In remembrance of Gabriel García Márquez… one of the parents of magical realism, “in which the miraculous and the real converge,” my favorite literary genre. He was one of the most respected Latin American writers, writing “fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation.”
In 11th grade Spanish class, I remember reading El Colonel No Tiene Quien le Escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel) the first book I ever read in Spanish, and Los Funerales de la Mama Grande in college, and Love in the Time of Cholera after. I loved the mysticism, and fantastical details that took us just beyond the cusp of reality, but not too far. The symbolism and connecting abstractly to the politics of the time. A true artist of the written word.
He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982 and said: “Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.”
“A short time later, when the carpenter was taking measurements for the coffin, through the window, they saw a light rain of tiny yellow flowers falling. They fell on the town all through the night in a silent storm, and they covered the roofs and blocked the doors and smothered the animals who slept outdoors. So many flowers fell from the sky that in the morning the streets were carpeted with a compact cushion and they had to clear them away with shovels and rakes so that the funeral procession could pass by.”
– Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1967