It’s not everyday when an author’s name becomes a trending topic on Twitter. However, when that is that case, then there’s often a legitimate reason why. Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez was a trending topic this past Thursday when he passed away at the age of 87 from pneumonia. Not only was this sad news for the Latin American community, but also the entire world.
From the bit of research that I had done since then, he really was an influential writer within the last century. While here in the U.S. we had the Beat Generation, Márquez was part of the Latin American Boom during the 60’s and 70’s. He along with several other writers brought new ideas and new styles to literature of their region that had otherwise been unheard of or not used as of previously. For Márquez, it was the usage of the element of magical realism.
He’s the author of the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude; a title that I’ve heard so many times and yet have never read. Magical realism definitely plays a role in that book, for it apparently takes place in a city of mirrors.
I cannot help but feel bad, not only about his death, but also the fact that I had never heard of him before. As a writer, I often feel like I have an obligation to know of other writers and their works, and when one as influential as Márquez passes on and I’ve not only not read any of his work but was also unfamiliar of him beforehand, I can’t help but feel a little ashamed of myself. I feel even worse now knowing that he was a writer in several occupations (along with being a novelist, he was also a journalist and a screenwriter) and that’s something I want to do in my life too. On top of that, he also used magical realism in his works; a literary genre that I myself have become accustomed to exploring within the last year.
For that matter, I just don’t understand why it has taken me so long to only hear of him now, after he has died.
But I guess for that matter, I shouldn’t feel too bad about this. There are several authors in the world who have come and gone, and it really is impossible to keep track of them all. Already I consider myself to be quite an aware person if most of my favorite writers are from outside the U.S.
Also, I have to consider the generations to come. There will be readers in the future who will be picking up Márquez’s books for the first time from here on out now that he’s died, and while they may not have been aware of him while he was alive, they are being touched by the incredible legacy that he’s left behind. I would like to think that I’m part of this generation of readers too.
I will probably never get over the fact that I had never read- let alone- heard of this guy prior to his death, but at least I know of him now, and the legacy he has for people like me. Therefore, that’s why I’m thinking as soon as I finish reading The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, I’m going to see if my school library has One Hundred Years of Solitude.
“I see dreams as part of life in general, but reality is much richer.”– Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014)