The passing of a legend – Gabriel García Márquez dies at 87

García Márquez, considered being one of the greatest Latin American writers in the world, critically acclaimed for his masterpiece ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’, passed away yesterday due to failing health. García Márquez had made limited public appearances recently due to poor health. The cause of death was not known immediately but he was hospitalised recently for lung and urinary tract infection. He was released from the hospital last week because he was ‘very fragile’ due to his age.

President Juan Manuel Santos honoured Mr. Márquez with a few words on a televised speech aired Thursday. He said that Columbia is mourning for the loss of Mr. Márquez and that Gabo (the name his fans call him lovingly) had not invented magical realism but recognised it in his country which had, in and of itself, magical realism.

Mr. García Márquez was started his writing career as a journalist, both lyrically written and deeply reported, which was loved by the readers in Bogotá, which was in the 1950s. He also became known for his close ties with political leaders such as Fidel Castro, François Mitterand and even Bill Clinton.

He matched his commercial success with critical acclaim, he established a channel for negotiations between guerrillas and the government of Columbia. He used his friendship with Fidel Castro to initiate the release of jailed dissidents. He was a leftist and proud of it and he was against imperialism. He would try to lobby for Latin American unity.

García Márquez won the hearts of readers with his 1967 masterpiece “One Hundred Years Of Solitude’ which recounted the adventures and sorrows of the Buendía clan in the imaginary village of Macondo. His books are written in the style of ‘magical realism’ which shows dreamlike or surreal elements are combined with realistic narrative and naturalistic technique.
He spoke to the Paris Review in 1981 and told them how his childhood was more political than the journalistic pieces he creates. He had created an imaginary village of Macondo which was reminiscent of his childhood but always found something missing in his tone of writing. He finally struck upon the correct tone and decided to write the way his grandmother would tell him stories.

He said that his grandmother made things sound supernatural and fantastic but which was told with absolute naturalness. When he finally discovered how he wanted to write his book, he sat down for 18 months and had worked every day.

Mr. Márquez was raised mostly by his grandfather and grandmother from his mother’s side – Tranquilian Iguarán Cotes and Col. Nicolás Márquez – in the sleepy town of Aracataca on March 6, 1927

He would hear superstitious and extraordinary tales from his grandparents which would spark his imagination. His grandfather fought in the War of a Thousand Days which was a civil conflict in Columbia- would tell his grandchild about the harrowing history of his country, such as the massacre of United Fruit Co. banana workers.

Mr. Márquez had said that his grandfather would not tell him fairytales, but instead would tell him stories of war and the disaster of the banana workers which had occurred the year that he was born. He included all these events in his novels and his grandfather can be found as a persona in his most famous novel, One Hundred Years Of Solitude as Col. Aureliano Buendia.

When his grandfather passed away, he wrote in his autobiography, written in 2002 that a piece of him had died when his grandfather passed. But that he also believed that when he died, he was already starting to be a writer who only needed to know how to write.


“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”


“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”


“It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment.”


“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.”


“Don’t let yourself die without knowing the wonder of fucking with love.”


“He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude.”


“Life is not what one lived, but what One remembers and how One remembers it in order to recount it”


“Nothing resembles a person as much as the way he dies.”


“He always considered death an unavoidable professional hazard.”



“All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.”