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article imageFirst legal Chinese version of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’

By Igor I. Solar     May 1, 2011 in Entertainment
Beijing - Gabriel García Marquez’ masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” has been known to Chinese readers for more than 20 years through several unauthorized editions. The first legal edition of the novel will be released in Beijing this summer.
Since the publication of the first Spanish language edition in 1967, the book has been translated into 37 languages, including Chinese, and it has sold more than 20 million copies. Pirated editions of the famous novel have been widely available in China since 1980. According to Chinese newspaper “Global Times”, when Gabriel (“Gabo”) García Márquez visited China in 1990 and learned about the local widespread piracy of his works, he was so infuriated he promised that “not even one hundred and fifty years after his death, his books would be authorized in China”.
The celebrated Colombian writer, 84, now living in México, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. At the time he received the award he had already published several other celebrated works, however his novel “One hundred Years of Solitude”, the saga of 7 generations of the Buendía family in legendary Macondo, remains as his most acclaimed achievement.
Cover of the first Spanish language edition of  One Hundred Years of Solitude : Editorial Sudamerica...
Cover of the first Spanish language edition of "One Hundred Years of Solitude": Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires, 1967
In 2009, the global literary journal Wasafiri commissioned a survey of 25 international writers asking them to name the books that have most influenced world literature over the last 25 years. “One hundred years of solitudetopped that list. Gabo’s celebrated novel is also included in place 33 of the list of Le Monde’s 100 best books of the 20th Century. Pulitzer Prize winner author William J. Kennedy believes “One Hundred Years of Solitude has become second only to the Bible as a universal text, and I think the Bible is losing ground.”
For the past 20 years almost 100 Chinese publishers have contacted the writer through the Embassy of Colombia and the Embassy of Mexico attempting to obtain the copyright of the famous magic-realism masterpiece. García Márquez has steadfastly refused. However, 20 years later, China's publishing house Thinkingdom Media Group Ltd. participated in a bid approved by the writer’s Spanish agent Carmen Balcells and acquired the publishing rights in China for GBP 600,000 (just over a million dollars), according to the Global Times. Thinkingdom is now preparing the first legal edition of the one of the most celebrated books ever published. The book is expected to be available in formal Chinese bookstores in the summer.
Thinkingdom House, based in Beijing, has China’s largest market share of publications of translated international literary works. It has published over 800 books in simplified Chinese with translation of the books of more than 200 foreign writers. The company promises to severely battle any further pirated editions of One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Cover of Gabriel García Márquez  Biography   A life  by Gerald Martin
Cover of Gabriel García Márquez' Biography "A life" by Gerald Martin
As far a future works by the aging novelist, both his agent Carmen Balcells and his biographer Gerald Martin believe “Gabo has laid down his pen for good”, as reported by Chilean newspaper La Tercera in 2009 (in Spanish). “I believe García Márquez will not write anymore" said Balcells.
Gerald Martin reinforced that statement by saying: "I also believe that Gabo won't write any more books, but I don't think this is too regrettable, because as a writer it was his destiny to have the immense satisfaction of having a totally coherent literary career many years before the end of his natural life,"
The novelist himself has openly discussed on the pressure placed on him by his literary career and the expectations of the public for additional works. Last December, at the 22nd Guadalajara International Book Fair, he told fans that he is done with writing: "It's a lot of work for me to write books."
View of Aracataca  Colombia. Birthplace of  Gabriel García Márquez  author of  One Hundred Years o...
View of Aracataca, Colombia. Birthplace of Gabriel García Márquez, author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude".
More about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Spanish language novelist, Colombia, Nobel prize winner
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