Adios Gabo! An Obituary for García Márquez

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Gabriel García Márquez, one of the greatest Colombian and Latinamerican writers has passed away last Thursday April 17, 2014. Gabo, as was commonly known by his friends, readers, and the public, died in Mexico City at the age of 87. He has left us with a huge literary legacy. He crafted some of my favorite stories and inspired me with his powerful imagination. Gabo’s writing was magic, social, historic, cultural, and political. One of my literary masters and most important winds of my sentimental education. I discovered his short-stories and novels as a child. Growing up in Bogota in the 1980s involved reading, hearing, and commented Gabo’s stories. At home, school, neighborhoods, and other social domains we talked about characters, locations, historical processes, and plots from both his fictions and journalist pieces. We dreamed, lived, and survived magic realism. Learning to use the power of imagination and finding joy in the paradoxes of everyday life in Colombia is one of Gabo’s biggest legacies. And this legacy is also universal. His writing provides many clues about the contradictions that Latinamerica, and other post-colonial parts of the world, face. It gives us tools and ideas for agency and resilience. Reading Gabo’s novels, stories, reportages, and essays, help us to be better persons in this planet earth, better friends. For Colombians, specifically, re-reading and discussing his open work can help us to understand us, and potentially also gives us threads to exit the labyrinth of violence, hate, and solitude that has trapped us for the last 100 years. As Gabo said in “The Solitude of Latin America,” his Noble acceptance speech, “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.” Gabo shared with us some of those scant means through the imagined worlds he created and shared with us. Thanks Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rest in Peace.

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