Critical Rupture

That last sentence even recast Gabo’s writer’s block. Perhaps at this time Fuentes sat Garcia Marquez down and told him that earning fame and fortune was a legitimate part of a writer’s aspirations; it was okay to make money.

Martin suggests that such a talk could have taken place in September 1965.62 This would have been a double dose of pressure, creating the rupture. While broadening Gabo’s field, Fuentes had kept him in an elite social mix despite his bellicose ways: on the confidence of Harss’ choice of him for the interview, Garcia Marquez began to talk publicly about the epic that he had been supposedly writing, one paragraph a day since 1963. Now he really focused on it, writing several pages a day. Pressure mounted all around, but he crystallized. “He was, at last, the magician he had always wanted to be,” writes Martin.63 Every night friends came around to hear about the day’s work. He began to give readings. He became the figure that his supporters always believed he would be. He was finally reciprocating the emotional energy that had been invested in him.

He traveled to Colombia, reacquainting himself with his setting, and he left the first chapter of his new work with his old paper, El Espectador, which published it on May 1, 1966. In June he gave three chapters to Fuentes, who reported himself “dazzled.” Fuentes sent one to Mundo Nuevo in Paris with high praise and wrote an article for La Cultura en Mexico, calling it “magisterial.” Mendoza also spread the word, as did his old editor German Vargas in Bogota, who wrote of “A Book That Will Make a Noise.”64 These friends and the older writers were calling out a potential audience in the intellectual attention space, just at the moment when Garcia Marquez had found his double denial: not the political and intellectual, but the peasant wisdom; not realism but cinematic fluidity, while retaining the sotto voce understanding that the “peasant cinematic” was political. This was a unique prise de position, but to become the supernova of World Literature, he would require at least one more gatekeeper—an extraordinary agent.

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