Gabriel García Márquez on the Solitude of Writers and Dictators

Longreads

In the winter of 1981 Peter H. Stone interviewed Gabriel García Márquez for The Paris Review. The interview took place over three afternoons in the studio behind García Márquez’s home in Mexico. Although García Márquez’s English is “quite good,” he spoke mostly in Spanish, with his two sons translating. Below is an excerpt from The Art of Fiction No. 69:

INTERVIEWER

You often use the theme of the solitude of power.

GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

The more power you have, the harder it is to know who is lying to you and who is not. When you reach absolute power, there is no contact with reality, and that’s the worst kind of solitude there can be. A very powerful person, a dictator, is surrounded by interests and people whose final aim is to isolate him from reality; everything is in concert to isolate him.

INTERVIEWER

What about the solitude of the writer? Is…

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