Gabriel García Márquez: The Sons publishes the last novel the late author wanted to destroy

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Gabriel García Márquez is known for his novels One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera.

When Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez died a decade ago, he left behind a novel he wrote while suffering from dementia.

In his final days, he told his sons that the book must be destroyed.

But they defied their father and published the book in what they called an act of “treason.”

Even August received mixed reviews, with The Guardian critic calling it “a sketch, as blurry and flawed as sketches in general”.

She said the 100-page book “is like a faded souvenir, worn but precious for its connection to the wonderful imaginative world that Márquez conjured in his prime.”

The Colombian writer, who died in 2014, was famous for pioneering the magical realist style of writing.

He has written books including “Love in the Time of Cholera” and “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” which have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide.

“This is what kids do”

Justifying their decision to publish, García Márquez's son Gonzalo told BBC Radio 4's Front Row program that in the end, “the author was not in a position to judge his work because he could only see the flaws and not the interesting things that were there.” .

After reading the script again recently, Gonzalo said he “did not find it as disastrous as Gabo judged it” and that it was a valuable addition to his work because it showed a new side to him and was “unique.”

He added: “Certainly, we will not destroy it.” “In 2022, we took one of the issues and read it, and there wasn't a lot of discussion about it.

“We realized the book was complete, and we realized we didn't have to do a lot of editing. No additions, no big changes. So there wasn't really any discussion.”

“We thought about it for about three seconds, was it betrayal of my parents, or of my parents [wishes]?

“And we decided, yes, it was treason. But that's what the kids were there for.”

He said it had to be published eventually, so the family wanted to publish a version they agreed to, which would protect their copyright.

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Gonzalo Garcia Barca said he believes this new book is unique

The novel revolves around a middle-aged woman who travels alone to an island every summer to visit her mother's grave, and on each trip she takes a new lover despite her happy marriage.

It is the first time that García Márquez focuses on a female protagonist.

“Normally, in a review of a disappointing posthumous publication or a minor work by a major author, it is worth noting that, despite its faults, it will please loyal fans.

He continued: “I don't think that's true until August. Marquez knew that and was right not to want to see the light of day.”

“Moves strangely”

He added, however, that “the novel has qualities” and “is set in a world that strikes an evocative balance between the realistic and the dreamlike.”

“It is as if the book contains both the elder Marquis and the younger Marquis, with the awareness and good humor of old age conveyed in the searching, hesitating manner of an apprentice,” she wrote.

However, she noted that “the novel is bereft of the endless inventive discussions of folktale, backstory, and verbal one-liners that characterize the best of Márquez.”

“Even August does nothing to expand the legend of Gabu, and does nothing to diminish it,” she concluded.

Netflix plans

In addition to a new book, Márquez's 1967 novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, is being adapted into a Spanish-language series on Netflix.

According to The New York Times, Márquez received many offers over the years to turn his book into a film, but he declined because he wanted it to be written only in Spanish.

García Márquez's book is not the first novel to be published posthumously against the authors' wishes.

  • Before the author Franz Kafka He died of tuberculosis in 1924, and asked his friend Max Brod to burn all his works. However, between 1925 and 1935, Broad published his own body of works including The Trial, The Castle and America.
  • Lolita writer Vladimir Nabokov He asked his wife to destroy his latest novel, Laura's Origin, if he did not live to complete it. In 2009, 30 years after Nabokov's death, his son released the unfinished work, which was written in pencil on index cards.
  • According to legend, the Roman poet Virgil He requested that the scrolls on which he wrote his epic The Aeneid be burned because he feared that he would not be able to finish the work before his death.

Hear more from Gonzalo García Barca on BBC Radio 4's Front Row from 19:15 GMT on Wednesday 6 March, then On BBC Sounds.

Until August It will be published in the UK on Tuesday 12 March.

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