Sunday 20 April 2014


Photo: Gabriel García Marquez de la serie Frente al espejo. Caracas, 1982.

This past Thursday our beloved Gabo died in México leaving a lot of memories and yellow butterflies nostalgically fluttering around. My first García Márquez book was Relato de un naúfrago, as an assignment for school (one of the good ones). Cien Años de Soledad would follow. After that it was up to me keep discovering el Gabo and that thing people called magic realism, that as he many times pointed out, and as I suspected back then, is just normal/extraordinary life in that little piece of land right next to the Caribbean. My favorite book is El amor en los tiempos del cólera. It's so definitive. I also loved of course, El general en su laberinto, Del amor y otros demonios and Memorias de mis putas tristes. If you haven't read el Gabo yet, this is your time. It must be amazing having so much to discover from him, from Colombia, from life, chaos, magic and love.

The photos above and below were taken by the Venezuelan photographer Vasco Szinetar, and are part of a great series called Frente al espejo (In front of the mirror). Have a look at Vasco's work in his blog. The articles below are a good compilation of the articles appeared in the newspapers after Gabo's death, and a couple of old interviews worth reading or re-reading. Hope you enjoy them, and if you want to share one memory or article, do it in the comments, it will be deeply appreciated!

Photo: Gabriel García Marquez de la serie Frente al espejo. Cartagena, 2010.

Hector Tovar in Los Angeles Times: Gabriel Garcia Marquez was more than magical realism: An appreciation: "Like Hemingway, “Gabo” was a newspaperman. He’d worked as a columnist in Colombia and his first book was born as a series of columns about a shipwrecked sailor. That thin little volume with an impossibly long title was the first book I read in Spanish, as a 19-year-old Angeleno undergraduate studying the language of my immigrant parents: “The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor: Who Drifted on a Liferaft for Ten Days Without Food or Water, Was Proclaimed a National Hero, Kissed by Beauty Queens, Made Rich Through Publicity, and Then Spurned by the Government and Forgotten for All Time.” Read full article in LA Times. E.T.P. 7'

Gabriel García Márquez. Only the bible sold more copies than his book. "Widely considered the most popular Spanish-language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, Garcia Marquez achieved literary celebrity that spawned comparisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens . . .One Hundred Years of Solitude" was "the first novel in which Latin Americans recognized themselves, that defined them, celebrated their passion, their intensity, their spirituality and superstition, their grand propensity for failure," biographer Gerald Martin said." Read full article in The Times of India. E.T.P. 6'  

Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Prize winning author, dies at 87. ' "I feel Latin American from whatever country, but I have never renounced the nostalgia of my homeland: Aracataca, to which I returned one day and discovered that between reality and nostalgia was the raw material for my work," reads a mural quoting the author outside of town.
García Márquez was tickled that he had earned so much praise for his fertile imagination.
"The truth is that there's not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The problem is that Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination," he told The Paris Review (read interview below) in 1981.' Read full article in CNN. E.T.P. 8' 
Peter H. Stone in the The Paris Review (1981). Gabriel García Márquez. The art of fiction No. 69. "I’ve always been convinced that my true profession is that of a journalist. What I didn’t like about journalism before were the working conditions. Besides, I had to condition my thoughts and ideas to the interests of the newspaper. Now, after having worked as a novelist, and having achieved financial independence as a novelist, I can really choose the themes that interest me and correspond to my ideas. In any case, I always very much enjoy the chance of doing a great piece of journalism." Read full interview in The Paris Review. E.T.P. 25'

Jon Lee Anderson's profile in The New Yorker (1999): The Power of García Marquez. Can the Nobel Prize-winning novelist rescue Colombia? "He says he usually wakes up at five o'clock, reads a book until seven, dresses, reads the newspapers, answers his E-mail, and by 10 --"no matter what"-- he is at his desk writing." Read full article in The New Yorker. E.T.P. 28'

Photo: García Márquez poses for a portrait in Paris in 1990, via CNN.

En Español:

Winston Manrique Sabogal en El País: Muere García Márquez, genio de la literatura universal. "Bajo un aguacero extraviado, el 6 de marzo de 1927, nació Gabriel José García Márquez. Hoy, jueves 17 de abril de 2014, a la edad de 87 años, ha muerto en México DF el periodista colombiano y uno de los más grandes escritores de la literatura universal. Autor de obras clásicas como Cien años de soledad, El amor en los tiempos del cólera, El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, El otoño del patriarca y Crónica de una muerte anunciada,fue el creador de un territorio eterno y maravilloso llamado Macondo." Leer artículo completo en El País. E.T.P. 12'

Eduardo García Aguilar en el blog de AFP: Última tarde con García Márquez. "La última vez que vi a Gabriel García Márquez fue en diciembre de 2003 en la Ciudad de México. . . Para cada colombiano, estar con García Márquez era ver en persona al padre de la patria, un Víctor Hugo personal que nos iluminó en la adolescencia; pero ese padre de la patria fue para todos quienes conversamos con él la persona más sencilla, jovial y antisolemne que se pudiera encontrar, el muchacho pobre nacido en la Costa Caribe colombiana, cerca del mar, de los carnavales de Barranquilla y de las plantaciones de la Compañía Bananera donde hubo una masacre; el emigrante pobre confundido con argelinos en el París de fines de los años 50 o el viajero que llegó a México con esposa e hijo y unos cuantos dólares viajando en buses Greyhound, después de renunciar a su trabajo en la agencia cubana Prensa Latina en Nueva York." Leer artículo completo en AFP Blog. E.T. P. 7'

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