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Gabriel Garcia Marquez: An Appreciation

Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 12:54:12 pm

One of the world's great writers passed away this week and no one seems to have created a Page here in tribute to him, so I will use this Easter Sunday to rectify that.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Born: March 6, 1927 in Aracataca, Colombia
Died: April 17, 2014 (aged 87) in Mexico City, Mexico

R.I.P.--your writing filled my life, and most assuredly countless others, with many hours of escape & pleasure. That's not an insignificant gift. Thank you.

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At the beginning of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," Macondo's patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, wants to move the idyllic yet isolated community he founded to another, more accessible location. And, since no one else wants to go with him, he decides that he and his wife, Úrsula, and their son should leave by themselves.

"We will not leave," his wife says, reminding him that Macondo was their son's birthplace.

"We have still not had a death," he tells her. "A person does not belong to a place until there is someone dead under the ground." To which his wife replies, "If I have to die for the rest of you to stay here, I will die."

This was the first thing that came to mind when I heard that Gabriel García Márquez had died. I have always loved that scene. For anyone who's been forced, or has chosen, to start a new life in a new place, these words seem to provide at least two possible markers by which one can begin to belong. By Úrsula's definition, it is through life. By her husband's, it is through death. [...]

More: Gabriel Garcia Marquez: An Appreciation

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Note: The English subtitles in the video above leave a lot to be desired.

UPDATE: The perfect tweet following the announcement of his death.

"Don't cry because it came to an end, smile because it happened." Thank you, Gabito!

— Aonghas Crowe (@AonghasCrowe) April 20, 2014

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