Mapping magical realism within the nation that formed the author’s life and profession.
Pooja Naik | POSTED ON: July 9, 2019
Brimming with life and character, Colombia stays a portal to the surreal steps of Gabriel García Márquez. Photographs by: Graziano Arici/ agefotostock/ Dinodia Photograph Library (Gabriel García Márquez), noriokanisawa/iStock /Getty Photographs Plus/Getty Photographs (background)
When Gabriel García Márquez wrote, his tales have been dusted with magic and dripping with fantasy—but he would look you useless within the eyes, and say, that is actual. That was his fact; the identical means his grandmother would inform him ghost tales with a stoic face and deadpan tone; the best way life slithered from the absurd to the irregular, all the time anchored in actuality. His fashion not solely championed his native Colombia’s spirit, however bolstered the narrative of life in Central and South America, which many battle to elucidate, and only a few managed to depict.
The sleepy, northern Mompós, formally Santa Cruz de Mompox, served as a backdrop for One Hundred Years of Solitude, which fetched Gabo a Nobel Prize. Bearing resemblance to the fictional Macondo, this UNESCO web site is however a crumbling colonial city located amid swamps with mango timber and secluded wood huts on stilts. It’s the place blue Caribbean waters meet the murky Magdalena River, the longest within the nation. It’s a portal to the late author’s lifelong obsession with the river courting again to 1943, when he launched into a luxurious steamboat—the David Arango—at 15. A stroll down the practically 500-year-old cobbled streets of Mompós catches sights of mouldering facades, mansions, and vibrant church buildings. Within the evenings, the plaza in entrance of Santo Domingo Church fills with meals stalls and recordings of classical music. Owing to boutique resorts and eating places, this gem is slowly discovering its means into limelight.
An additional 240 kilometres northward, tucked within the Sierra Nevada, lies Gabo’s birthplace, Aracataca, typically hailed as a extra standard contender for Macondo. Murals of the writer and Remedios, a personality of magnificence so enchanting that she ascended to heaven, sprawl throughout the quarters. A tour of Casa Museo Gabriel García Márquez, a exceptional reconstruction of Gabo’s childhood residence, holds his typewriter and dictionary. A stroll via El Carmen the place yellow butterflies flutter, reveals a tombstone erected to honour Melquiades, the visionary gypsy of the novel. Aesthetically, there isn’t a lot to see, however it’s a one-stop vacation spot for diehard Márquez followers because the essence of Gabo awaits guests at each flip.
But, maybe Cartagena stays essentially the most fantastical vacation spot on this path, wealthy in historical past and ripe with romanticism. It’s the stuff of Caribbean fantasies in addition to the town that launched Gabo’s trajectory as a author. Having arrived as a penniless pupil from Bogotá, he later maintained a sea-facing home within the San Diego quarter to which he returned yearly. Reverse his abode sits the famed Sofitel Santa Clara resort, which the author frequented for a drink. Again within the day when he was a journalist and the resort was a hospital, the writer learnt in regards to the discovery of a skeleton of a younger woman with lengthy copper hair. Fiction swirled with fact and he or she grew to become a 12-year-old Marquis’ daughter despatched for exorcism within the acclaimed Of Love and Different Demons. At Plaza Fernández de Madrid, lanes are festooned with flower-speckled balconies. This setting of a bench-filled park of younger lovers entwined in one another’s arms took form of Park of the Evangels in Love within the Time of Cholera.
In any metropolis that brims with life and character, Gabo would have had no bother in search of tales.