Gabriel García Márquez is leaving us. Perhaps the moment to return to Macondo has come, where Grandma Tranquilina is waiting in her house full of ghosts and other grotesque creatures. And, as always, the Colonel, Grandpa, will tell you to ignore it, “Don’t listen to that. Those are women’s beliefs”.
Gabo, as his friends know him, is forgetting real things, a consequence, his brother tells us, of the chemotherapy he received to treat lymphatic cancer. It seems to me that he might think that reality doesn’t hold much interest for him, that it/reality has been doing the rounds for a long time, so he has decided to pay a visit to Macondo. There, where the sense of humour of the inhabitants is as intact as it was almost sixty years ago when a storm of dead leaves regurgitated Macondo within Macondo.
The magic of the words that are woven in the many labyrinths of our reasoning are diluted in that Other that is the injustice/ mischief of our memory. The voyage to the past that has given us so many stories, to reconstruct that familiar Macondo where Santiago Nasar was destined to die, and although everybody knows it, nobody believes it. Where Eréndira could escape from the heartless, corpulent grandmother with her Ulysses and where the Buendia family would live the hundred years of solitude of their existence condemned to the plague of their insomnia and plague of their obscurity caused by that restlessness.
That terrible plague attacks us now, and not only in Macondo, and it seems all the more cruel when it feeds off those who conjure with words as their calling. That conjuring that has led us into so many fantastic worlds. Memory, that cunning magician that plays with amnesia and with portents can never, however, take away from us the prodigious inventiveness of the many characters that have installed themselves in our memory. Nor will it rob us of those days spent among acrobats, soothsayers, determined and romantic lovers, or those who remain proud and dignified until the end.
And who knows whether Malquiades will return again from the dead to deliver the potion that will rekindle memory in Macondo.
See also Liliana Nogueira-Pache's celebration of Marquez's great novel, 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold'.