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Speaker: Álvaro Santana-Acuña, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Whitman College
Chair: Michèle Lamont, Weatherhead Center Director; Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies; Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies, Departments of Sociology and African and African American Studies, Harvard University
Commentators: Gisèle Sapiro, Professor of Sociology at École des hautes études en sciences sociales and Research Professor at Centre national de la recherche scientifique, France; Mariano Siskind, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and of Comparative Literature, Harvard University; Diana Sorensen, James F. Rothenberg Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude seemed destined for obscurity upon its publication in 1967. The little-known author, small publisher, magical style, and setting in a remote Caribbean village were hardly the usual ingredients for success in the literary marketplace. Yet today it ranks among the best-selling books of all time. Translated into dozens of languages, it continues to enter the lives of new readers around the world. How did One Hundred Years of Solitude achieve this unlikely success? And what does its trajectory tell us about how a work of art becomes a classic? Ascent to Glory is a groundbreaking study of One Hundred Years of Solitude, from the moment García Márquez first had the idea for the novel to its global consecration. Using new documents from the author’s archives, Álvaro Santana-Acuña shows how García Márquez wrote the novel, going beyond the many legends that surround it.