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Garcia Marquez celebrated in Mexico City, his adopted hometown

October 25, 2012|By Hector Tobar
  • Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City in 2011.
Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the Soumaya Museum in Mexico City in 2011. (Eduardo Verdugo / AP Photo )

A half a century ago, a somewhat obscure Colombian writer resettled in that teeming cauldron of culture and humanity called Mexico City. He had just published a novel that was a modest success back home, and was starting on another he thought was pretty good, a historical epic set in a fictional small town in Colombia's banana-growing region.

The as-yet-unfinished novel was called "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and the author was the future Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. "Gabo," as he's affectionately known, still calls Mexico City home. And now, his adopted hometown is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his arrival there.

The Mexico City government has put up 40,000 posters across the city in honor of the novelist as part of the 12th annual Internantional Book Festival in the Zocalo, the city's massive central square. The book fair runs until Sunday.

The posters are composed of 10 different historical photographs of the author, along with quotes from his oeuvre, according to the Mexico City newspaper Vanguardia (link in Spanish).

"The writer writes his books to explain to himself those things that have no explanation," reads one. "The heart eliminates bad memories and magnifies good ones and thanks to that artifice we can endure the past," reads another.

Garcia Marquez is 85, and said to be in frail health and suffering from the early stages of dementia.

hector.tobar@latimes.com

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