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"Chronicle of a Death Foretweeted"

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The death rumors of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Márquez that have spread on Twitter have turned out to be nothing more than fiction.

An account purporting to belong to Italian author Umberto Eco announced the false report early Tuesday morning.  

“GABRIEL GARCIA MÀRQUEZ DIES,” the tweet read. “I RECEIVED THE NEWS NOW FROM NEW YORK.”

The announcement was followed shortly after by another tweet claiming, “The news of the death of Garcia Márquez will be officially announced by the sister Aida and by publishers in few hours.”

The Twitter account is followed by nearly 2,000 users, and the tweets were sent out in both Spanish and English. The result was hundreds of retweets in both languages and a short period of mourning for literature buffs.

The rumor, however, was quickly refuted by an account with the name GabrielGarcíaMárquez, although the user remains unverified.

“And if we said that [Eco] had died?” the user @ElGabo tweeted. “A false account.”

The director of the Ibero-American Foundation for New Journalism, of which Márquez is the president, also reacted quickly to the rumors.

"To pay attention to someone spreading rumors is to give them too much credit,” Director Jaime Abello Banfi wrote. “Better to skip the page. We are very busy, [Marquez], also."

Others reacted to the news as well.

“Don't be upset about Twitter circulating rumors of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's demise,” tweeted the New York Times’ journalist Michael Roston. “this is exactly how magical realism works.”

“Looks like the Garcia Marquez news is hoax. What bastards,” author Stephanie Merritt tweeted. “Chronicle of a Death Foretweeted...,” the tweet continued, referencing one of Marquez’s most well-known novels, Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

The tweeting of false death rumors is not uncommon on Twitter. Entertainers such as Soulja Boy, Drake, and Chris Brown have all fallen victim to the hoax. Even the Pope and Fidel Castro are not immune.

Photo by *malvenko