"There was a real dichotomy in me because, on one hand ... there was the world of my grandfather; a world of stark reality, of civil wars he told me about, since he had been a colonel in the last civil war. And then, on the other hand, there was the world of my grandmother, which was full of fantasy, completely outside of reality," he said in a 1984 interview.
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Also known as the master of magical realism, Márquez's work was dazzling and fantastical. In the magical fictional city of Macondo, "little fish made of pure gold dazzle the eye; large yellow butterflies flit through the flowers; a train chugs along once in a blue moon; and the only visitors are the all-knowing, mysterious gypsies who come bearing strange tales."
In 1982, the cultural icon was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts," according to the official Nobel Prize website.
Márquez died of pneumonia on April 17, 2014, after battling lymphatic cancer for about 12 years and Alzheimer’s for approximately eight years.
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To honor the great writer and his work, here are five quotes to remember him by:
1. “It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”
2. “Nobody deserves your tears, but whoever deserves them will not make you cry.”
3. “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”
4. “There is always something left to love.”
5. “He who awaits much can expect little.”