Gabriel García Márquez had a good, long life.
That’s what I tell myself to escape the abysmal sensation that the world lost a great writer one week ago.
I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude in high school, followed by other astounding novels and short stories throughout college, picking up the original Spanish as I was able. I already knew I was a writer by that time, but these stories influenced my work much more profoundly than almost any other book. In spite of my tendency to best appreciate things from 400 years ago or more, one of the most pleasurable things about reading García Márquez’s work was that he was still alive and therefore available to create more of these unique stories. He was unable to write during his final years, but now it’s certain: no other literature or Spanish students will get to enjoy that sensation of more to come.
Such sentiments were already on my mind for more personal reasons. At the end of March, the dear lady who wrote under the name Moonyeen Blakey passed away after a battle with cancer. I edited Moon’s first book, The Assassin’s Wife. Although I knew she wasn’t well, I fully expected her to recover. I still feel unpleasantly surprised. I had hoped someday to visit her in her quaint seaside town in England and it seems impossible that I will now never meet her. As a compliment to her artistry, I also sorely feel the loss of the other great books she didn’t get the chance to write.
Art is eternal, but life is fleeting. We must create, enjoy, and connect with others while we can.