Archives from literary giant García Márquez open for research in Texas

A University of Texas library on Wednesday opened for research its collection of personal material from Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez, whose stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for readers around the world.

The collection spans more than 60 years and includes manuscripts, photographs, letters and other personal material from one of the giants of 20th century literature. It was acquired last year by the university’s Harry Ransom Center, one of the world’s largest collectors of humanities original source material.

The prolific Colombian-born García Márquez, who died in April 2014 in Mexico City at age 87, started out as a newspaper reporter and was best known for “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a dream-like, dynastic epic that helped him win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

“Readers have access to the finished works but through the archive, you see a human side of the master artist. This is the side in which he rejects paragraphs and entire pages and has to rewrite, or abandon a path for a new one,” said Jose Montelongo, a bibliographer at the university who has worked with the material.

The collection includes nearly 40 boxes from his literary activities from 1948 to 2009, and has extensive typescript drafts of works such as “Love in the Time of Cholera”, “Of Love and Other Demons” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

There are also nearly a dozen boxes of correspondence dating from 1961 to 2013 which include letters to friends when García Márquez was struggling to get by in the 1960s while he was writing “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

As the years went on and his fame grew, his circle of correspondence expanded to include Japanese film great Akira Kurosawa, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Czech writer Milan Kundera.

Among the other materials are photographs collected since the 1930s: travel pictures, shots of formal events and “Amigos” albums, which include photos of him with the likes of filmmakers Woody Allen and Luis Buñuel as well as Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

The library, with specializes in restoring and preserving historic material, will also be providing digital versions of many of the items in the García Márquez archive.

The collection will be housed with archives from other major authors who influenced García Márquez, including Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner and James Joyce.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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