“Amputees suffer pains, cramps, itches in the leg that is no longer there. That is how she felt without him, feeling his presence where he no longer was.” – Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera
Tonight, I am feeling the presence of the master of Magic Realism and my favorite author Gabriel García Márquez. As you all know, Márquez passed away in Mexico City on Thursday at the age of 87.
In 1982, he became the fourth Latin American author to win the Nobel Prize. When he accepted the award, he said, “(Latin America is a) source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune. 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.” The statement makes all the more remarkable Marquez’s achievements in the literary genre of Magic Realism, where fantastical elements are inserted seamlessly into real situations.
For me, Márquez lives on in his magical world of lonely dictators and revolutionaries, banana republics and yellow flags of Cholera, firing squads and melancholy whores, collar-wilting mornings and deaths foretold. I hope, in the end, he found the glory of dying for love. To end with a famous line from one of his books,