Renowned scholar to lecture on Nobel laureate
February 2, 2009
By Darla Martin Tucker
Raymond L. Williams, noted scholar of contemporary Latin American novels, will present a lecture at La Sierra University on the works of Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez.
Williams is a professor of Latin American literature at the University of California, Riverside and a specialist on Marquez’s works. His talk, titled “Gabriel García Márquez: Decorative Annoyances and Related Distractions,” will take place Feb. 11, 6:30 p.m. at La Sierra’s Cossentine Hall 102. The presentation is free. Following the talk, Williams will share his various interviews with Márquez. La Sierra’s World Languages Department is sponsoring the event.
Márquez, born in Colombia in 1927, pursued a career as a journalist, short story writer and screenwriter following a brief stint studying law. Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Cervantes’s Don Quixote and the works of William Faulkner significantly influenced Márquez. During the Latin American boom of the 1960s, he garnered fame as a leading novelist and is best known for perfecting the unique Latin American style called “magic realism.”
Márquez won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982, the pinnacle of a lauded career that included publication in 1967 of his internationally acclaimed novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. “The novel has been translated into a large number of languages and has sold millions of copies. It is still being reprinted and read with undiminished interest by new readers,” states a release from the Swedish Academy, the Nobel prize-awarding organization.
Márquez’s large number of short stories, published in collections of stories and magazines, “give[s] further proof of the great versatility of García Márquez’s narrative gift,” the academy said. As a writer, Márquez championed the poor and the weak. As a journalist, he produced “many-sided,” inventive and provocative stories, the release stated.
UCR’s Williams has been publishing articles and books on Latin American post-modernism and the Latin American novelists of the boom since the 1970s. His most recent book focuses on Márquez. Williams authored a book on Márquez for the prestigious Twayne’s World Authors Series (1984) and the Columbia Guide to the Latin American Novel (2007). He has published scholarly articles and books on such Latin American writers as Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, and on women’s writing and eco-critical approaches to contemporary Latin American literature and Mexican fiction. Noted literary critic, William L. Siemens observed “[Williams’] greatest virtue as a scholar is perhaps that he reads voraciously and digests his readings very well.”
PR Contact: Larry Becker