Gabriel Garcia Marquez died today. He was 87. If you haven’t read One Hundred Years Of Solitude or Love In The Time Of Cholera, stop what you are doing and immediately acquire the means to absorb these wonderful works. If you’re wondering why, listen only to the words of Ian McEwan in the Newsnight interview above.
I first read One Hundred Years in 1973 – I believe it was a Penguin edition – on the recommendation of the student of Spanish in the room next door to me on staircase 11 (or was it 14?) at St Catz. It was a wonderful thing, a book so complex and playful and yes, magical, that I may have skipped lectures to devour the thing. Given that I skipped many lectures for all sorts of reasons, that may not have been surprising, but only my encounter with Gravity’s Rainbow a year or so later had a similar impact on my studies. I’ve read Years at least twice since, but to mark GGM’s passing I think I shall reread Love In The Time Of Cholera.
The New Yorker unlocks some of his writing from their archives.
GGM was a fine journalist. Here he is discussing the use of tape recorders in interviews (from an interview in The Paris Review in1981):
As a journalist, I feel that we still haven’t learned how to use a tape recorder to do an interview. The best way, I feel, is to have a long conversation without the journalist taking any notes. Then afterward he should reminisce about the conversation and write it down as an impression of what he felt, not necessarily using the exact words expressed.