A sad day today

April 18, 2014

I can’t let the day go by without expressing my sadness on hearing of the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I knew he was ill, and I knew dementia meant he would never write again. He brought me much pleasure when I discovered his novels over thirty years ago, and One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera stand out particularly to me; I cannot say which I prefer. Someone wrote that he was the greatest Spanish language writer of the twentieth century; I can’t really comment on that, but in my reading of literature from many lands, I felt he was one of the greatest writers of the century in any language.

I know Colombians are proud of him: early in my teaching career, at a school where I worked, the Spanish assistant was from Colombia, and when he learned that I had read Marquez, he translated for me and wrote out by hand, Marquez’ speech of acceptance of the Nobel Prize for Literature.

If you don’t know his novels, you are missing a great treat; if you do, I’m sure you agree the world has lost one of the greats.

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