University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center which acquired the legendary Latin American writer, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's works two years ago has digitalized the collection, making it available to the public for free.
A Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) contributed to the searchable, online archive which consists of nearly 27,500 items from Garcia Marquez's papers possible.
The digital archive includes manuscript drafts of the legendary writer's published and unpublished works, research material, photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, clippings, notebooks, screenplays, printed material, ephemera, including an audio recording of Marquez's acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, the Harry Ransom Center's website noted.
Part of the collection bought by the Ransom Center for US$2.2 million hasn't been digitized, including the 10 drafts of García Márquez’s final, unfinished novel, “We’ll See Each Other in August." A chapter from the novel was published in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia in 2014, shortly after García Márquez’s death at age 87.
But a 32-page draft section of the projected second volume of García Márquez’s memoirs is available online that covers the years the Nobel Laureate spent in Europe and then Mexico City, where he died.
"Often estates take a restrictive view of their intellectual property, believing scholarly use threatens or diminishes commercial interests," Steve Enniss, the director of the Ransom Center, told the New York Times.
“We are grateful to Gabo’s family for unlocking his archive and recognizing this work as another form of service to his readers everywhere."
The Colombian writer most known for his iconic works like Hundred Years of Solitude, Chronicles of a Death Foretold was also a fierce critic of the U.S. imperialism. Marquez, lovingly called as 'Gabo' by many, had close ties to the revolutionary Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Fidel, known to be an avid reader, also acted as an unofficial copy editor to the Colombian Nobel Laureate,
"He even became one of the first reviewers of Gabo’s books," Stephanie Panichelli-Batalla, a Marquez scholar said, according to Jacobin.
The legendary author was fascinated by Fidel’s socialist model for Cuba, considering it ideal for neighboring countries to adopt across the continent. He considered himself more "a sympathizer than a real militant."
Marquez was introduced to Marxist teachings while he was in secondary school in Zipaquira, where teachers had been taught Marxist theory under President Alfonso Lopez’s leftist government of the 1930s.
"When I was young,” Marquez told the New Left Review in the April 1983 issue, “he (grandfather) would regale me with horrifying accounts of the last civil war that free-thinkers and anti-clerics waged against the conservative government. My grandfather also told me about the massacre of the banana workers which took place in Aracataca the year I was born. So you see my family influenced me toward rebellion rather than toward upholding the established order."