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GIRVAN and GABO, Sincerity and Solitude

L- Gabriel Garcia “Gabo” Marquez; Professor Norman GirvanIt has been for me the spring season of the extravaganza of death. And the recent passing and interrupted invaluable life’s journey of the indomitable Professor Norman Girvan, and the esteemed and eminent Gabriel Garcia Marquez, both quintessential Caribbean and Latin Americas colossal, reminds us of the inexplicable duality, and synergy of life and death.

Professor Norman Girvan was a friend of mine, one of my intellectual resource persons, when I hosted “Caribbean Into The 21st Century”, for over a decade on ZDK Radio (one of the only and longest intellectual talk radio programs in the English speaking Caribbean). This programme dealt mainly, with Geo-Political, and economic topics relating and affection the Caribbean.

Professor Norman Girvan was not just one of the most accomplished academics, scholars, publisher, and writer of all times, he was in my opinion, was among the most incisive and perceptive intellectual anywhere, but most definitely the Caribbean foremost. In an era when imperialism, the subterfuge and metamorphosis for slavery, had disguised itself in the cloak of free market, liberalization, international trade, rating agencies, banking and financial hegemonies, and regulators,  was packaged in voluminous pages of legal and highfalutin language. More often than not, these policies were detrimental to our Caribbean civilization.

No Caribbean technician, academic, scholar, or politician, was better able to dissect, analyze, interpret, and unearth, the danger and sinister intents and contents, disguised and hidden, in those documents, treatises, and protocols drafted by North Americans and Europeans , in bilateral, and multi-lateral agreements between and for the Caribbean and the aforementioned. As did Norman Girvan.

Norman Girvan was one of the greatest defenders and protectors of the Caribbean Civilization, independence, and sovereignty. It was for that reason why he was so mentally sharp and clear to see through the veil and vulgar attempts of the neo-liberals (G7s, etc) to reintroduce colonization through linguistic semantics in legal documentary passages and contents, in the often imposed protocols, treaties, and agreements.  The Caribbean has lost one of its most distinguished and genuine advocate, defender, and protector in the passing of Professor Norman Girvan.



Gabriel Garcia “Gabo” Marquez is probably without contradiction the Caribbean and the Americas most celebrated literary genius. Not just because over 25 million copies of his literary work “One Hundred Years of Solitude” have been sold all over the world in several languages, but more so, because Gabo, fused in his life and being, the cultural mix of Spanish, black, and the indigenous inhabitants of the Caribbean and the Americas.

It was Cuba’s Alejo Carpentier, Mexico’s Juan Rulfo, and Argentina’s Jorge Luis Borges who pioneered “Magical Realism”, but certainly without a doubt, it was Gabriel Garcia “Gabo” Marques who popularized “Magical Realism”. a Latin American literary creative style, which Gabo described as, “the blending of fantasy and outrageous facts-told with a straight face”.

His fourth novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” was to change Latin America and the Caribbean literature forever. It is a story of succeeding generations of the archetypal Buendía family and the amazing events that befall the isolated town of Macondo.  In it, Marquez weaves his literal genius and magic that brought a new awareness and appreciation to literature, not only among the literati, and academics, but in an astounding way among the untutored as never before. His phenomenal works won him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, placing him in the pantheon of literary genius and colossus.

Even more telling of his impact and career as a Latin America and Caribbean literal genius, was that he believed that writers had a public duty and obligation to speak out on political issues. His life was a true manifestation of this fact. Gabriel Garcia “Gabo” Marquez was aware of the evil legacy of colonialism and slavery, and was even more conscious and knowledgeable of the destruction, devastation, and domination of imperialism in Latin America, and was almost unchallenged in literary works in that respect. He was a Bolivarian socialist, a defender of Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution, and a champion for Latin American justice, sovereignty, independence, progress, and peace. May he have a righteous journey to Valhalla?

I believe the following quotations would give even more justice to this literary and American colossus.  
"From the time I read 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' more than 40 years ago, I was always amazed by his unique gifts of imagination, clarity of thought, and emotional honesty ... I was honored to be his friend and to know his great heart and brilliant mind for more than 20 years." — Former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
"With the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the world has lost one of its greatest visionary writers - and one of my favorites from the time I was young ... I offer my thoughts to his family and friends, whom I hope take solace in the fact that Gabo's work will live on for generations to come." — U.S. President Barack Obama.

"The world, and in particular the nations of Our America, have suffered the physical loss of an intellectual and paradigmatic writer. Cubans (have lost) a great, close and supportive friend." — Cuban President Raul Castro.
"With Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a writing giant who gave worldwide reach to the imagination of an entire continent has passed. ... His committed articles as a journalist and his tireless struggle against imperialism made him one of the most influential South American intellectuals of our time." — French President Francois Hollande.
"A great artist is gone, but his grand art remains with us. Most authors are only shadows, but Gabriel Garcia Marquez belonged to those who cast a shadow, and he will continue to do so long after his death." Peter Englund, permanent secretary of the Nobel Prize-awarding Swedish Academy.

His best friend Fidel Castro has not paid his tribute yet.

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Silence is golden

#1 GRAY FARM MAN » 2014-04-21 10:17

Alister where on earth have you been. You sit quietly on the sidelines watching Spencer eroding slowly, our infant democracy and you have a great dose of xxxh! I appreciate this article but I could not help recognising what a big choir member you have become. During this EASTERTIDE we are reminded of the THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER. "Though cowards flinch and Traitors sneer, we'll keep the Red Flag flying here." Have a pleasant Easter.
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