Festive Left Friday Blogging: Adiós, Gabo…

An interview with Gabriel García Márquez, who died yesterday at the age of 87. The great Colombian talks about the influences on his “magical realism” style, especially Faulkner, popular culture, his childhood in Aracataca (“Macondo”), and more. Video in Spanish.

Meanwhile, here’s how Gabo’s old friend, Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay’s national literary treasure and, like him, a leftist journalist, chose to remember him:

The passing of the Nobel literary prizewinner Gabriel García Márquez leads the headlines of the Argentine press today, also opening space for the opinion of another colossus of Latin American letters, Eduardo Galeano. “There are pains that speak silently. They speak silently, but they hurt just the same. How the death of Gabo García Márquez hurts us,” said the distinguished Uruguayan author, in an interview with Argentina’s “Telenoche” show, on the death of his friend.

“What hurts most is in the beautiful words which death has seized and stolen from us. I believe that they, the stolen words, escape at the slightest distractions, they flee the pages of Gabo’s books and sit down beside us in some café in Cartagena, or Buenos Aires, or Montevideo. Or here, in Río de Janeiro,” Galeano added.

Galeano spoke from that Brazilian city with such a knack for words of heavy significance to evoke Gabo: “Damn death, always it leaves us in the lurch and without knowing what to do. Desolate,” he said.

But at the same time the Uruguayan author called for people to confront death stubbornly enjoying the blessings of life: “Together, we drink once more a toast to the health of healthy Gabo to laugh together, because he goes on living so long as his words live and laugh and tell.”

Translation mine.

As for me, I can think of no better way to honor him than re-read the books of his that I already have, and look for others to round out my collection. And get my hands on the Spanish originals, too.

Adiós, Gabo.

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