Gabriel García Márquez had mastered the art of writing fiction in the manner of reality and had gone beyond even the probability in his novels and short stories. His style has a certain touch of fantasy which very slyly peeps through and his themes are a jumble of topics without any end. The most celebrated of his works is One Hundred Years of Solitude, a novel with all the three-dimensional description of the then Columbian politics and society. In this novel, Gabriel García Márquez has very poignantly referred to “a brutal civil war between conservatives and liberals that lasted into the 1960s, causing the deaths of several hundred thousand Colombians.”1 The author calls this huge killing of people as La Violencia.
The Nobel laureate Gabriel Jose de la Concordia García Márquez was born in a Columbian town Arcata on March 6, 1928. His father was Gabriel Eligio García and mother, Luisa Santiaga Márquez. But due to the business of his parents, he was nurtured by his maternal grandparents, Dona Tranquilina Iguarán and Colonel Nicolas Ricardo Márquez Mejia. After the birth of García Márquez, his father became a pharmacist in Sucre and his parents left him with the maternal grandparents.
His grandfather, “Papalelo” for him, was Lenient Colonel in the armed force of the great Thousand Days of War. Colombian Liberals had a great sense of respect towards him. García’s “Papalelo” was a wonderful storyteller. The Colonel spent most of his time with García teaching him lessons from the dictionary, taking to the circus each year etc. The Colonel was the first to introduce ice to García and it was almost a miracle to him. The grandfather Colonel also told him that the heaviest burden was to kill a man. All the experiences and the lessons taught to García find expression in his short stories and novels.
The Colonel’s house in the childhood of García was filled with stories of marvels, prophetic significance, and prodigy, magic, ghosts and premonitions, fantasy, awe, nightmares, illusions, hallucinations and wonder. García Márquez admits the fact that his grandmother provided him with all the supernatural, magical, superstitious, miraculous, awful and illusionary aspect of the world and reality. He not only enjoyed his grandparent’s unique way of telling stories but they started paved a way for his future.
In the 1950s, García Márquz also spent his season in Paris, working as a correspondent for Colombian newspapers, who paid him little and sporadically.5 In 1958, he married Mercedes Barcha and later blessed with two sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo.
His themes are essentially full of humanity which he presents through the tools of minuteness, magic, and wonder. What is the most astonishing about García is that he can very easily move forward and backward in time like the central character Tiresias of The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot? The most recurrent theme in the works of García is the theme of reality and death. He admits of his works that all represent the facts of the Columbian life and the ground level reality of life chiefly constitutes his themes and logical web his novels and short stories.
García Márquez has experimented greatly with the approaches that were not traditional to represent reality but he blended the reality with unusualness. This way he achieved the capacity by which the astonishing, frightful, fantastic, revolutionary and miraculous situations are told with the plain narration. Both Márquez and Llosa adopt a style which involves such situations falls into the category of magic and has been labeled as magical realism by the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier. One more significant aspect of his writings is that he does not linear but he tells us of any incident moving around it and showing all the connected links simultaneously. For this aspect the novella by Márquez Chronicle of a Death Foretold is remarkable.
The Collected Stories of Márquez include his three collections of short stories, namely, Eyes of a Blue Dog; Big Mama’s Funeral and The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother. Apart from the twenty-six short stories in these three volumes, Strange Pilgrims contains twelve short stories as a separate volume. All these stories make a labyrinth of situations with various themes wrapped in a wonderful style that the reader falls short of coming out of them even after having finished them to the end. Most of the stories in the Strange Pilgrims deal with the themes of exile and magic. They have the capacity to send a sense of thrill to the
It is very painful to add that the great creator of wonderful novels and the remarkable short stories, the great Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, left the mortal world on the 18th of April, 2014 and we are endowed with legacy of a labyrinth of his most celebrated works and he will still survive with his literature that he gave the world. The researcher extends to him and his soul a very humble and honest salutation. We wish, may his soul rest in peace.