Celebrating Gabriel García Márquez On The Anniversary Of His Death

Gabriel García Márquez won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982 “for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent’s life and conflicts.” Not one to take himself, or his success too seriously, he stated, after winning the award, “I have the impression that in giving me the prize, they have taken into account the literature of the sub-continent and have awarded me as a way of awarding all this literature.”

But his greatest and most well-known work, One Hundred Years Of Solitude, has sold millions of copies across the globe and continues to show up on bestseller’s lists the world over. Novelist William Kennedy went so far as to say that the book should be, “the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the whole human race.”

His achievements later in life may seem to suggest a path that was a foregone conclusion but, Gabriel wasn’t always certain of becoming a writer. In his autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale, he wrote that he studied law at the Universidad Nacional but never completed the degree, which disappointed his father, but he had finally figured out what he wanted to do.

“From then on I did not earn a centavo except with the typewriter… Before that, my life was always agitated by a tangle of tricks, feints, and illusions intended to outwit countless lures that tried to turn me into anything but a writer.”

Many celebrations of García Márquez are planned internationally, but Bogota, Columbia has the most of García Márquez to share — the National Library there exhibits the Smith Corona typewriter he tapped on day after day while he wrote One Hundred Years of Solitude; several personal objects donated by his family as well as the gold Nobel Prize medal; the National Museum is showing the traditional linen suit that Márquez wore when he received the Nobel Prize; and Columbia’s congress is in the midst of debating legislation that would see his well-known face on a new banknote.

In Spain, Think Big Factory and creative agency, Barrabes Meaning, has created a multimedia installation titled, Travesía por los estados de la palabra dedicated to García Márquez. It’s a rolling scene using 10,000 of Gabriel García Márquez’s 3D printed words from a speech he gave at the First International Congress of the Spanish Language in 1997 called, “Bottle the sea for the God of words.” In a world where the quick and immediate image or soundbite seem to have trumped words, a speech about the power of words still carries weight and importance today.

As Inquisitr reported last year, García Márquez died at 87 after being hospitalized for pneumonia-like symptoms. But he will forever be remembered as one of the forefathers of modern Latin American literature.

[Image by Hulton Archive]