Excerpt: Living To Tell The Tale (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)

“I had just dropped out of the faculty of law after six semesters devoted almost entirely to reading whatever I could get my hands on, and reciting from memory the unrepeatable poetry of the Spanish Golden Age. I already had read, in translation, and in borrowed editions, all the books I would have needed to learn the novelist’s craft, and had published six stories in newspaper supplements, winning the enthusiasm of my friends and the attention of a few critics. The following month I would turn twenty-three, I had passed the age of military service and was a veteran of two bouts of gonorrhea, and every day I smoked, with no foreboding, sixty cigarettes made from the most barbaric tobacco. I divided my leisure between Barranquilla and Cartagena de Indias, on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, living like a king on what I was paid for my daily commentaries in the newspaper El Heraldo, which amounted to almost less than nothing, and sleeping in the best company possible wherever I happened to be at night. As if the uncertainty of my aspirations and the chaos of my life were not enough, a group of inseparable friends and I were preparing to publish without funds a bold magazine that Alfonso Fuenmayor had been planning for the past three years. What more could anyone desire?”

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez rOxOrS so much. This already feels like an autobiography and a half, and I’m only 20 pages into one book of an intended trilogy.


  1. It’s interesting that you mentioned Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Just yesterday I was adding a couple of his books to my reading list.

    (*wave* Hello You and Alec. I’ve been crap in updating my blog since ever since I left for Italy and returned almost two months ago. Unfortunately, I haven’t really been writing any locally-stored entries. :-(

    Everything’s up in the air at the moment. I’m spending so much money on so-called essentials. Though, having loads of fun along the way!)

  2. Cool, which ones? I assume 100 Years Of Solitude or Love In The Time Of Cholera? You should definitely read a couple of his novels before you read this autobiography, by the way. You get much more from it when you can pick up all the aspects of his life which he’s used in his novels.

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