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Passage: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"What matters in life is not what happens to you -- but what you remember, and how you remember it."

Those words are from Gabriel Garcia Marquez . . . the Colombian-born writer who died this past Thursday in Mexico City.

Though he did not create the style of fiction known as "magical realism," Garcia Marquez was its acknowledged master, mixing fantasy with the down-to-earth in such a convincing way that it almost didn't matter which was which.

The oldest of 12 children, and a survivor of Latin America's political upheavals, Garcia Marquez achieved near-instant worldwide fame after the publication of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" in 1967.

Together with his other novels -- such as "Love in the Time of Cholera," which later became a movie -- the works of Garcia Marquez have outsold everything ever published in Spanish EXCEPT for the Bible.

Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

He was diagnosed with cancer in 1999, and was revealed to be suffering from senile dementia two years ago.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez was 87.