May 14, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Ruchir Joshi’s tribute to Gabo: A Concert of magics

2 min read

As I got sucked into the great filigree of García Márquez’s narrative I felt as if I’d been given back a trunk of family treasures that had been stolen from me when I was eight years old, the age when I first began reading English properly: The Telegraph, India

Gabriel García Márquez in Monterrey in 2007Gabriel García MárquezAs I’ve written elsewhere, I was pointed towards One Hundred Years of Solitude when I was in my early twenties and living in New York City. The pleasurable shock of reading that book is still vivid in my bones. Looking back, I realize I was till that point completely a hostage of el Norte, of the Anglo-Americo-European north, and its limited notions of what comprised a good story, what comprised a novel, what comprised the list of narrative forms admissible in a serious work or art. As I got sucked into the great filigree of García Márquez’s narrative I felt as if I’d been given back a trunk of family treasures that had been stolen from me when I was eight years old, the age when I first began reading English properly. Sweltering in that New York August, suddenly the Ramayan, the Mahabharat, the Panchatantra, and all the crazy folk tales, were all back with me, all of them now open pathways, inviting me out of the deep parochialism that often streaks through places that imagine they are the centre of the universe.

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