Colombia was in mourning on Thursday following news that the country’s most prolific writer in recent history, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 87, had died of cancer in Mexico City.
President Juan Manuel Santos said that Marquez’death causes “A thousand years of solitude and sadness,” calling the writer “the greatest Colombian of all time.”
Mil años de soledad y tristeza por la muerte del más grande colombiano de todos los tiempos! Solidaridad y condolencias a la Gaba y familia
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) April 17, 2014
“Giants never die,” the president added.
Los gigantes nunca mueren — Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) April 17, 2014
Culture Minister Mariana Garces said on Twitter to lament the death of the Nobel laureate and joins “the national grief for the parting of one of the greatest writers.”
Ministra de Cultura lamenta fallecimiento de Gabo y se une al dolor nacional por la partida de uno de los más grandes escritores. — MinCultura (@mincultura) April 17, 2014
The minister added that the Colombian writer “is universal. They know about us in all corners of the world because of “Gabo’.”
“Gabo es universal, a nosotros nos conocen en todos los rincones del mundo gracias a Gabo” Mariana Garcés, Ministra de Cultura. — MinCultura (@mincultura) April 17, 2014
According to Garces, Marquez’s body of work was so important for Latin American literature that there can be spoken of a “before” and “after” the Colombian’s books became famous.
Colombia’s leading newspaper, El Tiempo, called Marquez “the greatest writer of Colombia” and uploaded a homage to the former journalist on its website. El Tiempo paid special attention to the early works of Marquez and re-published a feature from a few years ago about the brash young reporter’s work, before he became the serious writer.
The coverage in daily El Espectador, where Gabo published the first chapter of “100 years of solitude” in 1966 and where he worked as a reporter and film critic in the 1950s, was reflective. “After his death, the world is left with no flavor of the departure of a literary figure, but with the convictions as reflected in his books: ‘I think it’s not too late to build a utopia that allows us to share the earth,” the paper reported.
News magazine Semana paid special attention to the contribution of Márquez to his role in creating the genre of “magical realism” in literature and to shaping “revolutionary language,” even at one point requesting the deletion grammar and spelling. The weekly highlighted that Marquez was not only a great writer. He was a member of the Colombian Academy of Language, driver of the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, located in Havana (1985) and the New Latin American Journalism (1994) Foundation.
El Universal, the newspaper where Marquez worked as reporter after leaving law school, called Marquez “The creator a literary universe.” The newspaper credited his “magical realism” genre with being one of the predominant literary trends of the” Latin American Boom ” that included figures like Nobel Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, the Argentine Julio Cortázar and Mexican Juan Rulfo.
Prominent Colombians’ responses
Se va el más grande de todos pero se queda su inmortal leyenda .. Gracias Gabriel Garcia Marquez. — JUANES (@juanes) April 17, 2014
Hector Abad (author)
García Márquez seguirá vivo en quienes siempre lo leemos, sin saber bien por qué, fascinados, hasta la última letra. — Héctor Abad (@hectorabadf) April 17, 2014
Radamel Falcao (soccer player)
Gracias infinitas por llenar este mundo con tu magia e imaginación!! #GraciasGabo
Twitter #GraciasGabo responses
— David Guzman (@JuanzhitoGuzman) April 17, 2014