With equal parts clarity and gilded nostalgia, I recall the first time I read the opening line of Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.” Often cited on lists of literature’s great first lines, the unusual configuration of words came tearing off the page. Who begins a story with, “Many years later”? [Read more…] about Many Years Later: Three Readings of One Hundred Years of Solitude
Books + Manuscripts
Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude, was published on May 30, 1967. A new book by Ransom Center guest curator and Whitman College assistant professor Álvaro Santana-Acuña–Ascent to Glory: How One Hundred Years of Solitude Was Written and Became a Global Classic (Columbia University Press, August 2020), explores how the novel achieved success and what it reveals about how a work of literature becomes a classic.
The Ransom Center is home to a collection of over 4,000 items related to a persecuted religious minority: the “recusants,” English Catholics who refused to participate in the Church of England, as mandated by English law from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.
Even with a print run of fewer than 200 copies, the Gutenberg Bible was a major undertaking. A complete copy, like the Ransom Center’s, includes 1,277 large pages that have text printed on them. Each full page required that approximately 2,500 individual pieces of metal type be set by hand, one at a time. And some pages had to be set twice, because Gutenberg decided to increase the Bible’s print run. With some rough multiplication, we end up with well over 3,000,000 times that someone had to pick up a piece of type and put it into a page forme and, then, after all copies of that page had been printed, take that piece of type out of the page forme and put it back so it could be used again. I think we’d all agree that that’s a lot of work.
More than 250 books and journals were recently donated to establish a Flash Fiction Collection at the Harry Ransom Center. The collection includes anthologies, journals, chapbooks, single-author collections, and books about the writing of flash fiction. [Read more…] about Flash Fiction Collection established at the Ransom Center
The Harry Ransom Center continues to monitor the local and global developments related to COVID-19, as well as changes in university guidelines.