Goodbye to a Great Writer

The literary world is in mourning with the death of Gabriel García Marquez, one the most important writers of the 20th Century. His talent and imagination enveloped millions of readers in the universe of magical realism with One Hundred Years of Solitude, the novel that opened doors to one of the most bountiful eras of Latin American literature.

García Marquez was an extraordinary writer who was able to merge boundaries between the real and the imaginary, as the Swedish Academy noted upon awarding him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. The Colombian author wrote stories of a universal nature populated by characters only imaginable in Latin America, living in worlds where the unbelievable became part of everyday life.

While the novel was what brought him fame and fortune, his passion was also for film, which led him to collaborate with Carlos Fuentes on the movie, El Gallo de Oro, the story by Juan Rulfo.

Journalism was also a lifelong passion. He considered himself first and foremost a journalist. Between authoring books he would regularly write for magazines to stay in practice. His passion for journalism led him to fund the IberoAmerican New Journalism Workshop where he brought together journalistic quality and the defense of press freedom. “An essential factor in the defense of the integrity of a journalist, his independence and even his life,” he once said, “is solid professional training.”

García Marquez had been ill for quite some time so his death comes as no surprise. That said, millions across the globe feel tremendous sadness at the loss of this great author, the creator of Macondo, that small village where magic filled the lives of his readers.

One consolation is that his work will live on forever so that future generations can know and feel, for example, the anguish of a patriarch in his final days, as told by one of the most remarkable writers of our time.