The Father of Urban Fantasy. The Authors Collection.
April 22, 2014
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, called Gabo by friends and fans, died last week in Mexico City.
A native Columbian, Garcia has been called the greatest Spanish language writer since Miguel de Cervantes and Cervantes lived in the 16th century.
He was named a Nobel Laureate in 1982 at the age of 55.
He worked as a journalist, and wrote columns that often focused on politics. But, his passion and his claim to fame came in his novels. Possibly his greatest work was One Hundred Years of Solitude, a 1967 epic that is reported to have sold over 50 million copies and has been translated into 35 different languages.
Also listed as one of his most influential books is Love in the Time of Cholera. This became an Oprah selection and in 2007 was made into a movie.
He is credited with creating the genre “Magical realism,” where the fantastic and the realistic are combined. He said that the storytelling of his grandmother was an influence on him. She told folk tales, and stories of superstitions and ghosts living among the living, and she told them as if true. When asked about his inspirations, he said, “Life itself is the greatest source of inspiration. I see dreams as part of life in general, but reality is much richer. But maybe,” he added, “I just have very poor dreams.”
Essentially, Gabo paved the way for the now popular Urban Fantasy, the mix of reality and fantasy. It is just his “Magical realism” with a different name. Only, he was a master at it.
Once, in writing about Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his books, The New York Times said, “The narrative is a magician’s trick in which memory and prophecy, illusion and reality are mixed and often made to look the same.”
His importance in Spanish language literature cannot be over estimated. Upon his death, the Columbian president ordered three days of national mourning and that flags be flown at half-mast across the country. The Mexican president also issued a statement that Spanish literature had lost its greatest voice.
He traveled extensively, particularly in Latin America. Because of his support for Castro, he was often denied visas to the United States. President Bill Clinton, a fan of One Hundred Years of Solitude, revoked the ban against Gabo.
The giant of Spanish literature has died. But his books and his legacy live on. The writers and fans of today’s urban fantasy can thank Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gabo.
Please click the book cover image of Ton of Gold to read more about James R. Callan and his novels.