Posted on | April 18, 2014 | 2 Comments
I had TweetDeck open in the background last night, when I saw the AP’s tweet, “BREAKING: Source close to family says Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez has died.” He was eighty-seven, and had been in the hospital in the past couple of weeks. And yet – yet I was unbearably sad.
I read One Hundred Years Of Solitude when I was eighteen, and fell in love with both, the book and the author. When people would ask me to recommend a book, without batting an eyelid, I would recommend the much-acclaimed novel that won him the Nobel Prize in 1982. Over the course of the last decade, I’ve read one book by him every year, instead of reading his works back-to-back. I want to be able to savour each word, in each sentence, and get lost in the magical world that only he could weave.
Over the years, as I read more of his works, I wanted to read more. Where else could one find magical realism as beautiful as his, with hints of the extraordinary, balanced with touches of verisimilitude? To quote the New York Times:
Mr. García Márquez was a master of the literary genre known as magical realism, in which the miraculous and the real converge. In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half-century apart.
It’s bizarre, as I mentioned to a friend; I don’t know him, nor his family, and obviously, my sadness was completely selfish, based on the fact that we wouldn’t see any new books by him hit the stand, and I would run out of works by him. I was looking forward to We’ll See Each Other In August, despite the rumours about his ailing health and dementia. I look forward to reading the unread books by him that sit on my bookshelf, and once I finish those, to purchase the remainder of his books, and lap them up. Hungrily.
It would be incredibly clichéd to end with RIP, but what else does one say? Thank you? I feel lucky to have read so many of his works, and I am equally lucky to have a lot of his works still waiting to be read. It is true though, I suppose – even though the artist is dead, the art lives on; that makes us incredibly fortunate.
RIP Gabo, and thank you for leaving behind a wonderful world of magical realism for us.