García Márquez and Colombia’s History

An understanding of the history of Colombia is necessary to an understanding of the fiction of García Márquez. As Regina Janes notes, he himself “once remarked that the reader of Cien años de soledad who was not familiar with the history of his country, Colombia, might appreciate the novel as a good novel, but much of what happens in it would make no sense to him.

Liberals were represented by the color red and Conservatives by the color blue; when the new mayor arrives in Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude and demands that all the houses be painted blue, the reader immediately knows his political orientation. Hundreds of thousands of people have died in Colombia over the difference in color, red or blue.

—Joan Mellen, Literary Masters: Gabriel García Márquez

Colombia on Wikipedia


4 comments on “García Márquez and Colombia’s History

  1. Kate S. says:

    I'm about to embark on “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” and I'm grateful to be doing so armed with the snippets of background material that you've provided here. They make the text that much more tantalizing.

  2. Sylvia says:

    Hi Kate. Happy to help. Enjoy the book!

  3. Rebecca says:

    Hi, Is it possible for this site to provide free literary criticisms on authors and their work?…. That would be very helpful to those of us that are AP students and those of us that would really like to better understand Marquez's short stories by view different view points.

  4. Sylvia says:

    Hello Rebecca. If you have a school or public library account you may be able to access online literary databases. Your librarian will be able to help you with this.

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