Montag, 12. Februar 2018

Gabriel García Márquez’s Road Trip Through Alabama / Caleb Johnson

In the summer of 1961, Gabriel García Márquez lived with his family in the Webster Hotel on West Forty-Fifth Street in New York City. They paid two hundred dollars a month for a room. The thirty-three-year-old García Márquez had moved to the city a few months earlier to join Prensa Latina, the fledgling Cuban state news agency with offices at Rockefeller Center. While he worked, his wife, Mercedes, and infant son Rodrigo spent their days strolling Central Park. The FBI was monitoring the newsroom, which was itself consumed with subterfuge and rumors over who among the journalists were counterrevolutionaries. Before long, García Márquez’s friend Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, who worked at the agency’s Havana bureau, heard of impending mutiny and flew to the States to warn him. By the time Mendoza arrived, Gabo, as he was affectionately called, had already quit. He had enough money to get his family to New Orleans aboard a Greyhound bus. Mendoza returned to Bogotá and wired the cash the family would need to reach Mexico City. There, Gabo had friends and the prospect of part-time journalism work to sustain him while he wrote his next novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude.


Learning about this trip was like a puzzle piece sliding into place for me. I read One Hundred Years of Solitude for the first time during graduate school. Back then, I knew little about the book or its author. Something about the way it was written struck me as Southern, though. It echoed my home in rural Alabama, regional writers I admired, and the novel I was at the time desperately trying to finish. ... [mehr]

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