"The day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at 5.30 in the morning." This is one of the most anthological phrases of universal literature, typical of "Chronicle of an announced death" by Gabriel García Márquez. "Gabo", as he was called, today would be 92 years old.
On March 6, 1927, the so-called king of magical realism was born in Aracatana, a town in northern Colombia, near Barranquilla and the Caribbean Sea and in the department of Magdalena. Law student and later writer, scriptwriter, editor and journalist, García Márquez is one of the considered Hispanic classics of all time. The first years of his life he lived with his maternal grandparents, and in school he was nicknamed "El Viejo" because of his seriousness, poems and little ability for physical activities. Its star theme, realism, but also encompassed loneliness, violence or culture. He also had influence on the part of politics (he was friendly with Fidel Castro) and found inspiration from other writers such as Hemingway, Virginia Woolf or William Faulkner.
In 1982 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature, after achieving fame with works such as "One Hundred Years of Solitude" (1967), "The Colonel has no one to write" (1961) or the aforementioned "Chronicle of a death announced" (1981). He was the first Colombian to achieve it and the fourth Latin American. Another of his most famous works, "Love in the Time of Cholera" (1985), which is also adapted to film, was based on the romance of his parents, Luis and Gabriel, who got married when García Márquez had little more than a year with the expensive approval of his maternal grandfather.
The birth of a star
In 1947, his first short story, "The third resignation", published in the Bogotá newspaper, would arrive. The viewer. There he worked as a journalist until 1952, writing a total of fifteen stories. In 1948 and 1949, he wrote for The universal of Cartagena, and between 1950 and 1952 to The Herald from Barranquilla.
"La hojaresca", his first novel, arrived in 1955, although it took him several years to find an editor. For the author himself, it was his favorite, most sincere and spontaneous novel. This same year, he won the first of his awards thanks to his story "A day after Saturday", awarded in a contest of the Association of Writers and Artists. In the decade of the 60, "La mala hora" (1962) gave him the ESSO Novel Prize, being his first award-winning novel (although it was granted a year before being published because it was not finished). Also in this decade he wrote the story "The Funerals of Mama Grande" (1962) or novels like "The Colonel has no one to write" or the one that would lead him to success, "One Hundred Years of Solitude", which Pablo Neruda called as "the greatest revelation in Spanish language since Don Quixote de Cervantes". It took him eighteen months to write it.
In The viewer he also worked as a correspondent in Paris, and after the Cuban revolution of 1960, he traveled to Havana to work in the agency Prensa Latina, where he made friends with Ernesto "Ché" Guevara. In 1974 he founded Alternative, which lasted until 1980, and in 1994, created the New Ibero-American Journalism Foundation, from where he was president until his death.
His "struggle" lasted fifteen years
"Gabo" closed the twentieth century with other great works such as "The General in his labyrinth" (1989), "News of a kidnapping" (1996), "Twelve stories pilgrims" (1992) or "Del amor y otros demonios" ( 1994). Also other journalistic texts like "Of trip by the socialist countries" (1978) or "The solitude of Latin America. Writings on art and literature "(1990) kept the author successful.
But in 1999, he was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer, something that did not distance him from his literary life: "Because of the fear of not having time to finish the three volumes of my memories and two story books that I had half-heartedly, I minimized the relations with my friends, I disconnected the telephone, I canceled the trips and all kinds of pending and future commitments, and I locked myself to write every day without interruption from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon, "he confessed one year later to the newspaper Time from Bogota.
In 2002 he published his memoirs, "Vivir para contarla", the first (and only) of his three autobiographical texts that the author announced. In 2004 he published his latest novel, "Memory of my sad whores." In April 2014, after relapsing cancer fifteen years after being diagnosed affecting a lung, lymph and liver, he was admitted to the National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition of Mexico, and on April 17 of the same year, he died in his house of Mexico City. In then president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, decreed three days of national mourning, because for him he was "the Colombian who, in the history of our country, further and higher has taken the name of the country." Gabriel García Márquez left many friends, countless recognitions, great contributions to literature and a legacy that lasts to this day. Only those who fall into oblivion die, and García Márquez's legacy will never be forgotten.