Saturday, April 04, 2009

Marquez Downs Pen

Although it was rumoured last year that Gabriel Garcia Marquez was working on a new novel, his agent announced this week that she thinks the 82 year old master of magical realism has put down his pen for good.

Now 82, Marquez's last book Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores, which attracted very mixed reviews, was published five years ago. Marquez in fact told fans last year that he was worn out by writing.
Mark Lawson on The Guardian blog reckons that great writers usually knock off work well before the ends of their lives as a way to control quality, but notes that fans and publishers find it hard to let go.

Postscript :

Did Agatha Christie suffer from Alzheimer's towards the end of her life? Academics at Toronto University have found :
... statistically significant drops in vocabulary, and increases in repeated phrases and indefinite nouns in 15 detective novels from The Mysterious Affair at Styles to Postern of Fate ... These language effects are recognised as symptoms of memory difficulties associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Thanks, Chet, for this link!

Incidentally, here's the original article in PDF and the analysing tool is here so you can try it yourself!

Nother Postscript :

Or have we just been too premature? Literary Saloon raps all our knuckles for spreading ill-founded gossip. Note to self - resist being sensationalist when the newspapers go down that route. We bloggers should be the real professionals!

More at The Guardian.

Question : what kind of agent doesn't know whether her star author is writing or not?


Chet said...

I think you'll find the following article about the quality of Agatha Christie's later books (and also Irish Murdoch's last book) interesting and relevant to your post.

Study claims Agatha Christie had Alzheimer's

Anonymous said...

Question : what kind of agent doesn't know whether her star author is writing or not?

Answer: A non-naggy one.


KayKay said...

I would also suggest that the disparity in quality between early and late-Christie is simply a case of exhausting one's "bag of tricks".
Remember the first Christie novel The Mysterious Affair Of Styles was publishhed in the early '20's and Postern Of Fate, her last came out in 1963 if I'm not mistaken. That's at least 4 solid decades of reader-deception to maintain and after 85 plus mystery novels and short stories with most of them relying on sleight of hand writing, the ingenuity of plotting and puzzles was bound to wear thin.

Chet said...

I wonder if he's going to fire his agent and get a new one?