Friday, April 18, 2014

Gabriel García Márquez, Thank You For The Wonder. Rest In Peace.

Gabriel José de la Concordia García Márquez
March 6, 1927 - April 17, 2014
Often called the father of magical realism, Gabriel Garcia Marquez's work is beloved all over the world. His stories are everyday tales of ordinary people, with shadows of the impossible appearing everywhere around them, just as they do any other ordinary day. He credited his grandmother with influencing his writing and view of the everyday with her oral tales and the way she, as he put it, “treated the extraordinary as something perfectly natural.” He readily acknowledged her influence on him and his most famous books certainly reflect that style. In this way his stories share much with fairy tales and it's because of his writing that I've seen people come to respect fairy tales more as well. 

He sadly passed away after a long illness on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at the age of 87 and, as I write, right now, I am seeing responses and touching tributes from all over the globe flood the web, mourning the loss of our "conjuror of literary magic". (You can read the Wikipedia entry for a life, works and awards overview HERE.)

A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings is the title of one of Señor Garcia Marquez's short stories and the images he created within his pages are certainly close to us today. 
by MauroIllustrator
Written by the great Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1955, “A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings” is one of his most beloved and anthologized stories. The short story is an example of magical realism, a narrative in which characters and setting are “real world” but which also includes a convincing and straightforward element of magic. The reader must agree to temporarily suspend disbelief in order to understand and appreciate the story. Marquez is often cited as the father of this literary technique. (Source)
Mr. García Márquez was a master of the literary genre known as magical realism, in which the miraculous and the real converge. In his novels and stories, storms rage for years, flowers drift from the skies, tyrants survive for centuries, priests levitate and corpses fail to decompose. And, more plausibly, lovers rekindle their passion after a half-century apart. (NYTimes)
You will no doubt see a myriad of articles, special presentations and much more over the next few days and weeks. Take advantage and watch and read... If you don't know his work I suggest you find out. There's a good chance if you love fairy tales that his work will speak to you too. 

To start, there's a great overview of his life, love, work and writing HERE at the NYTimes, from which the above is excerpted and the BBC has a special slideshow 'His Life In Pictures' HERE

Closer to our hearts here in the fairy tale community is information in the entry from the Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales G-Z, edited by Donald Haase:

If you know and love Garcia Marquez's work, now is a great time to celebrate having lived during his era and to recall favorite stories, phrases and images and perhaps discover some more.
Dear Gabo,
Thank you for all the wonder. Rest now.
We won't forget.
The World & Me

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer D. BushroeApril 18, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    I read One Hundred Years of Solitude sophomore year of high school--and thought it was the weirdest thing I'd ever read. Weird in a good way! I went on to discover (and enjoy) more of his work in later years. I'll always be grateful for such a strong introduction to magical realism.