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University of Texas acquires Gabriel Garcia Marquez archive

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez tried to avoid leaving "a personal paper trail," his son said.

By Frances Burns
University of Texas acquires Gabriel Garcia Marquez archive
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from his Facebook page.

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- The literary leavings of Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez will be joining those of other major writers at the University of Texas.

The Harry Ransom Center at the university's flagship campus in Austin announced Monday that it has bought the Garcia Marquez archive from his family, The price was not given out by either the family or the university.

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Garcia Marquez died in April at 87.

The center is already home to the papers of another major Spanish-language writer, Jorge Luis Borges, and of such literary giants as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner.

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"It's almost as if James Joyce meets Gabriel García Márquez, whose influence on the 20th-century novel in some way mirrored his own," the center's director, Steve Enniss, told the New York Times. "It's very fitting that García Márquez is joining our collections. It's hard to think of a novelist who has had as wide-ranging an impact."

There is a certain irony in the archive coming to the United States. Garcia Marquez, a native of Colombia who spent much of his life in Mexico City, was banned from the United States for many years because of his left-wing political views.

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Garcia Marquez also destroyed many of his rough drafts. So the collection includes, for his most famous book, "One Hundred Years of Solitude," the final typescript he sent his publisher.

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The collection does include several rough drafts of "We'll See Each Other in August," an unpublished novel. Garcia Marquez's widow, Mercedes, and his sons have not yet decided whether to publish the book.

The writer also left few personal papers. According to his family, he even offered to buy back his love letters from his wife-to-be once they became engaged.

Rodrigo Garcia called his father a "phone person."

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"I don't think he wanted to leave a personal paper trail," García said "What he would say was, 'Everything I've lived, everything I've thought, is in my books.'"

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