Happy Birthday Gabriel Garcia Marquez

My obsession with Gabriel Garcia Marquez is chronic, clandestine and obviously long-lived: more than a hundred years! All puns were intended in this introduction as his books redefine class and fascination. When I opened Chrome this morning, I saw Google’s beautiful doodle in the honor of Garcia Marquez’s 91st birthday. His beaming face and the image was a colorful reminder of weirdly wonderful his writings make me feel. And, I didn’t want to leave this day without a little post myself either.

I haven’t read a ton of his books but I quite love some of his quotes because they are simple and very apt. He’ll never see this but I wish him a very Happy Birthday and many more years of creative living. I thank him profoundly for touching so many lives through the written word and introducing us to the Columbian culture, lifestyle and traditions like no one had been able to do before. I remember reading Of Love and Other Demons and thinking that it was very ordinary and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it! I read more and more about his inspiration to write it, other interpretations of what it meant and I was blown away by its sheer brilliance. You can find my review of the book here. 

Here are a couple of his quotes that I personally quite like:

There is always something left to love.

The heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good.

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.

Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry.

Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.

Life is not what one lived, but rather what one remembers, and how it is remembered to tell the tale.

No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing.

Book Review: Of Love and Other Demons, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Before I even began, I knew that this would be one of the most difficult book reviews to write. Partly because this book is well-revered and partly because I realize that the theme of the book can be directly linked to the book-reading experience. I wouldn’t claim to have such influence, but judging something with incomplete knowledge is also something I refrain from doing. Which is why this time, I read some book summaries online, and researched a bit about the origins of this book before I sat down to write this review. It was important because so many times I try to get a ‘feel’ of the book online before beginning to read it, so that I don’t feel disappointed by the book later. This feeling might seem weird to a lot of people but I believe the distinction between experimenting with genres and wasting time is always a smart choice.

This above introduction almost works like a disclaimer. Of Love and Other Demons, is neither difficult or too complex to warrant such treatment. But it was unlike any other book that I had ever read, which proves two things – One, I am brave enough to try out new styles of writing, and two, that I cannot wait to read more of the same. I was not instantly converted to a Garcia Marquez fan as some people are. It took me a while after having read the book, to understand the myths, beliefs, and underlying symbolism depicted in the almost century-old Columbia.

It is the story of a young girl with very long hair, Sierva Maria, living in Columbia who is bitten by a dog on her twelfth birthday when she goes to the market. Even though her wounds heal properly, her father (the Marquis) and the local bishop believe that she might be possessed by the devil. Continue reading “Book Review: Of Love and Other Demons, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez”

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