appeared in El Tiempo's literary supplement.
Marquez later became a reporter for El Espectador. In 1955, the paper's editor asked Marquez whether he had plans for the following Friday. Marquez did not, and the editor assigned him to a two-week trip to cover a political meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Marquez's reporting trip to Europe would extend to five years, during which, while living in Paris, he wrote his first novels.
|In 1955, El Espectador sent Marquez to Europe to |
cover a political meeting. He stayed for five years.
And he even reconciled the Andean city with his coastal roots. Bogotá, he would later write, "is a green and endless beach at 2,600 meters above sea level."
|'Insomnia' by Marquez.|
|Marquez with friends in Bogotá.|