Gabriel García Márquez’s initial fame, if history tells it properly, may have had as much to do with clever marketing as it did with talent, as he was unexpectedly listed as a writer of the Boom, interviewed and found a major publisher of Boom novels willing to bring out One Hundred Yearsof Solitude. Ángel Rama describes the Boom more in terms of clever marketing of novels for an ever-expanding literary culture in Latin America. Those issues notwithstanding, the marketers of the Boom could not have expected the monumental popularity of that novel, written by a relatively unknown Colombian novelist, Gabriel García Márquez, whose earlier works had taken years to sell a thousand copies. Regardless of the history, the novel turned the novelist into an instant celebrity. No amount of marketing can sustain very high volumes of sales of a novel for 50 years if it is simply a bad novel, although nearly everyone has a personal list of contenders for the world’s dullest classics. García Márquez followed that publication with short fiction that was just as imaginative, well written and technically interesting in ‘Innocent Erendira’, which was later filmed by Brazilian director Ruy Guerra (Erendira, 1983) with a film script penned by García Márquez himself. If The Autumn of the Patriarch demonstrated to critics that García Márquez was exceptionally talented, Chronicle of a Death Foretold provided readers and critics with an unusual form of journalistic detective fiction with no readily available culprit at the end.
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