Colombian Nobel laureate Garcia Marquez says he has stopped writing

Colombian Nobel Prize-winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who rarely offers glimpses into his private life, was quoted as saying in an interview published Sunday that he has stopped writing, at least for the time being.

"The year 2005 was the first in my life when I did not write a single line," the 78-year-old author was quoted as saying in the interview conducted in his home in Mexico and published in the Barcelona-based daily La Vanguardia.

"I haven't sat before a computer. And besides, I have no prospect or prospects to do it. I had never stopped writing, this is the first year in my life I haven't done any writing," he was quoted as saying.

"I used to work every day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. I used to say that it was to keep my arm warm, but it really was because I had nothing else to do in the morning."

However, Garcia Marquez said there might be another book in him _ if inspiration strikes, but he's not optimistic, according to the newspaper.

"If tomorrow a new novel occurred to me, that would be fantastic! With the practice I have, I could write another novel without further problems, but people notice when one has not put the guts in it," Garcia Marquez was quoted as saying.

Often described as the father of magical realism, he is best known for "One Hundred Years of Solitude" _ which earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 _ "Love in the Time of Cholera," "Chronicle of a Death Foretold" and "News of a Kidnapping".

But in recent years, Garcia Marquez's writing output has slowed considerably.

In 2002, he published "Living to Tell the Tale", the first volume of an autobiography, and kept his fans waiting 10 years for his last novel, "Memories of My Melancholy Whores." The story of a 90-year-old man who wants to celebrate his birthday by taking the virginity of a teenage girl. The book came out in 2004.

Garcia Marquez was quoted as saying that he had been trying to finish the second installment of his memoirs but he said he probably won't write it.

He warned, influence and fame could be dangerous, the report said.

"Something very pleasant for a writer, but you've got to know how to keep it at bay. Fame nearly ruined my life, because it disrupts the sense of reality such is the power. It condemns you to loneliness, it creates a problem of communication that isolates you," he was quoted as saying.

One reported reason for the writer's silence has been his fight against lymphatic cancer, AP reported. V.A.

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