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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gabriel García Márquez’s Black Eye

posted by on March 29 at 11:28 AM


That’s the picture of García Márquez in today’s New York Times, taken on Valentine’s Day 1976, two days after Mario Vargas Llosa slugged him.

The feud between the Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez and the Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, onetime best of friends, had all the elements of a literary classic: accusations of betrayal, jealousy and adultery, and a brutal encounter 31 years ago when things turned bloody.

I didn’t know about this feud. (God knows I love a feud.)

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Marquez a proud Colombian lefty from the rural class, who lacked a good left and Vargas Llosa a proud and scary right winger and presidential candidate from Peru's ruling class who had a good right.

Both had 2 good novels: La ciudad y los perros from Vargas Llosa and Cien años de soledad from Marquez. Both, however good, could not shine the shoes of Jorge Luis Borges or Ernesto Sabato.

Northamericans still consider them the most important Latin American writers because of their capacity to write about magical themes.

Unfortunately that magical realism crap is still kept alive today with the bad writings of Isabel Allende.

Posted by SeMe | March 29, 2007 12:40 PM

Allende is okay in small doses. She's a popular genre writer and so people give her a hard time.

As for the feuding, the Gore Vidal vs. Norman Mailer feud mentioned in the article is hilarious. You can actually see part of it in a Dick Cavett clip on youtube. It's a total slobs vs. the snobs moment, where sadly, the slob loses.

Posted by JMS | March 29, 2007 1:20 PM

Great story.
McCarthy said of Hellman, "Every word she says is a lie, including 'and' and 'the'." I had a lot of occasion to quote that one when I was in Seattle politics.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | March 29, 2007 1:24 PM
...the cause was a woman, specifically, Mr. Vargas Llosa’s wife, whom Mr. García Márquez consoled during a difficult period in the marriage.


Posted by keshmeshi | March 29, 2007 3:48 PM

Have you read the Cynthia Ozick essay in the new Harper's? She steps into the center of the Franzen/Marcus fight.

Posted by Matthew | March 29, 2007 5:57 PM

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