“Writers summarize our reality, the collective dreams, the collective hopes”

An interview with ISABEL ALLENDE regarding GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ que en paz descanse.


He gave us back our history!

I am not ashamed to admit that I have never read any works by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I have tried on so many occasions to read Cien Años de Soledad… pero nada…

There was something about this massive piece of literature that frightened me. Besides the fact that it is certainly not an easy read. Marquez who was infamous for his romantic style, brilliant metaphors, and beautiful language. His grasp of the Spanish language falls on the page like the most incredible song. And then we have famous writers such as Isabel Allende raving about this magical world he would create for us and how HE GAVE US BACK OUR HISTORY! All of this can be a quite intimidating when you’re a slow reader and especially when you’re a writer yourself.

This morning I woke up thinking about Gabriel Garcia Marquez and wanted to write about my personal connection to him. I was in Cuba, early 2009 and went to visit La Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV in San Antonio de los Banos founded by the late Colombian Writer and Nobel Prize winner in Literature. From what I understand he was a friend to Fidel Castro and was a die hard leftist. He could not live in his country Colombia for many reasons, mostly the way in which he spoke out on issues that continue to plague the nation, such as corruption, oppression, and racism.

I listened to a wonderful interview this morning with Isabel Allende regarding GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ:

“It was like reading Dickens or Balzac. People in the streets read García Márquez. Every book he wrote had popular acclaim. So, in a way, he conquered readers and conquered the world and told the world about us, Latin Americans, and told us who we are. In his pages, we saw ourselves in a mirror, in a way.

In Latin America, some writers, because they were writers, have been elected president. Writers are consulted as if they were prophets or astrologers. They are supposed to know everything. And in a way, it makes sense, because in such a complicated and weird continent as Latin America is, somehow writers summarize our reality, the collective dreams, the collective hopes, the fears. They give us back our history, which is usually magical and horrible.” Isabel Allende, Democracy Now

One of the things that struck me the most during my visit to Cuba and throughout all of Latin America is how important it is to tell our stories by all mediums. The art of storytelling is something that has always excited me. The fact that I can dream up a story and the world as “I” see it or wish it… is incredibly empowering. This idea of being seen as a prophet is absolutely delicious. We get to play. We get to cry. We get to explore. We get to invent. We get to dig. We get to be all kinds of characters. And somewhere along the way I forgot how much I love writing. I love writing about OUR COLLECTIVE dreams and hopes and fears. This is why I love OUR history. I love OUR stories!

I look forward to reading and hearing all that Marquez has left behind for us as Latinos and artists who preserve our history through storytelling.

While it is sad to know he is gone… his work does live on and this is all we could ever want as writers.

Today I am proud to be a writer!

Luz para su espiritu.



Photo source The Lavin Blog

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