Bangladeshis Mourn Gabriel García Márquez, the ‘Magician Of Words’

Gabriel García Márquez. Image by Wikimedia/Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara. CC BY 2.0

Gabriel García Márquez. Image by Wikimedia/Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara. CC BY 2.0

Gabriel García Márquez, the Nobel-prize winning literary legend from Colombia, died April 17, 2014 at the age of 87. He was not only popular in Latin America but also in South Asia, especially in Bangladesh through translations of his works. There, he was known as the “magician of words”.

Most of the local newspapers in Bangladesh carried the news of his death with importance. On Facebook, Bangaldeshis paid tribute to the author of such beloved works as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera”.

Blogger and author Mahbub Morshed wrote:

মার্কেজ আমাদের জীবনকালের সবচেয়ে বড় সাহিত্যিক।

Márquez is the greatest author of our lifetime.

Tanvir Haider Chowdhury acknowledged the influence of Márquez:

Nostalgia. Melancholy. Solitude. Romance.

I look at these words, and they always make me think of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He taught me to look for the magic underneath the facade of the everyday. Mr Marquez's prose to me defined lyricism. In his hands, the poetry, poignancy and pathos of the human condition lay revealed.

He will always evoke to me my early youth, when I incredulously devoured ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’. I vividly remember sitting there stunned, trying to absorb the fact that these were contemporary works of fiction.

In literary critique Facebook group Boi Porua, writer Ahmed Mostofa Kamal mentioned while discussing the influence of Márquez on Bengali literature:

মার্কেজের প্রভাব খুব বেশি পড়েনি বাঙালি সাহিত্যিকদের ওপর। তাঁর নির্মাণ-কৌশলে অনুপ্রাণিত হয়ে লেখা কঠিন ছিল। কিছু কিছু কৌশল ইউনিকই থেকে যায়, মার্কেজেরটিও তাই।

Márquez's style did not influence Bengli authors much. It was hard to mimic his writing style. Some skills remain unique, such was Márquez's.

Blogger Megha wrote earlier on Sachalayatan blog in a review of a Márquez novel:

একে একে (তার) অনেক বই পড়া হয়েছে। জেনেছি একটা মানুষ কত অসাধারণ কল্পনা শক্তির অধিকারী হতে পারে, কত অসাধারণ ভাবে অতীত বর্তমান আর ভবিষ্যতকে এক লাইনে লেখার ক্ষমতা রাখে! জেনেছি সত্যিকার অর্থে কথার জাদুকর কাকে বলে!

I have read many [of his] books. I have learnt how imaginative a person can be, how magnificently one can write about the future and the past in one line. I have known what a “magician of words” truly means.

Kaberi Gayen, an educator and writer, paid homage to him:

কেনো যেনো কাঁদতে ইচ্ছে করছে না মোটেই। যিনি তুমুল স-শব্দ ভালোবাসায় আরো কয়েকশো বছর বাঁচবেন বলে বিশ্বাস করি, তাঁর ‘মৃত্যু'তে কীভাবে কাঁদি? তাঁর স্বপ্ন এবং ভালোবাসা আমাদের ভেতরেও একটু একটু করে জায়গা করে নিক।

অনেক ভালোবাসা মার্কেজ।

No, I will not cry. As I believe that he will live at least a few more centuries with resonant words of love, how could I cry mourning his death? Let his love and dreams conquer our hearts little by little.

Blogger and Global Voices author Pantha Rahman Reza bod farewell:

বিদায় মার্কেজ!
আপনি বেঁচে থাকবেন আমাদের অক্ষরযাপনে!

Farewell Márquez. You will live on in our reading lives.

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