Andrés Caicedo, the first enemy of Macondo

· Culture, Latin America

By Albeiro Rodas | Foto de Alberto Fuguet publicada por Cuarto Poder y foto de Andrés Caicedo.

The first enemy of Macondo”, it is the way that Alberto Fuguet, the Chilean writer, uses to refer to the Colombian poet who committed suicide in 1976. But, what is Fuguet saying and why? To understand such idea we have to know Fuguet, who dedicates to Caicedo many articles. As one of the so called New Chilean Narrative, Fuguet is as controversial as Caicedo and surely it is joining both characters. He was born in 1964 in Santiago, just several kilometers far from the northern South American city of Cali, where Caicedo was a young boy of 13 years old going from school to school and expulsion to expulsion of his turbulent life. At his 13 years old, 1989, almost 13 years after Caicedo drank 60 pills of secobarbital in Cali, Fuguet returned with his family from California to live in a country governed by Augusto Pinochet. But while Caicedo went to learn the language of the most popular sectors of his city, Fuguet had to learn his own language, Spanish, a factor that would play an interesting role in his literature.

The meeting among these two South American writers was in a neutral zone: Peru, the Inca country that links Chile and Colombia. Fuguet found “Ojo con el cine” (something like “Attention to the Cinema”) written by an unknown Colombian author, well known however in Colombia. It attracts his attention, a writer out of the influence of the García Márquez sovereignty.

“Caicedo is the missing link of the lost boom. He is the first enemy of Macondo. I do not know if he committed suicide or maybe was killed by García Márquez and the dominant culture of those times. He was less the rocker that the Colombians want and more an intellectual. A super genius tormented nerd. He had imbalances, anguish of living. He was not comfortable with the life. He had problems to stay on his foot. And he had to write in order to survive. He killed himself because he saw too much.” (1)

The observations of Fuguet, who is committed to make Caicedo known in Latin America, revealed that the sovereignty of the Latin American boom of Magic Realism, is not the only one to be focused in the region and that there are other proposals like the one of Caicedo who became a phenomenon shortly after his dead in Colombia. His book “¡Qué viva la música!” that he began to write in United State in 1973 in his intention to sell his play scripts to Hollywood, is considered one of the masterpieces of Caicedo by Fuguet. A real intellectual who loved films with the same passion of the universal literature, Caicedo describes in his works the deepest aspects of the city in characters seen by his turbulent personality. In this case, Caicedo seen to understand the side of Tomás Carrasquilla who said that the writer should look for his originality according with his own life. The Caicedo´s works are, therefore, his own life, a life made written words, most of them unpublished during his own time.


(1) CAREAGA, Roberto, Fuguet prepara antología de Andrés Caicedo, el primer enemigo de Macondo, La Tercera, Santiago de Chile, February 22, 2008.

Recommended readings:

  • Mac Margolis, Is Magic Realism Dead? Latin America’s new generation of writers is urban, savvy and full of grit. So cancel the toucans. Newsweek, May 06′ 02. Retrieved on June 27′ 08

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