There is a quote that I will try to not forget from one of my favorite writers: “Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.”
That is from one of my absolute favorite authors from my American literature class I took at Towson University, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who passed away just yesterday at the ripe age of 87.
He’s lived in a brothel when he was a younger man, his wife sold everything he owned while he wrote 100 Years of Solitude, he once lost all of his writings in a fire, and yet he still kept on writing as the very old man with enormous, imaginary wings hailing from Aracataca, Columbia. He was friends with Latin pop and hip hop sensation Shakira, his books like 100 Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera sold millions and won many awards, and he’s been compared with the classic writers- Hemmingway, Tolstoy, Dickens, Swift… Now he’s partying and writing with them in the afterlife.
It’s very sad news to hear when a great light has gone out. It makes me want to remember and hold on to the things they’ve written, the things I read in high school and college. I will miss Ray Bradbury for his amazing story Fahrenheit 451, showing how disastrous a world without books can be, and I will certainly miss David Foster Wallace, for his endearment in stories like “Everything is Green” found in his first publication Girl With Curious Hair. Now it’s the same with Marquez.
I miss stories like the very tall giant on the beach the women named Esteban, the evil grandmother forcing Erendira into a life of prostitution before meeting a man and conspiring some morbid Looney Tunes fate for the heartless grandma, and my favorite, a woman who sees an origami butterfly flying through the air in an overheated court room before sticking itself to the wall.
It’s a sad day for us writers when we lose someone amazing. After all, they are the ones we look up to.
Marquez, you are the man who’s made the most beautiful golden cage for your readers, and now you are that very old man with enormous wings. Fly soundly.