My first photo in five months is dedicated to the Colombian writer, Gabriel Garcia Márquez, who died in Mexico City on 17 April, aged 87.
I foraged around among my recent photos for a photo with a reflective, elegiac tone, suggestive of solitude in memory of Garcia Márquez's famous 1967 novel, Cien Años de Soledad, or One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Some searching indicates his death has not been noted in any photos on TE, but I may be mistaken. In any case, if anyone should note his passing it should be the member who calls himself after the fantastic fictional town of Macondo, the name of a faded banana plantation the writer remembered from the journey he undertook with his mother to Aracataca, the Caribbean town of his birth. Garcia Márquez described Macondo thus:
"At that time Macondo was a village of 20 adobe houses built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point."
No one who has read One Hundred Years of Solitude has forgotten, surely, the opening sentence: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
The photo, of course, really has nothing to do with Garcia Márquez or Colombia, bananas or ice, but shows a solitary ageing figure - let's imagine he is a retired colonel - beside the Vieux Port in Marseille, looking south towards the most elevated point in the city, upon which stands the Notre-Dame de la Garde church, consecrated in 1864. The lonely figure reminded me of the title of Garcia Márquez's 1961 novella, No One Writes to the Colonel. That novella concludes in immortal fashion with the colonel's wife asking what they might live on until their fighting cock wins on Sunday:
“In the meantime, what will we eat?"
Members who have lived under the spell of Garcia Márquez's writings may appreciate my eulogistic note; others will, I hope, forgive this apparent indulgence.
Critiques | Translate
daddo (28110) 2014-04-18 23:35
Hi Andrew. Glad to see that you are still out there-I was beginning to wonder. Thanks for finally telling the ignorant about the origin of your pseudonym- I had no idea. Your note indicates your love of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's writing and the photo provides a gentle link to the writer and his Colonel, despite the lack of bananas. Regards. Klaudio.(Are you in Melbourne?)
Royaldevon (43865) 2014-04-19 0:31
Good Morning Andrew,,
I was captivated by both your photograph and your note. For my sins, I have never read any of the novels of Gabriel Garcia Marquez but on watching reports about him on the news, determined that '100 Years of Solitude' would be my next read.
Your photograph captures a mood of solitude, maybe of reflection of a life nearly spent. The figure draws us to him, from the strength of his position, silhouetted against the water. The moored boats, like a group in anticipation, watching his movements.
A very moody shot.
Thank you for your notes. I have learned a lot, today, and it has strengthened my determination to read this celebrated author.
Have a lovely day,
CLODO (35938) 2014-04-19 1:38
A very intreresting note to underline the loneliness of the human silhouette on the harbour.
Good Easter week end macondo!
Giustiniani (3632) 2014-04-19 2:19
une superbe photo accompagnée d'une note intéressante qui donne une tout autre dimension à l'image. Un très bel hommage. Une très belle illustration de la solitude.
Lisas_world (1232) 2014-04-19 18:36
Perfect, Macondo. Note & photo. Thank you.
jcpix (13950) 2014-04-19 20:19
I hate to do this, but with very limited free time at the moment, please pardon my ‘copy & paste’ note. I really wanted to respond to as many as possible before this next week really gets away from me. With no time for details unfortunately, I can still say this image is one that I find quite enjoyable. :) All the best to you and yours for a Happy Easter. Take care.
Marseille is one of my all time favorite cities...and this looks fantastic is sepia!
romanaa (8022) 2014-04-19 23:25
hmmm, it seems I should finally read that book, it has been on my 'read it' list for ages. I have also been neglecting TE for a long time after so many of of my TE friends left the site. Good to see you are posting.
The photo is brilliant. One of those that I have to think who has persuaded the man to sit just at the right spot to fill in the last detail to the flawless composition, or were you just lucky to find there one. (BTW - I did not move the chairs in the barn, only the old leaf).
papagolf21 (110262) 2014-04-20 8:03
Bonjour, cher Andrew,
Le choix du noir et blanc est parfait pour valoriser les ombres et les lumières ainsi que les contrastes.
La présence d'un personnage renforce l'intérêt du sujet.
Félicitations pour l'ensemble.
skippy007 (12510) 2014-04-20 16:55
Andrew you are forgiven. Nice moody shot, it compliments your well written & entertaining note that is obviously influenced by Garcia Márquez's spell on you. I write very few critiques these days but I wanted to let you know that I enjoyed reading (as always) your note.
PS enjoyed the photo as well :)
batalay (40521) 2014-04-20 20:58
I thought you had been absent for an unusually long period. It's good see you back. Your note here is at least as appealing as this photo. The man sitting on the dock is placed in an ideal spot in the frame, and the B&W format lends mystique to the atmosphere.
emka (107671) 2014-04-21 22:58
How someone aka Macondo couldn't post a photo as a tribute for the great writer. I am not sure if I have read this novel or not, but I see that I have to read it. Excellent note and marvelous photo to illustrate your feelings. The sad occasion but I am happy that you have appeared here after long absence.
I was inspired by your photos from Chester and went there in December. Charming place.
WArm regrads MAlgo
abmdsudi (58218) 2014-04-21 23:14
Great solid shot and many thanks to the lengthy notes. An appealing mono version with the pov allowing the eye to wander round the image but my eye keeps getting pulled back to the stunning mystery fig which is perfectly placed making a sound base to the compo, an effect I think would be lost in colour version. I love the astounding clarity and vision of glistening warm light and shadows, a jaw-dropping contrast indeed - really is that vivid in detail which convey that feeling of space and location. The yachts on the right frame ensure the eye doesn't escape from focus! Hats off, gorgeous, good vision and pleasure to view. My compliments. Have a great day
Nicou (151958) 2014-04-22 3:14
quel rendu en NB sueprbe iamge et compo po cet homme sur le qui avec tous ces bâteaux et la belle luminosité quelle merveille sueprbe vue.
Bravo et amitié
tyro (26142) 2014-04-22 3:31
What a fabulously interesting and thoughtful (as well as thought provoking) note you have written. But I must confess that I have never read Gabriel Garcia Márquez nor have I ever heard of the fictional town of Macondo either - though now I know from where you got your name on TE! Perhaps I should consider changing my name to Llareggub - the name of the fictional Welsh town in Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood - and which, when read backwards, means precisely nothing!
Your photograph looks good enough on the "new" version of TE but on "beta" TE at its full size of 1200 pixels wide it is absolutely stunning! The contre jour lighting, the contrasts and the tones are beautiful and the details and sharpness are exquisite. A fine composition too, the diagonal line of the moored boats leading the eye toward the distant buildings and with the elderly gentleman perfectly placed in the frame - and the viewer is naturally tempted to follow his line of sight toward the distant skyline of Marseilles.
Kielia (24077) 2014-04-23 8:06
thank you for drawing our attention to the late Garcia Marquez. This is really a very nice tribute to him. Black and white works excellently. Compositionally the photo is very well balanced and the light management is excellent. I also enjoyed reading the notes. My compliments!
jhm (160851) 2014-04-24 4:40
You shows us a nice black and white picture, notwithstanding that I not am a big fan of b & w.
Nice depth and perspective picture too.
Composition and presentation are excellent.
Very well done, TFS.
BennyV (20655) 2014-04-25 12:28
Lovely post, Andrew. It combines (1) Marseille, which is a city very high on my list places I want to visit, and (2) Marquez, a writer who was one of the first to really draw me into literature (a love that's never stopped). Actually we weren't that far from Marseille when GGM died...only we were off-screen and completely incommunicado high on a hill in the Cevennes. Blissful solitude. We'll catch up on the news later.
Fine picture, btw, too. Suitable bl/w. Always great to see a a title pop up out of context and creating new possibilities of meaning. There's no end...
Silvio1953 (154001) 2014-04-25 14:05
Ciao Andrew, fascinating B&W composition with lonely sitting ,an, great parade of beautifulò boats, excellent perspective and splendid light, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio
gildasjan (43824) 2014-04-27 1:12
Image bien composée avec cet homme assis sur ce quai et bon rendu des valeurs de gris pour ce cliché en B&W.
adores (46417) 2014-05-27 14:08
It's a really great and deserved homage! I apprecciated the note and the photo that was so well chosen to the occasion. It's a very good b&w, with the lonely man enjoying the winter sun in the marina. A good composition and a good quality shot!
willperrett (11918) 2015-10-06 2:26
I'm sorry I missed this one when you posted it; but it's a rare b/w image (rare on this site) and memorializes one of my favourite writers, so I had to get in! The photograph would work tolerably well as a record of a marina in Marseille; but the canny inclusion of the silhouetted figure makes it so much more. The subtle sepia toning also adds to the elegaic atmosphere that you refer to in your notes.
- Copyright: Andrew McRae (macondo) (19806)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 2013-12-29
- Categories: Daily Life, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Olympus OMD EM5, Olympus M Zuiko MSC ED 14-150mm
- Exposure: f/11, 1/1000 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2014-04-18 23:16