Garcia Marquez may not write any more. His writing endures
Gabriel Garcia Marquez will no longer tell the tale. Once his younger brother,Jaime,admitted that the 1982 Nobel laureate is suffering from senile dementia and has stopped writing,the reading world assumed there would be no Part 2 to Living to Tell the Tale,the Colombian writers memoir. As it happens,he hasnt published a novel since Memories of My Melancholy Whores (2004,English translation 2005). A writer fears nothing more than losing his mind,and to recall Gabos own words,Death does not come with old age,it comes with oblivion.
Although the medical diagnosis hasnt been pronounced yet,for disbelieving friends and fans it would be prudent to return to The General in His Labyrinth and Gabos defence of his portrait of a broken and delirious Simon Bolivar. He had demonstrated through that book that showing the vulnerable human being behind the glory doesnt take away from the myth of Bolivar. If Garcia Marquez no longer writes,all that will be left is the man. But that will not dent his stature as the tallest pillar of the Latin American Boom,which,three-plus decades since its end,continues to define writers by attraction or repulsion,largely because of him. Gabos literary generation has the distinction of not only projecting its legacy into the future and leaving behind two generations of disciples,but also retrospectively popularising still senior writers such as Jorge Luis Borges beyond a Spanish-speaking readership.
His singular achievement despite the inability to re-invent himself after the Boom,unlike his friend-turned-foe and fellow Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa will save his books from solitude. Gabo would rather we kept talking about his words,not his neurons.