As the university wraps up this year’s Fleur Cowles Symposium “Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy,” it’s worth noting the Libraries (specifically the Benson Latin American Collection and LLILAS Benson) involvement in support of the noted Colombian author’s archive at the Harry Ransom Center.
The Benson’s Mexican materials bibliographer Jose Montelongo accompanied Ransom Center director Stephen Ennis on a trip to Mexico City, where García Márquez spent his final years, to review the archive materials, and upon the announcement of the acquisition, Montelongo responded to media inquiriesproviding perspectives on the importance of the archive to the university and researchers, and on the author’s station in the literary canon.
As the premiere Latin American special collection in the western hemisphere, the Benson will provide the complementary resources and support for researchers who come to Austin to utilize the García Márquez archive, further strengthening the partnership between the two institutions.
The book gathers extensive primary source materials and original research and puts it all together to tell the story of a frightening and ultimately unsolved crime wave in the capital city during the time when UT was in its infancy. The tale is complete with clues, suspects, detectives, gory details and an elusive perpetrator that had the population of Austin on edge in 1885.
During the course of that year, six women, one man, and one child were murdered in their sleep by a silent, axe-wielding killer. Many more were attacked. The police and Pinkertons alike were powerless to stop the crimes. Then the murders ended as mysteriously as they began. Who was responsible? How was the person able to escape detection and capture? And why did the murders stop? James adds an accompanying essay that examines these still-tantalizing questions.
David Flaxbart is Head Librarian of the Mallet Chemistry Library.