is a unique phenomenon that does not at all depend on his getting international prizes.
When the El Pais interviewer Jesus Ceberio asked him why he considers Chronicle his best novel, Garcia Marquez tried to explain in the following way:
One always thinks the best novel is the last-born, but I think this is, because • I've succeeded in what I set out to do. [One is also reminded of the Playboy interview where he has expressed a similar idea. There, of course, we are told the reaction of its first reader Dr. Fidel Castro who had likened it to a clockwork—all the details work out beautifully, they are precise and to the point, and not only that, each and every detail is interlocked and interdependent, and if any one is missed or removed the whole work would collapse.] The novels as they are being written want to break free out of the writer's hands, the characters take on their own good. In none of my other novels have I such a mastery over them, as this one. Probably because of the subject and the volume. This has a proper theme, a strict tight structure like a detective novel and is quite short. I'm satisfied with the result. I think my best book before this was No One Writes to the Colonel, and noiOne Hundred Years of Solitude, and I've often said this. But now I think that my best book is this one.
One is immediately struck by the similarity of Marquez's statements in this interview and that quoted earlier, even though the conversations took place at different times and the interviewers were different. It seems as if he wants to hammer emphasise time after time, the idea that Chronicle is his best work. Both in the El Pais interview and in his conversation with Apuleyo Mendoza he tells us how this novel was born :
This novel goes back thirty years. The beginning is a real event, a murder which took place in a small Colombian town. I was very close to the actors of the drama at a time when I had written just a few pieces, but I still hadn't published my first novel. I immediately took into account that I had extremely important material, but my mother learned of it and demanded that I did not write while certain if its protagonists were still alive. She cited the names. I gave it up. I thought that the drama had come to an end but it continued to evolve and lots of things followed. If I'd written it then, a lot of essential elements would have been lacking, that could help one to understand the story better. (I decided to write it) about five years ago, after The Autumn of the Patriarch, when the protagonists mentioned by my mother died. She had demanded I did not write it because she thought I was going to report on this event (as a journalist). It's interesting to see now, that the novel which came out of that reality has nothing to do with it....rve used
78 January-June 1985