By Stephen Enniss
Gabriel García Márquez has had as profound an impact on the novel in the latter half of the twentieth century as James Joyce had in the first half. He showed us a new way of conceiving our individual and collective stories, a new way of recounting the past, and he did so in a style immediately recognizable as his own. In 1982 the Nobel Prize committee honored García Márquez "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts." For many of us, reading One Hundred Years of Solitude for the first time was something like the discovery of a new world.
The acquisition of the Gabriel García Márquez archive aligns with the Ransom Center's recently completed strategic plan, which singles out the growth of the Center's rich collections as an area of continued excellence, and it contributes to vitally important university goals for teaching and research.
The acquisition extends the international reach of the Ransom Center's collections, and, in the coming years, students and scholars will visit from around the globe to conduct research here that simply could not be undertaken anywhere else. Many will do so with fellowship support. The Ransom Center's strategic plan offers a blueprint for the ways we will strengthen and extend this important work through the highest standards of collection care, important new access initiatives, investment in and support for the Center's curatorial and professional staff, and expanded forms of outreach and community engagement.
All of us are, I trust, rightly proud of the extraordinary collections we are assembling here, but the future of the Ransom Center will rest on the many ways we give these collections new life in the years ahead.