At first, I wasn’t sure if I should write a tribute to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, at least not as aspiring writer. How presumptuous, as if I would critique The Old Man and the Sea or War and Peace. But I could do it as a reader.
And then again I can't really separate the reader from the writer.
I loved Gabriel Garcia Marquez' stories. I loved the magic and the sometime surreal touch I also found in Argentinian films. A way of looking at the world with the ken that there is more in the world than just matter. I was working in Buenos Aires, when I got his first book into my hands “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. I read it Spanish, it took me almost three month and not only helped my language skills, but also gave me another view on storytelling. After that I picked up the “Autumn of the Patriarch” and again I was impressed by the way he was able to create this vacuum of power, an almost Kafkaesque reading. With “Love in the Time of Cholera” I was halfway through until I got stuck, mainly because I was back in Switzerland and reading in Spanish became much more difficult.
At the same time I was writing my travel journal on the emerging internet, a kind of blog without knowing back then, what blogging means. Looking back, it was the point where I started to think about bringing all these stories and ideas I had (and still have) on paper. Probably it wasn’t him who triggered this wish to write, but he’ll be always connected to that time and my experience.
I loved Gabriel Garcia Marquez stories, I still do. Maybe it’s time to pick up “Love in Time of Cholera” again to continue reading it. I’d love to.
Your Writer in a Foreign Land