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Invitation to World Literature

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A scene of village life in Latin America, from the early 20th century. The water-bottle vendor doing business in this village might bring interesting news from the outside world, just as the gypsies who visited Macondo brought news and inventions and wonders to the villagers there. It was in this kind of small village that Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1927.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, in 1911. This photo is from the same time period as the photo of the water-bottle vendor in the village; life in the capital was far more Europeanized, with no traditional clothing or dirt roads to be seen.
Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Gabriel García Márquez, photographed in the 1970s, shortly after the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude. The city street he is on is very reminiscent of the Colombian street scene from 1911.
Katherine Young/Getty Images
David Damrosch talks about this image
This illustration shows two men who illustrate the basic characteristics of all the José Arcadios and Aurelianos in the novel, while listing the twisting family tree that spawned them all. The Aureliano, on the left, is neat and quiet, and almost disappearing from view, while the José Arcadio on the right is big and powerful and demanding attention.
Folio Society
David Damrosch talks about this image
An illustration of Macondo, the magical village founded by the first Buendías where the novel takes place. The many men and women who live, love, hate, fly, and get rained on by flowers in the village are represented.
Folio Society
One artist's conception of the rain of yellow flowers that falls on Macondo when the first José Arcadio Buendía, patriarch of the Buendías family and founder of Macondo, dies.
Pedro Villalba Ospina
A young Mexican reads a special section of the newspaper devoted to celebrating the 80th birthday of García Márquez in 2007.
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images