It’s been many months since I have posted on this blog. My energy levels have barely managed to keep up with the full schedule while wearing different hats, another addition soon (I should know better). Yet the passing of a man, who for decades touched millions of lives with his written words, forced me back.The writer and author of many works of fiction and non-fiction, Gabriel Garcia Márquez has died at the age of 87.
He was born in 1927 near Aracataca, Colombia and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, the year I discovered the author and read his “Autumn of the Patriarch”. I read it in Madrid, a fitting backdrop.
Gabriel García Márquez at his house in Mexico City, 2010. Photograph: Miguel Tovar/AP
Years later, my nineteen year old son added himself to the fan base and eight years ago, gave me a copy of the freshly published, “Memories of My Melancholy Whores” (2005). The inside jacket described the book as ” . . . a story that celebrates the belated discovery of amorous passion in old age”. I wondered how my son felt handing me a book of that title! With a mix of anticipation and mild trepidation, I sat down to read my Christmas gift, blown away by my son’s mature taste in literature.
Mr Márquez’ writing style had likely changed over the years, but I had no idea what to expect of this novella other than a gripping read. In reality, I struggled, despite a couple of separate attempts at finishing the 115 pages, to read beyond the first 30. So, in memory of the author I have taken the book off the shelf, a fitting time to read and reflect, this Easter weekend. This time, I commit to read every word.
I end this post with a quote from Mr Márquez, and which appears in an article by Jonathan Kandell in the New York Times, 17 April 2014. Writers and authors, take heart:
“When I finished one book, I wouldn’t write for a while,” Mr Márquez said in 1966. “Then I had to learn how to do it all over again. The arm goes cold; there’s a learning process you have to go through again before you rediscover the warmth that comes over you when you are writing.”
Slides of Gabriel Garcia Márquez, courtesy of the New York Times: