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Public, Private and Secret Lives

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In Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ biography, written by Gerald Martin, Garcia Marquez is quoted as saying that everyone leads three lives: a public life, a private life and a secret life. The concept is an interesting one; most would recognize the contours of our public and private lives, but to posit a third, secret life, is something new. 

The quote was in response to Martin’s questioning Garcia Marquez about a relationship he had with a Spanish woman while writing No One Writes to the Colonel. While this episode is well-known amongst serious students of Garcia Marquez, it is not otherwise well known. Even more unusual (and perhaps within the realm of the private) is the fact that years after the relationship ended, when Garcia Marquez had become a celebrated author, he bought the apartment below the apartment in Paris where the woman lived with her husband and children. Such a lack of jealousy is, I suppose, very European, but Garcia Marquez is from the Colombian coast, a place where jealousy burns and betrayal is paid in blood.

Do our secret lives illuminate our public personae? Are the answers to difficult questions found there? Sergio Roncagliolo, in his La cuarta espada, claims that the history of Sendero Luminoso began with an amorous rejection, a failed love story. How much of history is owed to these secret lives?

Written by mokane

June 10, 2009 at 12:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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