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A proper resting place
A proper resting place
Kanchai

A landslide last month in Zhenxiong County in southwestern China killed 46 villagers. Once the bodies were recovered, the local authority -- without any prior agreement from family members -- cremated them. This set off a storm of protest from relatives of the deceased, and widespread criticism from the public. Zhenxiong authorities sparked further outrage when they admitted that the cremations were prompted by a desire to maintain stability in this part of the province of Yunnan.

That one’s family member dies in a disaster is devastating enough. The fact that the local government went ahead with such a decision and deprived the families the chance to send their loved ones off properly is extra salt in the wound. Such a method of “maintaining stability” can only make matters worse.

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Ideas

García Márquez And Truth: How Journalism Fed The Novelist's Fantasy

In his early journalistic writings, the Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez showed he had an eye for factual details, in which he found the absurdity and 'magic' that would in time be the stuff and style of his fiction.

Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his book

J. D. Torres Duarte

BOGOTÁ — In short stories written in the 1940s and early 50s and later compiled in Eyes of a Blue Dog, the late Gabriel García Márquez, Colombia's Nobel Prize-winning novelist, shows he is as yet a young writer, with a style and subjects that can be atypical.

Stylistically, García Márquez came into his own in the celebrated One Hundred Years of Solitude. Until then both his style and substance took an erratic course: touching the brevity of film scripts in Nobody Writes to the Colonel, technical experimentation in Leaf Storm, the anecdotal short novel in In Evil Hour or exploring politics in Big Mama's Funeral. Throughout, the skills he displayed were rather of a precocious juggler.

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