Sunday, August 3, 2008

vivir para contarla

Who could this cute little baby be? And what stories would he be telling when he grows up? Yes, this is a he, though the outfit looks like it was meant for a girl.

Here's the baby, all grown up and now world-reknowned for the tales he's told, both fictional and not. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is his name.

I don't know much about him yet but I intend to get to know him well enough. Aside from his being very talented, the snipets I read about his life are quite intriguing.

Look at this, this is what he said about education:

"If I had nothing to do and to avoid getting bored I'd hole up at the school library, where they had the Aldeana collection. I read the whole thing! ... From volume one to the last! I read El carnero, memoirs, reminiscences ... I read it all! Of course, when I reached my last year in secondary school, I knew more than the teacher did. "

A regular nerd, sounds like. I found this amusing because as a teacher, every now and then I would encounter students who, I can sense, are brilliant. And students like these make me go, gosh, I have to study, I have to study or else I won't be able to answer his/her questions.

Here's another thing I like about Marquez:

The title of a novel he wrote: Love in the Time of Cholera. Very interesting title. Cholera is not a very romantic illness, in fact it is quite morbid can be tragic. And on a local note, there's been a cholera outbreak in one of the northern towns here in Negros these past few weeks. I am thinking along medical lines here but criticisms about that novel say that the cholera there did not necessarily refer to the medical illness but rather to social ills.

Speaking of medical illnesses, in 1999 Marquez was diagnosed to have cancer of the lymphatics and this sort of jolted him. My golly, he must have said. I have so many words and stories in me yet that need to be told before I bite the dust. And so he...

"...reduced relations with my friends to a minimum, disconnected the telephone, canceled the trips and all sorts of current and future plans", he told, the Colombian newspaper, "...and locked myself in to write every day without interruption."

Wow. Three years later, this is the product of that hermitic life, Living to Tell the Tale (Vivir Para Contarla), the first volume in a trilogy of memoirs.

AND this 81 year old author is finishing a new novel, yet untitled, scheduled to be released by yearend.


megamomph said...

Even his short novels (noveletas) are really interesting. Only he could get away with writing about something taboo in 'Memories of Melancholy Whores', but still it turns out romantic and somehow, acceptable.

Great reading choices, Doc Ness!

SONIA said...

i love the guy! :-) I wrote about love in the time of cholera one was a really deep story, i couldn't get it out of my mind easily. it was a pageturner.. :-)