A new exhibition at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center opened last Saturday, melding the worlds of art and literature. The bilingual exhibition, Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer, presents selected materials from the Ransom Center’s archive of the work of internationally renowned and Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez (1927–2014). The exhibition, which closes on July 19, will travel to the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City in the fall.
The Making of a Global Writer traces García Márquez’s career from his Colombian origins through his winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982, and covers the author’s success after the publication of his 1967 novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (Cien años de soledad). The novel, since translated into more than 45 languages, has sold almost 50 million copies worldwide.
The shows curator, Álvaro Santana-Acuña of Whitman College, states: “García Márquez is a ‘global’ writer because his stories continue to enter the lives of millions of readers worldwide every year. Generation after generation, readers find in his works, characters, situations, events, feelings, memories… that are meaningful to them.”García Márquez’s personal archive, acquired by the Ransom Center in 2014, includes a trove of original manuscript material, predominantly in Spanish, for 10 books, from One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) to Love in the Time of Cholera (1985) to Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004). There are also more than 2,000 pieces of correspondence; drafts of his 1982 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, and dozens of photograph albums documenting nearly 90 years of the author’s life. The collection also includes the typewriters and computers on which García Márquez wrote some of his best-known works.
On display in the show, beyond García Márquez’s archives, are also works of other Nobel laureates such as Samuel Beckett, J. M. Coetzee, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, Doris Lessing, George Bernard Shaw, Isaac Bashevis Singer, John Steinbeck and W. B. Yeats.
“As this exhibition demonstrates, Gabriel García Márquez made the local universal and, in doing so, became a citizen of a republic of letters larger than his native Colombia, larger than his adopted home of Mexico, and larger even than all of the Americas, north and south,” states Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss. “My colleagues and I are delighted to share the story of the making of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude,’ which is also the story of the making of Gabriel García Márquez.”
The Ransom Center published more than 27,000 images of manuscripts and photographs from its collection in 2017, creating the Gabriel García Márquez online archive with the support of a Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources through the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Gabriel García Márquez: The Making of a Global Writer will be on view at the UT Austin’s Harry Ransom Center through July 19, 2020. Docent tours will be held every day at noon, with additional evening and weekend tours, and Spanish-language tours will be offered Saturdays at 1 p.m. Admission and tours are free.