“Oh, is THAT the GUY who died last week?” asked the bespectacled young man who worked at the library, “we moved some of his books to that table there”. I stared at him, nonplussed that he was unfamiliar with the great man who dominated literary world for half a century. The reminiscences of leaders and celebrities across the world, waxing eloquent about One Hundred Years of Solitude and what it meant to them and to an era, had somehow escaped him. And yet, he worked in this county library, among all HIS books, while the spring shower played on the tin roof. May be I live in Macondo.
You see, I was on this quest for Leaf Storm, the first Garcia Marquez book that I read, while a teenager, with the monsoon keeping the rhythm of the rain that Isabel watched. My goal was to read the stories with explicit reference to Macondo, and to find where simple humor and generous laughter were hidden entangled in the brooding unbounded love, in the elaborate exploitation of the naive, and under the river of melancholy running through the tales. I mean, look at the man, universally described as jovial and kind, pictured below visiting his home town, Aracataca, which inspired Macondo – Isn’t it obvious that he has happy memories of the place – with pranks that went well and girls teased good heartedly? But, where is this same joy and laughter in Macondo? I‘d forgotten where it was, even if I ever knew, and I needed to find it, since he laughs no more. Continue reading Searching for Laughter in Macondo