Remember the father of magical realism

Added On September 7, 2015

Latin America has set a good example for harmonious co-existence of different cultures. And literature, as an expression of wisdom and ideal, is a potent medium for heart-to-heart communication.

Today, we take you to get to know the father of magical realism.

When you think about Latin American literature, what pops into your mind?  Your answer might be the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez. 

García Márquez started as a journalist, but is best known for his novels, such as One Hundred Years of Solitude.

Sadly, the magic realism writer passed away at the age of 87 in 2014. A year after his death, Latin Americans held a range of activities in tribute to their beloved “Gabo”.

Through the imaginary town and its residents, the literary giant depicted Latinos in flesh and blood to perfection.

SOUNDBITE (SPANISH) Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia

“It has been 12 months and just as in Macondo it rained for four years, 11 months and two days. In our souls the rain has not stopped. And the growing admiration has not stopped. We have said that the best tribute we can pay Nobel Prize winner is to go back to his work, read it, enjoy it, and keep delving into that universe that seems inexhaustible.”

Meanwhile, Colombian urban artists paid tribute to the Nobel Laureate with a mural in downtown Bogota.

SOUNDBITE (SPANISH) Gustavo Petro, Mayor of Bogota

"To all the citizens who walk around here to taste this work, I hope, to some degree, it will give you the pleasure and the experience of happiness in life. It is an artwork that reminds us perhaps of the best of the last century from Márquez."

Why is García Márquez so significance even after his death?

Well, on one hand, his works are of highly historical value, recording Latin America’s history and social phenomenon, especially in Colombia. On the other, his works are of highly literary value, mostly for popularizing a literary style labeled as magical realism, which has brought global prominence to Latino literature. 

SOUNDBITE (SPANISH) Oscar Pantoja, Márquez Biographer

“I think it's the beginning of discovering, analyzing and understanding that his literature not only presented a project of aesthetic and intellectual pleasure but also a critical and very timely project that reflects Colombian society, its miseries and human wealth. So I think it's time to start reviewing all his works and take full advantage of what there is to get out of it.”

The President of Colombia, described him as "the greatest Colombian who ever lived."