This week the magical realist writer Gabriel García Márquez was put on Colombia’s 50,000 peseta bill, entering good company in the world of literary currency. The author of the beloved books One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera was interviewed at his home in Mexico City in 1987, and revealed how he created his now-iconic works of magical realism:

At times it seems like I’m always a little distracted, that I’m a bit off in the clouds. At least that’s what my friends, Mercedes [his wife], and my children say. I give that impression, but then I discover a detail that reveals an entire world to me. The detail could be something I see in a painting.  Perhaps the fighting cock in this drawing could give me the solution for an entire novel. It’s just something that happens to me. I’m totally passive and it’s like a flash…

The computer has been such an important thing for me. It’s one of the world’s great discoveries. If they had given me a computer twenty years ago, I would have written twice as many books as I have.

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PMLA, Vol. 104, No. 2 (Mar., 1989), pp. 131-140
Modern Language Association