My favorite writer has died. I remember reading One Hundred Years of Solitude in a state of wonderment. It was pure joy to read one of his sentences, some of which marched on defiantly for pages. Marquez’s exuberance of expression, his refusal to bow to any of the many rules so many would impose on writers – be brief, pare down, trim, don’t decorate or embellish, be clear, make it easy, keep your characters to a minimum – felt like being let out of prison. Like flying. I could taste his words. Smell them. Feel them. Hear them. See the pictures they painted, the characters he described.
I thought, ‘This is writing. It is cooking, painting, composing, gardening, architecting, weaving and sculpting all at once. It is the Big Bang. Except that you don’t have to wait millions of years for the light to reach you. It is immediate. Visceral. Delicious. Unforgettable.
But it was Marquez’s books about love that had the biggest impact on me. Love in the Time of Cholera, a story about an aging man’s lifelong love for a woman who had rejected him when he was young, told of a kind of love rarely read (or written) about anymore. Romantic. Sentimental, oozing with joy, sorrow, pain…with, well, love!
And Memories of My Melancholy Whores, about another old man’s late life yearnings, peeled away the sorrows, joys, pleasures and sadnesses of aging – the skin and body crumbling, but desire and imagination living until one’s last breath.
Marquez was called a Magic Realist. Yes. Like life. Real. And magical. It is not possible to write like he did without having had the capacity to live it fully.
How cruel that he had developed dementia. My mother had Alzheimer’s and there were many times when I thought that she was simply living in her own world, one that I had been excluded from entirely.
Not so dissimilar from what it feels like to me to read Marquez. Lost within my own little world, a whirlwind of expression, free-flowing, emotional, imaginative, free-spirited and free-associative. A world of real magic.
Hard to believe there won’t be another gem of a book from this brilliant man. I can only hope that wherever his soul has been spirited off to, that world is as magical as the one he has given us.
RIP Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
#GabrielGarciaMarquez #LoveIntheTimeofCholera #OneHundredYearsofSolitude #MemoriesofMyMelancholyWhores
April 17, 2014 at 11:40 pm
So sad to hear. I, too, was born with a curling little tail…
April 18, 2014 at 12:12 am
I never fell in love with his writing… But I can recommend José Saramago in general and The Stone Raft in particular. For me, José hit the spots you describe. Not detracting from GGM in any way.
April 18, 2014 at 12:24 am
Thirty years passed between my reading of 100 Years and Love in the Time of Cholera. It was like stepping back into a world of wonder, where the smallest gestures are infused with import and emotion. I could get up from reading and snack on a fruit and it was like no fruit I had ever tasted before.. Such was his power to transform and enhance reality. May he enjoy an unending riverboat ride with his Fermina by his side.
April 18, 2014 at 2:31 am
Do each of us have our own particular sweet spot T. Pascal? I think so! Thankfully there are so many different artists trying to reach them just so!
April 18, 2014 at 2:55 am
A New Yorker profile from 1999:
And a slice of The Autumn of the Patriarch here:
April 18, 2014 at 3:30 am
Thank you for these words, Giselle Minoli . He will be missed.
April 18, 2014 at 3:43 am
the Patriarch of Literature indeed Giselle Minoli .He is on to be one of the immortal
April 18, 2014 at 7:00 am
This GRAVE new world of yours would definitely be a recent place and many things may lack names but we know u may be indicating them with ur points. U have paid ur final duties to life, including……
May ur soul rest in peace.
April 18, 2014 at 7:24 am
I loved that book…
April 18, 2014 at 7:28 am
I loved his books and remember the exuberant sense of opening they brought. May he receive his own form of opening now.
April 18, 2014 at 9:08 am
I keep waking up this night. Can’t sleep. So very glad to learn so many share my love for Marquez. And that Leland LeCuyer has a curling little tail…
April 18, 2014 at 9:34 am
Giselle Minoli would love someday to read about your own experience with writing, the first time you wrote, it was about what ? How u felt ? If u hv something to write can u sleep and keep it in till the next day or u hv to get up and write it immediately ? … ( I hv like a 1000 question if u cant sleep ☆.☆ )
RIP G.G.M love in the time of cholera is immortal
April 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm
Nancy H on my website http://www.giselleminoli.com if you go back to the very first essay I wrote on that site (when I redid It/several years ago) you will see how I feel about writing…
April 18, 2014 at 5:17 pm
Went there, and read some of ur articles ( specialy about women, feminism…) but didn’t find the one about writing could u tell me its title ( I went threw the archive till August 2011 but didn’t find it)
I understand how u feel about one being feminist on paper (in theories) and facing it in real life ( in practice) it’s almost the same in politics … hope one day we’ll find a way to combine theories with real life
April 18, 2014 at 6:58 pm
Nancy H I’m doing this from my iPad so I don’t know if this link will work but I’m trying!
April 18, 2014 at 7:35 pm
Yeah it’s working on my cell I’ve read it thx !
I have a strange feeling after reading this small biog. Usually I read biographies for people from other centuries… I don’t know what to comment I hv questions but the amazing thing is that u are here to answer !!
Do I have the right to ask or should I keep that mystic line between writer/ reader …
April 18, 2014 at 9:31 pm
You can ask anything you like Nancy H, although there might be things I don’t want to answer if I’m in the midst of writing about them elsewhere…but ask away!
April 18, 2014 at 11:19 pm
I should warn u I have the curiosity of a 5 years old child so if my quest seems too long or inappropriate feel free to ingore it
On a personal level:
– is your mom the only women who had a major influence on you ?
– You talked about imitating her when you were a child but later in life you had to go thru the same road that she took… when everything became stable did you continue on the road that she took or you tried to take an opposite one ?
-thru her you tried to find your dad at first she was the only reflexion you had of him but now how you see both of them ( what they represent for you ) ?
– why were you intrested in this major ?
– what did it add to your life more questions or more answers ?
– which philosophical sect you feel that it represent your view of life?
April 19, 2014 at 7:31 am
Curt May I can hear and feel the sorrow of all of the Magic Milagros. I am glad they are in one another’s company. To all of the rest of you, Curt May has written a children’s folk tale, which is just as much for adults, that I pray and hope one day he submits for publication…because it is, well, magical…in every way… We have had many conversations about Marquez….
April 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm
Hi, Nancy H many of the questions you have asked are things I am addressing in various essays I am currently writing, as well as the subject(s) of a book I am working on. So you will forgive me if I answer them cursorily rather than in depth. (But you can always PM me….).
No, my mother was no my only major influence. She was but not in the way that is typically expected when one refers to a “major influence.” I had the benefit of knowing many talented women (my mother’s friends) when I was growing up, so there were several, most of them artists.
As for stability, I would say that I am not sure there really is any such thing. We strive for it, that’s for sure, but often once we get it, it slips through our fingers and becomes something else. But I can say I never did anything in my life in order that it should be the opposite of my mother. Rather, I always strived to discover who I was.
Just to get back to the story of Gabriel Garcia-Marquez for a moment…while there were many writers he admired, he tried not to be like anyone else. He tried to find his own road and to commit to it. I can relate to that completely.
As for philosophy, I can speak to that more fully…it just seemed to me that everyone really needs to be one in order to get through life. That and a psychologist. Okay…and maybe know more than a little something about the law. I think life IS philosophical. In every conceivable way.
And what it adds to life is a life long love of asking questions, which many professions teach their practitioners not to do. Much of adult life is about professing to have all the answers all the time. Sort of stops growth, IMHO…and contributes in great part to control issues. Not life prolonging if you ask me.
As for philosophical sect that represents my life? None. Absolutely none. I’m more than a little anti-sect. More than a little anti-group thought. The history of philosophy itself is fascinating…watching all these great thinkers figure things out and ask questions era by era, century by century, culture by culture, country by country. But cleaving unto any one is sort of like being put in thought prison…
To get back to Garcia-Marquez…had he subscribed to (rather than created, really) a way of writing, he wouldn’t have been the writer that he was. I think that artists, as opposed to philosophers, create anew. They are influenced by the past and by others, but the goal is always to create something new. So maybe I would say that while one has to be philosophical in life…approaching it from an artistic point of view is much more interesting to me.
April 20, 2014 at 9:46 am
I forgive you cause I’ll be waiting for the book 😉
But really thank you for answering, we can go in an endless quest/answ/quest cycle here because all of what you wrote touch me deeply… hope we’ll get the chance to go deeper on these subjects
Wish u a nice sunday & happy Easter
April 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm
And a Happy Late-in-the-Day Easter to you, too Nancy H. I have been with friends all weekend IRL…and appreciate knowing that you appreciated my answers…
February 1, 2018 at 11:31 am
thank you. He is a favorite of mine.
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