Gabriel Garcia Marquez, fondly named as Gabo, is no more. After a literary career spanning more than half a century, he departed as he came to this world, in solitude. However, he would leave a legacy that would be remembered for years. Marquez was instrumental in the use of magical realism, a literary genre where extraordinary things become natural part of life. His other subject of interest was solitude.
Accepting the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, Marquez spoke about the ‘Solitude of Latin America.’ He spoke about the colonial past and the excesses of dictators who were ruining the continent. At the time, the continent had become a battleground in the Cold War. The outside world did not care when Latin American dictators, who had the backing of the United States in most cases, killed thousands and violated human rights of millions of others. The world was magical because the unspeakable challenges the people faced were unbelievable. He declared that “our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude.”
Despite this people faced life with admirable courage. “Neither floods nor plagues, famines nor cataclysms, nor even the eternal wars of century upon century, have been able to subdue the persistent advantage of life over death.” This is the striking feature in Latin American life and history. This is the feature of life in Macondo, the village located somewhere and enveloped in solitude. Strangers come and go, calamities happen. But the people live and die. In the midst of it, the figure of Ursula Iguaran rises. She lives to an extraordinary age and appears as the tower of strength in Macondo. Calamity after calamity, Ursula would rise again. She is the strength which binds Macondo together. She seems to be personifying the Latin American spirit of persistency and courage. She is the hero of Macondo and the hero of Latin America as well.