The Republic of Macondo

Yesterday, the world lost a great talent. This Latin Shakespeare, wrought by the jungles infected by parrots and mosquitoes of the south, changed Latin American history forever: Gabriel García Márquez.

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I think, frankly, that to speak of Latin America as a single cultural entity is a Eurocentric point of view. For example: While in Mexico the Day of the Dead is celebrated, in Venezuela Hallacas are prepared for Christmas. Still, Gabriel García Márquez left, directly or indirectly, a mark on all the nations of the region.

The biggest feature that unites the heterogeneous societies of Latin America is  incoherence and absurdity. Our societies assimilate and normalize the incredible and the unthinkable. We are exotic lands where the president speaks with reincarnations in the form of birds, being a witch is a job, and superstition is science. It's not backwardness or lateness, it is rather sick joke from the universe, determined to distort reality. Magical realism, the genre of the works of García Márquez, exists and Latinos live in it. 

Gabriel García Márquez, through his works, taught us something that Victor Hugo or F. Scott Fitzgerald could not: the reality of the Latino human. He was the heir of Gallegos and the king of magical realism, he was a Francisco Herrera Luque on continental scale.

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El Gabo justified our quirks: They're there just because. He taught us that absurdity is part of the real order of the south and those things that for other cultures is magical realism, for Latin America is just realism.

He also showed us, like Herrera Luque, that our story is perennial and it's doomed to repeat itself and to spit those archaic archetypes again and again. Our regional mythological figure, the dictator, arises decade after decade without end.

But more importantly, that the crazy and unreal town - The setting of his main work "100 Years of Solitude" -of Macondo exists and we are all its inhabitants.

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An example of this absurdity: Last year, Miss Venezuela Gabriela Isler was being crowned Miss Universe in Russia while in her Motherland people were looting. Just read Toto Aguerrevere's blog (In Spanish), one that shows the absurd and the humorous of Caracas' society: A society that dries their hair when going to the beach. 

Sometimes we hate that surrealism, but like it or not it's a part of us that sometimes cheers up our existence in some way. His contribution to our society is a complex and complete justification of ourselves and that was the esoteric secret of his works.

That is the legacy of El Gabo. He taught us that Latin America is a place without beginning or end, a snake that devours itself. He showed us that in 100 years the story was the same, repeating eternally in the solitude of the routine. He showed us that there isn't a last Aureliano and that the cyclical history of Macondo, and its predestined end, will keep rolling until Latin America disappear in the ocean waters.

You will always be in our hearts.

Thanks GGM

Rest in Peace.