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Monday, March 6, 2017

Remembering ... and Building your writing

“Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.” – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist Marquez, born on this date in 1927, was one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in the Spanish language.   Winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, he actually started his career as a journalist and wrote many acclaimed non-fiction works and journalistic short stories before trying fiction. 

But, he is best known for his novels, especially One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Love in the Time of Cholera.  And while he never shied away from criticism of Colombia’s intense and often corrupt political scene, at the time of his death in 2014 the President of Colombia called him “The greatest Colombian who ever live.”

Not one to be tied down by any particular style, he was a great admirer of other writers and their work and said the most important influences on his life and writing were two American authors.  “Faulkner is a writer who has had much to do with my soul,” he said, “but Hemingway is the one who had the most to do with my craft - not simply for his books, but for his astounding knowledge of the aspect of craftsmanship in the science of writing.” 
Marquez was a rare artist who succeeded in not only                 
chronicling his nation's life, culture and history, but also much of other South American nations’ with his keen eye for detail and his ability as a master storyteller.  “What matters in life is not what happens to you,” he said, “but what you remember and how you remember it.”

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