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New Left Review 24, November-December 2003

Efraín Kristal on Gabriel García Márquez, Living to Tell the Tale. Crossing the arts of autobiography, politics and fiction in the Caribbean littoral.



One April day in 1950 the 22-year-old writer, eaten up with nerves, offers the rough typescript of his first novel to the old Catalan dramatist, Don Ramón Vinyes, leading spirit of their bohemian group. Putting on his spectacles, Don Ramón smooths the pages out on the café table and reads, without any variation in his expression, the opening section of what would become Leaf Storm. Then, replacing his spectacles in their case, and the case in his breast pocket, he makes a few comments on the novelist’s handling of time—which was, as García Márquez admits here, ‘my life-or-death problem’; without doubt, the ‘most difficult of all’.

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Efrain Kristal, ‘Lessons from the Golden Age’, NLR 24: £3

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