Thursday, 24 April 2014

A Tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez died on April 17 at 87 years of age.  He was born in Colombia and died in Mexico City.
Marquez wrote 6 full-length novels.  They were tales of love, loss and magic, rooted in Latin American history.  He wrote many non-fiction books and short stories. He popularized a literary style known as magical realism, which uses magical elements and events in order to explain real experiences.
His biography, titled "Living To Tell the Tale" documented his life from birth to 1950.  It is believed that he had intended to write his life story in 3 volumes. Several other authors have written biographies of Marquez' life.
Marquez is world-renowned and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982.
Colombia has declared 3 days of mourning.  Tributes have come from many sources. Bill  Clinton praised the legacy of García Márquez, adding: "I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty. He captured the pain and joy of our common humanity in settings both real and magical. I was honoured to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years."

"One Hundred Years of Solitude" is considered to be Marquez' masterpiece. It was first published in Spanish in 1967, and subsequently has been translated into thirty-seven languages and has sold more than 30 million copies.
I read this book in 1999.
Alas!  It was beyond my understanding.  Sample: "Time also stumbled and had accidents and could therefore splinter and leave an eternalized fragment in a room". I could not tell you what that book was about until I found the Spark Notes version.  Aha! 

My friend Terri has a great appreciation of Marquez' writing and has a collection of his novels and biographies.  She informed me of his death.  Terri's favourite book is "Love in the Time of Cholera". She certainly has a feel for this man's writing and this particular book really touches a chord in her heart.  She has a real connection with the man and his writing.

Gabriel Garcia quotes:
"The secret of good old-age is none other than an honest pact with solitude". 
"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams".(Memories of My Melancholy Whores)

"Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself." (Love in the Time of cholera)

"If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already." (One Hundred Years of Solitude)

“One minute of reconciliation is worth more than a whole life of friendship!” ― Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezOne Hundred Years of Solitude

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