Gabriel García Márquez and Magical Realism 🧚

Gabriel García Márquez’s writing style includes Intertextuality, suspense, magical realism, and layering.

Gabriel García Márquez

Colombian Novelist

The lines in García Márquez’s melodic style are incredibly long and descriptive, and they appear to go on forever. To maintain the back-and-forth rhythm of fluid and flowing words, he plays with mood, verb tense, and loads on adjective after adjective within each sentence.


Márquez has produced several enormous, all-encompassing novels that chronicle the lives of several characters over protracted periods. This kind of writing encourages the use of references by the author to clarify his text.

Márquez does this by using the intertextuality technique. Intertextuality is a literary device wherein a writer makes allusions to other fictional works (such as books, plays, movies, etc.) or actual historical occurrences. Authors can utilize intertextuality to explain a character or event in a novel to the reader by providing a skeleton for it. The method can also be applied to mock the subject being referenced. Márquez frequently makes use of Christopher Columbus in his writing. Latin American culture has been influenced by Columbus ever since it first emerged. Without him, Latino culture would not exist as it does today. He was there from the beginning. Christopher Columbus assumed a legendary status among the inhabitants of Central and South America, more so than in the US. The Admiral of the Ocean Sea, a character in ‘The Autumn of the Patriarch’, is modeled after Christopher Columbus.


Suspense is yet another tool that Márquez employs to advance his narratives. The genre of suspense films has gotten so successful that it is now a favorite in contemporary entertainment.

García Márquez reveals that there will be a death right away in ‘Chronicle of a Death Foretold’ by stating it in the title. Although doing so might eliminate the mystery, it makes the suspense more intense. Since the readers are aware that there will be a death, the audience continuously anticipates it and believes it is just around the corner.

Solitude and Loneliness

Márquez delves deeply into the theme of solitude, both as it pertains to specific characters and as it pertains to Latin America as a whole. Almost all of his writings, whether overt or subtle, have elements of loneliness.

Márquez is concerned with the solitude of Latin America as a whole. He addresses this in his appropriately titled Nobel Prize acceptance speech, “The Solitude of Latin America”. In his mind, the lives of the Latin American people have been viewed as ‘different’ by westerners. He believes that this is because the cultures and customs of Hispanics are measured against a standard that they did not create nor one they actively wish to emulate.

The life of the matriarch of the Buendía family, in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, Úrsula Iguarán, is the most accurate description of the theme of solitude. She is the longest-living member of the family. She witnesses the rise and fall of her household, bedridden and unable to affect much. She is depicted as lonely and somberly witnesses to the end of her family.

Magical Realism

The idea of reality is prevalent throughout all of García Márquez’s works. He experimented more with less conventional views of reality in his later works, leading to the statement that “the most terrible, the most bizarre things are told with the deadpan expression.”

One frequently used illustration is the character from ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude‘ who, while hanging the laundry out to dry, physically and spiritually ascends into paradise. These works’ literary genre, known as magical realism, is consistent with the “marvellous realm” Alejo Carpentier, a Cuban author, characterized.


García Márquez alluded to La Violencia (the violence), “a terrible civil conflict between conservatives and liberals that lasted throughout the 1960s, resulting in the lives of several hundred thousand Colombians,” in several of his works, including ‘No One Writes to the Colonel’, ‘In Evil Hour’, and ‘Leaf Storm’. Subtle allusions to violence can be seen in all of his books. Characters, for instance, are forced to live under unfair circumstances like curfews, press control, and underground newspapers. Despite not being one of García Márquez’s most well-known books, ‘In Evil Hour’ is noteworthy for its depiction of violence, including its “fragmented representation of social collapse caused by violence.”

The Fictional Town of Macondo

The setting of the place he refers to as Macondo is another significant motif in several of García Márquez’s works. He creates this fictional hamlet using Aracataca, Colombia, — his birthplace — as a cultural, historical, and geographic point of reference, however, the representation of the village is not limited to this particular region.

In ‘Leaf Storm’, García Márquez depicts the facts of the Macondo Banana Boom, which included a period of immense affluence while the US corporations were present and a period of depression when the US companies left. Additionally, Macondo is the setting of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, which chronicles the entire history of the made-up town from its inception until its demise.

Layering, A ‘Book-within-a-book’

There is a long history of novels that have a character producing a lengthy work as a plot device or even novels that are structured so that they appear to be the creation of one of the characters inside the text. like Margaret Atwood’sA Handmaid’s Tale or ‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Daniel Defoe. Two books have characters who continue to write as the reader reads them: Nabokov’s Lolita’, which is being written by Humbert Humbert as we read it, and Douglas Adams’ ‘A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘, which is updated as the story progresses.

It turns out that Melquiades’ writings are essentially the same book we’re reading in ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. And Aureliano, the last surviving Buendía, and the readers may be both reading Melquiades’ books at the same time (II).


What are the main components of Gabriel García Márquez’s writing style?

Intertextuality, suspense, magical realism, violence, solitude, and love, are prevalent themes in his oeuvre.

Who were Gabriel García Márquez’s literary influences?

Gabriel García Márquez has credited writers like William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and Franz Kafka as sources of inspiration.

What language did Gabriel García Márquez write in?

He wrote in Spanish, but he was also fluent in french.

Who pioneered magical realism?

The earliest and most popular works of magical realism date back to Alejo Carpentier, the Cuban writer

Charles Asoluka
About Charles Asoluka
Charles is an experienced content creator, writer, and literary critic. He has written professionally for multiple reputable media organizations. He loves reading Western classics and reviewing them.
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