Reality Reimagined: Why does magic realism, as used by Gabriel Garcia Màrquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), reflect the Colombian identity?

Reality Reimagined: Why does magic realism, as used by Gabriel Garcia Màrquez in One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967), reflect the Colombian identity?



Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel Garcia Màrquez, readers become intimately intertwined with seven generations of the Buendia family in the isolated town Macondo. Jose Arcadio Buendia, patriarch of the family, erects the town near the “ardent city of Riohacha” (Màrquez, p.10) – a real city in Colombia – and begins what is to become a thriving community. However, while Macondo is initially idyllic, the entirety of the narrative reveals its inevitable destiny with ruin: the town succumbs to political warfare, is beleaguered with modernity and engulfed by the progress of the outside world. To illustrate this, Macondo is completely obliterated at the end of the text by the “wrath of a biblical hurricane”, one foresaw in the parchments of Melquiades (p. 422).

Elements such as this – a tempest with the voracity to eradicate an entire town – immediately evokes in any reader of this essay notions of the absurd. However, by the end of One Hundred Years of Solitude, its readers will have since become entirely accustomed to such magical occurrences. The reason for this is that Màrquez has written this novel with the literary stylistics of magic realism: a subtle engraining of magical elements within a text until they become ordinary, while also reinterpreting that which is ordinary as things of wonder. The result is a suspended reality; one caught between two oppositional worlds each attempting to create a fictional world out of the other[1].

However, as I delineate in this essay, I believe the reason Màrquez crafts a reality between the real and surreal in One Hundred Years of Solitude lies beyond mere entertainment value. For this text is more than a narrative, it is an allegorical history of the Spanish colonisation of South America; of cultural heterogeneity; of endemic political bloodshed; and of Màrquez’s own upbringing in Aracataca, a small coastal town along the Caribbean. As I explore in this essay, magic realism is intrinsic to Colombian identity for it is the only means in which it can be described. In the words of Màrquez himself, the “interpretation of our reality” via methods “not our own”, only serves to render us “more unknown…less free…more solitary”[2].





The literary waters of magic realism are murky. Therefore, before explaining why the genre is intrinsic to the identity of Colombia in Latin America, it’s necessary to understand its multiple definitions and interpretations.

First, when we turn to the Oxford dictionary, we find magic realism to define: a “literary or artistic genre” in which “naturalistic techniques” are combined with “surreal elements” of “dream or fantasy”[3]. This adheres to the first use in literature by the art critic Franz Roh, who first coined magic realism in 1925. Roh had invented the term in an essay titled, Magic Realism: Post Expressionism, to describe a German art movement in the 1920s where artists were using a “celebration of mundane” objects alongside a “calm admiration of the magic of [their] being[4]. Implying, in my opinion, that in their visual art, artists were seeking out a surreal aesthetic by combining ordinary objects and forms in ways that exuded notions of the magical and the absurd.

However, when applying this definition to literature, how does magic realism successfully differentiate from neighbouring genres? As Stephen Slemon remarks, magic realism’s inability to diverge away from “fabulation, metafiction, the baroque, the fantastic, or the uncanny” have given reason for many critics to abandoned it altogether in a “theoretical vacuum” (Slemon, 1988, p.1). However, despite its ambiguity, magic realism still retains a certain cultural authority within Latin America. As Slemon continues, the very nature of its “incompatibility” within “established genre systems” symbolises its resistance to the “imperial center” and its “totalizing systems” (Slemon, 1988, p.1-2). Implying that there is is something intrinsic to the nature of magic realism literature that confounds the capacity of major genre systems to define it[5].

Interestingly, when we look to the perspective of a writer from the Caribbean itself, such as the Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier, this idea of magic realism being more than a literary genre is reaffirmed. As Carpentier contends, what Roh was observing in the visual art of the 1920s diverges from the magic realism now understood in literature – and immensely so from that which emerges from Latin America. Carpentier argues that what Roh described in the German art was Expressionism: using real objects in a way that distorts them, with the intention of creating something otherworldly that did not exist there to begin with[6]. Therefore this form of magic realism in art is a step away from daily reality, not towards it. Carpentier argues that the magic realism in Latin American literature does not aim to do this. For while the German artists of the early 20th century aimed to pursue surrealism in surrealism itself, writers like Carpentier and Màrquez only had to look for it in that which was common and ordinary to them in everyday life. In his work, The Baroque and the Marvelous Real, Carpentier, referring to magic realism as the ‘marvelous real’, elaborates here:



“The marvelous real that I defend, and that is our own marvelous real, is encountered in its raw state, latent and omnipresent, in all that is Latin America. Here the strange is commonplace and always was commonplace…the extraordinary is neither beautiful nor ugly; rather it is amazing because it is strange.” (Carpentier, 1975, p. 104)



This strangeness Carpentier talks of, one which inspires the need to illustrate it in a narrative, if prominent among many Latin American writers. As Màrquez himself said, those who live in Colombia have had to ask “but little of imagination” to evoke the absurdity of their lives for “surrealism runs through the streets” itself[7].

Therefore, when one reads One Hundred Years of Solitude, elements of a magical nature are not intended to simply promote fantasy for fantasy’s sake alone. Instead, magic realism evokes that which is ordinary and commonplace within Colombia and beyond throughout the vibrant strip called Latin America. While many of Màrquez’s works combine magic elements with the ordinary, he affirms that there does not exist a single line in all his work that did not have a basis in reality[8]. However, it is important to understand what Màrquez is implying by this.

As Shaibal Dev Roy suggests, “based in reality” can allude to two things. The first, being, that this reference to reality can refer to a “genuine fact or feeling” felt as “real” (Roy, 2013, p. 261). A portion of One Hundred Years of Solitude exemplifying this point is the death of the great Colonel Aureliano Buendia, which draws a “light rain of tiny yellow flowers” to fall from the sky to the extent that the townspeople of Macondo have to “clear them away with shovels and rakes” (p. 144). Therefore, the magic of it raining flowers expresses an emotional reality, not a literal one, one where nature acts “how it ought to, but usually does not” (Roy, 2013, p.262).

Second, Roy contends, the reality created out of Màrquez’s magic realism can constitute superstitious or mystical things “believed, or at least asserted”, by people living in Colombia (Roy, 2013, p. 261). One example reflecting this reality is the ghosts of the deceased that frequently pervade the Buendia home in Macondo. As shown in the following passage from One Hundred Years of Solitude, after Jose Arcadio Buendia kills Prudencio Aguilar by throwing a spear through his throat, the ghost of the man survives and haunts them:



“One night, when she could not sleep, Úrsula went out into the courtyard to get some water and she saw Prudencio Aguilar by the water jar. He was livid, a sad expression on his face, trying to cover the hole in his throat with a plug made of esparto grass. It did not bring on fear in her, but pity. She went back to the room and told her husband what she had seen, but he did not think much of it.” (p.22)



These examples reflect how via the use of magical elements, Màrquez can more thoroughly express something considered a “real” reality. In regards to the aforementioned example, the presence of ghosts in One Hundred Years of Solitude actually reflects Màrquez’s childhood home in Aracataca. In an interview, Màrquez remembers how he always felt it “inhabited” with figures of the dead; this was due to relatives of his often speaking to the deceased “as if they were present”, and because of the ghosts his grandmother “conjured in the stories” she told[9].

Thereby when we read Màrquez’s narrative with the understanding that it speaks allegorically of Colombia, we come to see how it articulates things that may not be necessarily “true”, but are nevertheless “real” to someone[10].

Magic realism, therefore, should not be considered in light of similar genres – such as fantasy or the baroque – where the surreal is knowingly false. Instead, the magic realism engrained in One Hundred Years of Solitude reflects that which is subjectively true. As Stephen Slemon describes, it is the roots magic realism has in all that constitutes Colombia that validates it; it gives magic realism a veritable “stamp of cultural authority” (Slemon, 1988, p.1).

But to fully explain why magic realism is an integral part of communicating the Colombian people, it’s necessary to further explore it’s social, cultural and historical relationship with them. As I continue in this essay, the roots of magic realism twist right back through history to the Spanish conquest of the “New World”.





 In 1492, Christopher Columbus, under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, infamously stumbled across the island he named San Salvador, while seeking a trade route into Asia[11]. A small, unknown island, in what is today the Caribbean; Columbus declared it a “New World” and property of Spain.

The indigenous population of the land – such as the Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs – initially welcomed the white foreigners, having no qualms about sharing the land. This comes down to how many archaic indigenous populations operated, as they didn’t consider the land as their own property. However, the Spaniards did, and ruthlessly fought, killed and subdued the indigenous population in a series of battles to control and establish settlements upon it.

In the context of Colombian identity, the most notable effect of the Spanish colonisation of Latin America is the extent to which they both reduced the number of natives, and then diversified the remaining population. Historians estimate that before colonisation, an approximate 100 million natives inhabited South America, however – due predominately to the foreign diseases Europeans brought over with them – only an estimated 8 million remained by 1650.

These natives were then widely enslaved alongside innumerable Africans shipped over by the Spaniards to construct their proposed new settlements. Over the following three centuries of colonial society, these three groups diversified further still as they naturally began to procreate with one another. The result was an incredibly diverse and culturally hybridized population, one constituted of a variety of castes ranging from mestizos (European-Indian), mulatos (European-African) and zambos (African-Indian).

It’s in this light that we can attempt to understand the life in Colombia Màrquez illustrates in One Hundred Years of Solitude. As generations onwards, what constitutes the identity of the nation is historically steeped in both the traditional mysticism of Latin American natives, and the empirical rationalism of the Europeans.

The interaction of the Spaniards and the natives of South America also ignited what is considered today as the Columbian exchange[12]. Between the Old World and the New World, an exchange of diseases, food, ideas, crops and, of course, populations occurred (Nunn & Qian, 2010, p. 163). While the Old World, which is not just Europe but the entire Western Hemisphere, received more in terms of goods, the New World were exposed to something more impacting: modernity.

Certain passages of magic realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude – the sensationalising of the ordinary – reflect the cultural effect colonisation had on the native population of Colombia. In the opening of text, Colonel Aureliano Buendia recalls a distant afternoon when his father took him to “discover ice” (p.1). The ice, brought by the gypsies who frequent Macondo throughout the entire narrative, appears to the townspeople as thing of magic: a “great invention of [their] time” (p.18). Melquiades, one of the gypsies, brandishes “two metal ingots” which, to everyone’s amazement, causes “pots, pans, tongs, and braziers” to fly out of place (p.2). Alongside these they also parade such western inventions such as a “telescope” and a “magnifying glass”, which they assert has the power to “eliminated distance” (p.3).

These objects, while ordinary to the reader and would have been to Europeans, were to the inhabitants of Macondo as they would have been to Latin America natives: as things of wonder, but also fear. In his Nobel Prize speech, Màrquez exemplifies this point by briefly telling of a Florentine navigator who came across a native in Patagonia. Upon approaching the man, the navigator “confronted [him] with a mirror”, to which the native reeled to the “terror of his own image” and completely “lost his senses” (Màrquez, 1982).

The effects modernity had on Latin America, as well as later on during Màrquez’s upbringing in Aracataca, are exemplified in a multitude of way in One Hundred Years of Solitude. One example I think most notable is the emergence of banana plantations throughout Macondo, which scalps the town of its resources and beleaguers it with foreigners. While you can imagine this illustrating the colonisation of Latin American natives, this example is actually a direct parallel to Màrquez’s hometown in Aracataca. In 1910, much of Colombia began to be overcome with plantations owned by the American United Fruit Company, of which many foreigners began to flock the area for work. In an interview[13], Màrquez recalls the effect the banana plantations brought upon the once modest and simple townspeople of Aracataca:



“I remember the wire fences; the ever-neat green lawns; the swimming pools with outdoor tables and umbrellas; the tall, blond, ruddy-faced men in their explorer outfits; their wives decked in muslin dresses; and their adolescent daughters, playing tennis or going for casual drives in their convertibles around Aracataca”. (The Paris Review, 2014)



The effects the banana plantations had on Aracataca, which left it irreparably changed, is illustrated by Màrquez in the eventual ruin of Macondo. Both towns are left in the wake of the foreign interest in the banana fields, leaving locals feeling as if they had “survived a shipwreck”, left to cling to the “precarious resources of times gone by” (p. 256).

In this same light, we can also see how magic realism, and it’s sensationalising of the ordinary, also reflects how the Spaniards felt upon discovering South America. One only has to look at the tales of El Dorado, a tale of a city of gold that emerged out of Spaniards discovering the Inca and Aztec treasures. This element of magic realism, the reinterpretation of something ordinary as fantastic in the eyes of another, is prevalent throughout the entirety of One Hundred Years of Solitude. One only has to look to the “flying carpets” used by the gypsies, which to them were mere “objects of recreation” (p.31).

It’s these enmeshed societies, one caught between the impossibly old and the “appallingly new, where magic realism emerges as the necessary tool to describe it[14]. As by the time Marquez in born in Aracataca in 1927, Colombia and its identity were an irreparably intertwined blend of both traditional mysticism and contemporary technology and modernity.





While One Hundred Years of Solitude speaks allegorically of Colombia as a whole, Macondo itself is a window into Aracataca, Màrquez’s birthplace. As said in the text’s opening lines, Macondo is built on polished stones, “white and enormous” like “prehistoric eggs” (p.1), which are the very same that Màrquez describes of his hometown in Living to Tell the Tale[15].

The town is erected alongside a river flowing down from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountain range, embedded in thick forest and swampland. Settled in 1855 by people fleeing the burgeoning violence erupting in Colombia at the time, the town is intentionally isolated from much of inland Colombia. Similar to Macondo, Aracataca thereby existed for decades autonomously to the technology and large-scale infrastructure that was transforming the rest of the Colombia[16].

The general population of Aracataca, as I’ve discussed, was already inherently diversified due to this history of Colombia. And it’s the persistent balance of magic and the ordinary in the magic realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude that is redolent, in my opinion, of the cultural heterogeneity Màrquez was raised within.

As Chotiudompant states, at the time of Màrquez’s birth in Aracataca in 1927, the coastal area of Colombia had already absorbed much of the dominant Spanish culture. However, Colombia still retained much of the native Indian and Afro-Caribbean culture as well. Additionally, Aracataca was only 80kms from the northern coastline, so the town would also receive travellers by sea who would pass through and sometimes settle there.

This amalgamation of cultures – distinct from one another but nevertheless coexisting in the same space – constitutes the identity, or “consciousness”, of Latin America[17]. As Chotiudompant elaborates in the following passage, to consider a nation’s identity as singular is to ignore the alternative definitions and understanding:



“…nation-hood [is] often exploited in colonial discourse, especially those which dwell on such materialistic ideas as the purity of race and the definiteness of geographical borders; their redefinitions of nationhood allow scholars to share a view that nationhood is a fluid, dynamic concept…” (p.1)



Instead, he continues, we must consider a nation with a more contemporary definition. No longer does nationhood rely on material aspects, rather, it “hinges on the subject’s imagination” (Chotiudompant, 2003, p.1) However, if we consider this imagined identity as nevertheless illusory in Colombia, we can still understand how magic realism comes to represent that idea. For while in a town like Aracataca, where identity is either singular or imaginary, the reality is that life continues and people are still coexisting. In One Hundred Years of Solitude, this can be reflected in the idea that even though magic and realism are incompatible entities, the reality they create still exists in the realm of the narrative. Therefore, when we consider that the narrative reflects Colombia, we can then surmise that Màrquez is saying that while the surreal and the real don’t mix that the reality still exists regardless, and will continue doing so regardless of external definitions.

If we recall our earlier definition of magic realism, life in both Macondo and Aracataca are “suspended” between these two modes of being. Where within this fluid “hybrid reality” one exists between the “myths, portents and legends” of one, and the “technology and modernity” of the other (Geetha, 2010, p.1)

Magic realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude also reflects the distinct lifestyle Màrquez was brought up in, for during the first eight years of his life, he was raised by his paternal grandparents. In an interview with Apuleyo Mendoza in Fragrance of the Guava, Màrquez accredits his grandmother, Doña Tranquilina Iguarán Cotes, for instilling in him an appreciation of the surreal by always treating “the extraordinary” as something “perfectly natural” (p. 12)[18]. He recalls her telling incredulous stories of the utmost “supernatural and fantastic”, but with a complete naturalness and a “brick face”. As the first and most predominant source of the magic throughout his early life, Màrquez states it was her who exposed and enriched him with Latin America’s subcutaneous mysticism[19].

This element of Colombian identity, this mysticism and enchantment of perspective, channeled through Màrquez’s grandmother, is reflected in a variety of ways in magic realism. But done so in a way, as mentioned before, which has a basis in some form of Màrquez’s reality.

For example, the “suffocating fluttering of yellow butterflies” (p.296) which follow Mauricio Bablionia stems from a memory of Màrquez’s grandmother bemoaning an electrician who, whenever he would frequent their house, would leave it filled with the same butterflies[20]. When Remedios the Beauty “ascend[s] to heaven in body and soul” (p.256), the idea stems from Màrquez’s memory of a villager who, when her granddaughter ran away, spread a rumour that she had instead ascended to heaven[21]. Even the act of Father Nicanor Reyna’s “demonstration of levitation” by “drinking chocolate” (p. 85), is actually based of a Latin America legend which believes chocolate has the power to impart visions[22].

However, while in this way the magic realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude reflects the surreal in Colombia, so too does it reflect a raw reality almost as unbelievable. Màrquez’s grandfather, a retired Liberal Colonel named Nicolás Ricardo Márquez Mejía, was a constant reminder of the unfathomable bloodshed that stained Colombia. Having fought in the War of a Thousand Days, Nicolas contrasted his wife Ursula in her wonder and magic and frequently, according to Màrquez, reminded him of the political history of brutality that was still rooted in the nation. An example of this is the Banana Massacre on December 6th, 1928, which stemmed out of the same American United Fruit Company mentioned earlier. In Cienaga, a small town near Santa Marta, the Conservative government ordered the Colombian army to kill an undetermined number of workers striking.

In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Màrquez reenacts the same event, and implements the absurd reality of it raining for “four years, eleven months, and two days” (p. 320) afterwards to evoke, as Roy described it, how nature would have reacted if it could. It’s in this light that we can consider Màrquez’s following passage:


…our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render out lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude” (Màrquez, 1982)


Implying that while magic realism evokes that which inspires wonder and magic, it also reflects the brutality of a country steeped in endemic political bloodshed.





In his Nobel Prize speech, Màrquez states how that while in 1810 Colombia achieved independence from Spanish rule, it by no means put them beyond the “reach of madness” (Màrquez, 1982). For from within those independence wars grew a conflict between two disparate political ideologies, one between the Liberals and the Conservatives. Between the two, severe infighting throughout Colombia ensued for decades, with there being no fewer than eight civil wars and fifty government insurrections between 1863 and 1885[23].

By the end of that year, the Conservatives were in control of the government and executively excluded Liberals from power. In 1899, after the Conservatives lowered the international price of coffee, Liberals began fighting in rural areas as the party represented many plantation owners and import-export merchants. In 1899, the infighting extrapolated into a series of disorganised, but highly destructive, guerilla-style wars lasting until 1902. This onslaught, deemed the War of a Thousand Days, ultimately killed between 60,000 – 130,000 people[24] – only ceasing when the Conservatives offered amnesty and political reform to the Liberals on June 12th.

For two decades the infighting somewhat ceased, but instances like the Banana Massacre kept reigniting simmering tensions between the two parties until 1948 when La Violencia erupted. This specific civil war is still Colombia’s most brutal, with the dead amounted close to approximately 300,000. It wasn’t until 1957 that the two parties ended the brutality by agreeing to share governmental power for 16 years, alternating every four. However this spurred new political infighting of its own, as the agreement excluded any other political parties from governmental process.
It was during this political chaos that Màrquez was raised in Aracataca, and then studied and worked as a journalist in Bogota. On April 9th, 1948, a popular Liberal presidential candidate, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, was assassinated. The three days of rioting followed – which later evolved into La Violencia – destroyed Màrquez’s apartment and manuscripts in a fire. The bloodshed and brutality that Màrquez witness while a young adult in Colombia, is one he describes as not a reality “of paper”, but one that “lives within” him, within all Colombians, and one that “nourishes a source of insatiable creativity” within him to convey it[25].

The way Màrquez uses magic realism to do so in One Hundred Years of Solitude, is through a consistent theme of time’s cyclical, endless nature. For in the narrative when Colonel Aureliano Buendia reflects on his role within the political war, he remarks that he was “weary of the uncertainty”, that the “vicious circle” of that “eternal war” was leaving him in “the same place”, but “older, wearier” (p. 171).

This cyclic nature of time, which contrasts to the Western linear model, is reflected multiple times through Màrquez’s writing. In one passage, Jose Arcadio Buendia remarks on one Tuesday that it was instead “still Monday, like yesterday”; that time had not passed, but rather had frozen (p. 80). Ursula, as well as other characters such as Colonel Aureliano Buendia, frequently observe that “the world is repeating itself” (p. 310). While the repetition of family names such as “Aureliano” and “Arcadio”, which both bear distinct, separate personality traits, also illustrate the cyclical nature of history, their family and time itself.

This surreal manipulation of time, I believe, is intended to reflect the enmeshing of two disparate world beliefs within Colombia. While on the surface cyclical time reflects the fruitlessness of war, it’s also an idea heavily embedded in Latin American history. One example are the Maya civilization, who believed that months and days repeated endlessly and were imbued with good and bad characteristics. However, this jars with the Western, rational approach to time, who believe it to be progressing forward and linear like an arrow.

 Magic realism further illustrates the nature of war in One Hundred Years of Solitude with a plague, a “sickness of insomnia” (p.47), that grips Macondo. When asked about the meaning of the plague in an interview, Màrquez described how he perceives the “political violence in Colombia” having the same “metaphysics” as “a plague”; that war was very much like a virus, something that permeates an entire population[26].

And much like the horror of a plague, the pure extent of the unbridled chaos of it is hard to convey to outsiders, and that within Colombia their “crucial problems” has been a lack of “conventional means” to “render our lives believable”. In Marquez’s own reference to the Western world attempting to describe Colombia in their own dialect, he elaborates:



“It is only natural that they insist on measuring us with the yardstick that they use for themselves, forgetting that the ravages of life are not the same for all, and that the quest of our own identity is just as arduous and bloody for us as it was for them.” (Màrquez, 1982)






Through an exploration of the Colombian identity, which involves the breadth of Latin American history leading up to formulation of the nation itself, I believe the significance behind magic realism reveals itself. It is not only a preferred tool for writing an engaging narrative, but a necessary one, one intrinsic in describing the consciousness of the continent[27]. The reality suspended between the surreal and the real is a window into a lifestyle experienced daily, and throughout history, by the inhabitants of Colombia. It’s a nation of an undefined identity, which relies more upon the imagination of the individual rather than any objective reference point. Throughout One Hundred Years of Solitude, I believe Marquez is intending to reflect this identity, one inherently intertwined with the indigenous population of South America, but also of the Europeans who have engrained themselves within that continent.

Magic realism is Colombia. By understanding this literally in the context I’ve delineated in this essay, we can attempt to understand this way of life alternate to our own rational interpretation of it. However, regardless of whether we are capable or not, the surreal reality between myth and history will continue to exist regardless. As Marquez concluded his Nobel Prize speech with:



“…solidarity with our dreams will not make us feel less alone…for Latin America neither wants, nor has any reason to be a pawn without a will of its own; nor is it merely wishful thinking that its quest for independence and originality should become a Western aspiration…” (Marquez, 1982)








Chotiudompant, S. (2002). Decolonization and Demystification: One Hundred Years of Solitude and Nationhood. Manusya, 5, pp.68-87.

Faris, W. (2002). The Question of the Other: Cultural Critiques of Magical Realism. Janus Head, 5(2), pp.101-119.

García Márquez, G. and Grossman, E. (2003). Living to tell the tale. New York: A.A. Knopf.

García Márquez, G. (1970). One hundred years of solitude. New York: Harper & Row.

Kandell, J. (2014). Gabriel García Márquez, Conjurer of Literary Magic, Dies at 87. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].

Kennedy, W. (1973). The Yellow Trolley Car in Barcelona, and Other Visions. [online] The Atlantic. Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].

Mendoza, P. and García Márquez, G. (1983). The fragrance of guava. London: Verso., (1982). Gabriel García Márquez – Nobel Lecture: The Solitude of Latin America. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].

Norcross, J. (2013). Understanding Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude: An Analysis with a Lens for History and Anthropology. Harper and Row Press, Colombia. 1967., A with Honors Projects. Paper 87, pp.1-17.

Nunn, N. and Qian, N. (2010). The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas.Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(2), pp.163-188.

Rave, M. (2003). Magical Realism and Latin America. Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 481.

Roy, S. (2013). The Sources of Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Stamford Journal of English, 7(0).

Slemon, S. (1988). Magic Realism as Postcolonial Discourse. Canadian Literature, 116, pp.9 – 24.

Stone, P. (2014). Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Nov. 2014].

[1] See Slemon, Stephen. (1990) “Magic Realism as Postcolonial Discourse” p.10-11

[2] See Màrquez, Gabriel Garcia. (1982) “Nobel Lecture: The Solitude of Latin America”

[3] See Oxford Dictionary:

[4] See Roh, Franz. (1925) “Magic Realism: Post Expressionism” p.15-32

[5] See Slemon, Stephen. (1990) “Magic Realism as Postcolonial Discourse” p.10-11

[6] See Carpentier, Alejo. (1975) “The Baroque and the Marvelous Real” p.102-104

[7] See Màrquez, Gabriel Garcia. (1982) “Nobel Lecture: The Solitude of Latin America”

[8] See Stone, Peter H. (1981) “Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Màrquez”

[9] See Kandell, Jonathan. (2014) “Gabriel Garcia Màrquez, Conjurer of Literary Magic, Dies at 87”

[10] See Roy, Shaibal Dev. (2013) The Sources of Magic Realism in One Hundred Years of Solitude of Gabriel Garcia Màrquez” p. 261

[11] Note: All information following this I sourced predominantly using the Encyclopedia Britannica website ( regarding Latin American history/The Spanish Colonisation of Latin America/Colombian civil wars/history of Aracataca/etc

[12] See Nunn, Nathan & Qian, Nancy. (2010) “The Colombian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food and Ideas” p.1

[13] See Stone, Peter H. (1981) “Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Màrquez”

[14] See Faris, W. (2002). “The Question of the Other: Cultural Critiques of Magical Realism” 

[15] See Màrquez, Gabriel Garcia. (2002) “Living to tell the Tale” p.2

[16] See Norcross, John D. (2013) “Understanding Garcia Màrquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude: An Analysis with a Lens for History and Anthropology” p.3

[17] See Suradech, Chotiudompant (2003) “Decolonization and Demystification: One Hundred Years of Solitude and Nationhood” p.7

[18] See Mendoza, Apuleyo. (1983) Fragrance of the Guava”

21 See Stone, Peter H. (1981) “Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Màrquez”

[20] See Stone, Peter H. (1981) “Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Màrquez”

[21] See Mendoza, Apuleyo. (1983) Fragrance of the Guava” p.47

[22] See Rave, Eugenia (2003) “Magic Realism and Latin America” p.42

[23] Note: All information following this I sourced predominantly using the Encyclopedia Britannica website ( regarding Latin American history/The Spanish Colonisation of Latin America/Colombian civil wars/history of Aracataca/etc

24 Note: All information following this I sourced predominantly using the Encyclopedia Britannica website ( regarding Latin American history/The Spanish Colonisation of Latin America/Colombian civil wars/history of Aracataca/etc

[25] See Màrquez, Gabriel Garcia. (1982) “Nobel Lecture: The Solitude of Latin America”

[26] See Stone, Peter H. (1981) “Paris Review – The Art of Fiction No. 69, Gabriel Garcia Màrquez”

[27] See Suradech, Chotiudompant (2003) “Decolonization and Demystification: One Hundred Years of Solitude and Nationhood” p.7


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