Books: The Insistence Of Memory

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the master of magic realism, recalls the real magic of his youth

One Hundred Years Of Solitude, the magnificent 1970 novel that made the reputation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, famously begins as a flashback. "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." Is it memory that makes possible the magic of Garcia Marquez's magic realism? A world retrieved from the past operates by more flexible guidelines; the laws of gravity are loosened, the rules of cause and effect can be bent.

Or maybe Garcia Marquez did not have to bend them much. The Nobel-prizewinning...

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