Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I recently received this beautiful "farewell letter" written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Colombian Nobel laureate in literature who is diagnosed with terminal cancer. When I was an undergraduate student at MIT, I used to read and love Gabriel's books -- those were the days when we were all passionate about changing the world and righting the world's injustice, and his writings stoked the fire in our belly. Reading his letter now brings back bitter-sweet memories of my Cambridge days, and helps me to connect back to an earlier dot in my life.

The friend who sent it to me is a Malaysian (part of the Malaysian-who-studied-in New Zealand friendship network of my wife who studied in New Zealand...) whose wife had recently died of cancer. I have forwarded it to one of my NUS students who is completing a one-year internship program in Silicon Valley (the NUS Overseas College Program), and he in turn has posted it on a new web-portal that he and several other NOC and Stanford classmates have developed called spread-the-love ( They hope to make it into a platform for people to "discover, share and collaborate around the things that they love".

I recommend you to go to this spread-the-love web-site to read Gabriel's touching letter, as well as to learn more about what that portal is trying to do, and hopefully you can contribute towards their effort as well. For those of you who have not read Gabriel's books before, I would strongly recommend them as well.


Qing Ru said...

Gabriel's farewell letter reminds me of a similar letter written by the late Richard Carlson, an author and motivational speaker, to his wife.

He imagines he has an hour to live and poses questions originally asked by spiritual guide and author Stephen Levine: whom would you call? what would you say? and why are you waiting? Uncannily, the text foreshadowed Carlson's death three years later, at age 45, of a pulmonary embolism.

Caution: Prepare some tissues in advance ;p

Qing Ru said...

oprah winfrey's show covered this a little:

Readymade said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Readymade said...

Uhh... sorry Prof but this seems to be a hoax. A quick Wikipedia search leads to:

But that good news right? Marquez lives! :)

Connect-the-dots@Singapore said...

Thanks for the correction, I just received another email alerting me of the same...the wisdom of the crowd is working

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Great story, I really love it. Thanks for sharing. I haven't visited to Colombia but I sure it is a worthwhile place to visit. We will there (Colombia) next year.
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stenote said...

Very interesting... Read also an interview with Gabriel (imaginary) in Hope you like it.