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"See you in August." Marquez's New Novel Published

07.03.2024
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https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-68488756


“See You in August” is the latest, short—only 122 pages—novel by Gabriel García Márquez. It tells the story of a middle-aged woman named Ana Magdalena Bach, who has been happily married for 27 years and who has no reason to run away from the life she has built. However, every August she goes to visit her mother's grave on the island and for one night becomes a different person.
This Wednesday, the writer’s 97th birthday, the novel went on sale around the world.
Gabriel García Márquez worked long and hard on this novel, but was forced to interrupt its creation after his memory began to deteriorate. And a few years before his death, Marquez decided to abandon his brainchild altogether, declaring that “this book does not work, we must destroy it.”
However, the writer's sons, Rodrigo and Gonzalo, decided to rescue the novel from the archives of the University of Texas at Austin and publish it on the tenth anniversary of Marquez's death. “My hypothesis is that when he said that the novel didn’t work, he had already lost the ability to judge it sensibly. Yes, it is not as polished as his other novels, but it is not a meaningless jumble of words. I think he just didn’t realize it,” Rodrigo Garcia told reporters.
Editor-in-chief of the publishing house Planeta Unidos Cristobal Pera, who worked with Marquez himself on the novel “See You in August”, and now edited the final version of the book:
“In an interview that Marquez gave in Madrid, when he publicly read the first chapter of this novel, he told journalists that he was writing a series of short novels on the general theme of love in middle age. His novel “On Love and Other Demons” was part of this project.
Then, when he returned home in 2002 from Los Angeles, where he was being treated for cancer, the writer began writing the manuscript for what would become Remembering My Sad Whores, finishing and publishing it a year later. And then he devoted a whole year to working on the already existing draft of “See You in August.” He then sent the manuscript to the Balcells agency, and this was the fifth version, which he later abandoned. He refused in the sense that he left her alone, as he told his secretary Monica Alonso. It was she who helped him store the manuscripts.
In the last years of his life, when his memory was already failing him, he mentioned several times that he did not want to publish the novel, that he was not ready for this, etc. But, as the children say in the introduction to the book, readers will see that the novel, although not polished, but still complete.
Unlike any of his novels, this one has a female protagonist. And women are very important in his novels, starting with One Hundred Years of Solitude, and in all his stories, but they have never had such a leading role as Ana Magdalena Bach, a woman who decides to explore her sexuality and her freedom.
This leads to conflicts, but she continues to follow this path, although theoretically she is a happy woman and has no objective reasons for this.”

 

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