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Gariel Garcia Marquez

October 21, 1990

In reference to "Gabo Talks," by Anthony Day and Marjorie Miller (Sept. 2). "Garcia Marquez is already famous as the author of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude,' which is selling better than the Bible in some Spanish-speaking countries." This is not true. As a native speaker of Spanish, I know that very few people in Latin American read Garcia Marquez books. He is too boring and morbid for our taste; his books are hardly popular reading.

Day and Miller's ignorance about Spanish literature is obvious when they say that Garcia Marquez is "considered one of the greatest masters of the Spanish language, since Miguel de Cervantes." That is like saying that Truman Capote is one of the greatest masters of the English language since Shakespeare. In almost 400 years, since the death of Cervantes, Spanish gave the world a literature equal in quality to anything written in English or French, Garcia Marquez excluded. In 20th-Century Latin American literature, the best writers are thought to be Alya Carpentier y Valmont and Jose Lezano Lima, not Garcia Marquez.

There is truth in Garcia Marquez's words when he says: "My name will be remembered for hundred of years, because of all those American graduate students writing these about my books." Garcia Marquez's literary reputation is the creation of English-speaking North American leftist graduate students. Both Garcia Marquez and his foreign admirers share in common a leftist perception of the world. This is the appeal he has in North America, and the only basis of his reputation.

JUAN FREEMAN

Los Angeles

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