Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 20th 2014 Contents A47
April 20, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
MEXICO CITY---His death mourned around the
globe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez is being hailed
as a giant of modern literature, a writer of intox-
icating novels and short stories that illuminated
Latin America s passions, superstition, violence
and social inequality.
Widely considered the most popular Spanish-
language writer since Miguel de Cervantes in the
17th century, the Colombian-born Nobel laureate
achieved literary celebrity that spawned com-
parisons to Mark Twain and Charles Dickens. He
died at his home in Mexico City on Thursday
afternoon at age 87.
His flamboyant and melancholy fictional
works---among them Chronicle of a Death Fore-
told, Love in the Time of Cholera and The Autumn
of the Patriarch---outsold everything published
in Spanish except the Bible.
The epic 1967 novel One Hundred Years of
Solitude sold more than 50 million copies in more
than 25 languages.
His stories made him literature s best-known
practitioner of magical realism, the fictional
blending of the everyday with fantastical elements
such as a boy born with a pig s tail and a man
trailed by a cloud of yellow butterflies.
"A thousand years of solitude and sadness
because of the death of the greatest Colombian
of all time!" Colombian President Juan Manuel
Santos said on Twitter.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy wrote
in a tweet, "Affection and admiration for the
essential and universal writer of Spanish literature
in the second half of the 20th century."
The first sentence of One Hundred Years of
Solitude has become one of the most famous
opening lines of all time: "Many years later, as
he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buen-
dia was to remember that distant afternoon when
his father took him to discover ice."
Biographer Gerald Martin said that the novel
was the first in which "Latin Americans recognised
themselves, that defined them, celebrated their
passion, their intensity, their spirituality and
superstition, their grand propensity for failure."
The writer s family planned a private ceremony
to mark his passing and said his body would be
cremated. Mexico s government scheduled a public
memorial for Monday in
the Palace of Fine Arts.
Colombia s ambassa-
dor to Mexico, Jose
Gabriel Ortiz, suggested
the author s ashes could
be divided between
Mexico and Colombia.
When he accepted the
Nobel prize for literature
in 1982, Garcia Marquez
described Latin America
as a "source of insatiable
creativity, full of sorrow
and beauty, of which
this roving and nostalgic
Colombian is but one
cipher more, singled out
Widely known as
"Gabo," he became a
hero to the left as an
early ally of Cuban
leader Fidel Castro and
a critic of Washington s
from Vietnam to Chile.
among writers such as
Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe, was also an early
practitioner of literary nonfiction now known as
New Journalism. He became an elder statesman
of Latin American journalism.
Among his nonfiction pieces, he profiled
Venezuela s larger-than-life president, Hugo
Chavez, and vividly portrayed how cocaine traf-
fickers led by Pablo Escobar shredded the social
and moral fabric of the writer s native Colombia.
After a 1981 run-in with Colombia s government
in which he was accused of sympathising with
M-19 rebels and sending money to a Venezuelan
guerrilla group, the writer moved to Mexico City,
which was his main home for the rest of his life.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
hailed as literary giant
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombian novelist, short-
story writer, screenwriter and journalist, died last
Thursday. Garcia Marquez's magical realist novels
and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers
to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and
inequality. AP PHOTO
such as a boy
born with a
pig's tail and
a man trailed
by a cloud of
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