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Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Gabriel García Márquez

Gabriel García Márquez (March 1927 – 17 April 2014) was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century, particularly in the Spanish language, he was awarded the 1972 Neustadt International Prize for Literature and the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

When Márquez was 18, he proposed marriage to a 13-year-old female (Hart, 2013, p. 28)[1]:

I met Mercedes in Sucre, a town just inland from the Caribbean coast, where both our families lived for several years and where she and I spent our holidays. Her father and mine had been friends since they were boys. One day, at a students’ dance, when she was only thirteen I asked her to marry me. Looking back I think the proposal was a metaphorical way of getting around all the fuss and bother you had to go through in those days to get a girlfriend. She must have understood it this way because we saw each other very sporadically, and always very casually, but I think neither of us had any doubt that sooner or later the metaphor would become fact. It actually became fact some ten years after the fiction, without our ever really having been engaged. We were just two people waiting, unhurriedly and imperturbably, for the inevitable.

Márquez said elsewhere that she was nine when he decided to marry her.[2] His autobiography also suggests that he still had erotic dreams about a childhood experience with a 13-year-old female (Márquez, 2003)[3]:

Her name was Trinidad, she was the daughter of someone who worked in the house, and one fatal spring she began to blossom. She was thirteen but still used the dresses she had worn when she was nine, and they were so tight to her body that she seemed more naked than if she had been undressed. One night we were alone in the courtyard, band music erupted without warning from the house next door, and Trinidad began to dance with me, and she held me so tight she took my breath away. I do not know what became of her, but even today I still wake up in the middle of the night agitated by the upheaval, and I know I could recognize her in the dark by the touch of every inch of her skin and her animal odor.

Romance between adults and youth is a recurrent theme in Márquez’s fiction. One Hundred Years of Solitude‘s Aureliano Buendía courts a seven-year-old female, and consummates the relationship when she turns nine. In Love in the Time of Cholera, a male in his 70s has a relationship with a 14-year-old female. Memories of My Melancholy Whores, written when Márquez was 76, is a love story between a 90-year-old male and a 14-year-old prostitute. Of Love and Other Demons is about a priest who falls in love with a dead 12-year-old female.

References

  1. Hart S. M. (2013). Gabriel García Márquez. Reaktion Books.
  2. Martin G. (2012). Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life. A&C Black. p. 85, p. 147.
  3. Márquez G.G. (2003). Grossman E., translator. Living to Tell the Tale. Vintage International.