Macondo is a fictional town created by the Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez and the setting of his most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, as well as several of his short stories. Although it was inspired by Aracataca, the municipality where Marquez grew up, like all fictional places Macondo’s true location is beyond reality, in the pages of the atlas of our collective imaginations.
Marquez died on Thursday. It is therefore tempting to say that Macondo died with him. What is written is written, and there will be no more. The town is abandoned. Thankfully, that’s not true. Macondo is no more abandoned than any place is abandoned when its founder dies. We mourn, we read on, and in each of our minds Macondo survives because its truest inhabitants are not its characters but we, its international readers.