A towering figure in the literature of our day, probably the greatest novelist of the second half of the twentieth century, arguably the most important literary figure of our lifetime, Gabriel García Márquez died today in Mexico City, at the age of 87.
García Márquez taught us, among many other things, that we are all of a race that is condemned to one hundred years of solitude and that we get no chance again. Even when a prophet or a rouser or crusader is sent to us, the result will be the same as happened to Father Augusto Ángel:
before a year was out he too was conquered by the negligence that one breathed in with the air, by the dust that made everything old and clogged up, and by the drowsiness caused by the lunchtime meatballs in the unbearable heat of siesta time.
If there was any doubt of the importance of Garía Márquez, our own State Department removed it by placing him on a list of those who would be denied entry visas into the United States. A military-industrial complex led by an oligopoly of the world’s leading finance capitalists quaked that a journalist and fiction writer might pose a threat to its world dominance.
It will be a long time before there will be his equal.