- It was with much sadness that I learnt today Thursday 17 April 2014, of the passing of Colombian literary giant, Nobel Prize winner, and Colombian National treasure - Gabriel 'El Gabo' Garcia Marquez.Magically, as if in one of his books, I have been reading his books these recent days of Easter holidays...and what tales he told. Stories of Colombia, of small town Costeno life, of the times, magical stories. It is the way he tells the story which made him different and special. The small details, his descriptions of everyday things but with a twist....ironic, funny, blood-thirsty, touching - there's no doubt El Gabo was Colombian to the bone, despiet fourty years in the land of tequila.
- Here's a Vallenato classic, and Gabo favourite...takes you back to the world of Macondo, hot and steamy beside the lazy Magdalena River.
"The only thing that hurts me about about dying is, if it's not for Love"
True to his roots, Gabo was a supporter of Junior, Barranquilla's famous football team - "Junior tu Papa!". In fact his early career involved writing post-match commentaries about them...what a joy that must have been for the young Gabo. Gabo became a fan of Junior around the late 40's, early 50's.
Around that time 'Millionarios' of Bogota, were the best team in Colombia and perhaps the world. They had some of the worlds best players like Argentinian star Alfredo Di Stefano who, like many Argentinian players, ventured to Colombia after a major players strike in Argentina in 1948.
In the article below, his football commentary debut, Gabo waxes lyrical about Junior, and in particular their Brasilian star Heleno de Freitas...as Junior beat Millionarios 2 - 1.
"In the first half, Junior dominated Millionarios right from the first minute......(how is my debut as football commentator?). Another thing is , if the Junior players had been Writers, rather than football players, then I think the Master De Freitas would have been an excellent Detective novelist. His way of thinking, his investigative abilities, and lastly, his quick and surprising outcomes, would have made him perfect to create a new Detective for a Crime Fiction novel".
Unfortunately, that's not the best translation, but you get the sense of magic realism there already!
It appears, even the Grim Reaper has read Gabo's books...
"Can I trouble you to sign this book, Sir Gabriel?"