The spell that Gabriel García Márquez cast the day he won the Nobel Prize

Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

There was among the musicians the drummer Paulino Salgado, from Palenque; his compadre of remote youthful complicities Rafael Escalona, ​​the photographer Nereo López, whose hands were trembling under the snow and he was afraid he could not bear the cold of that December in Stockholm and sought the warmth of the boat where a part of the largest Colombian delegation was staying at the Nobel Prize in Literature party.

Between the ship and the hotel, the delegation was close to ninety guests, including journalists, musicians, friends and relatives of the writer, and guests. While the Colombian press proclaimed before that ceremony that the country would play the bear in Stockholm, the Swedish press celebrated on the front page that García Márquez had taught them how a Nobel Prize should be celebrated, according to the memories of Gloria Triana, who had the mission to select the country’s folk groups to Stockholm. Read: Watch Netflix’s first preview of ‘Macondo’, inspired by Gabo’s work

The various forms of human solitude, one of the great obsessions of the writer, was the essence of his discourse on García Márquez, which went beyond the context of Macondo towards the crude social tragedies of poverty, dispossession and threats suffered by the continent for more than of five centuries, expressed in his speech The loneliness of Latin America. From that day on, this 55-year-old Colombian writer would be the most universal of Colombians, in the pantheon of classic writers in the world, along with Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Rabelais, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Joseph Conrad. , to name some of his favourites.

And from that day on, international agencies searched on the map where Aracataca was and where Colombia was on the world map. From that day and forever, Macondo and Colombia became universal. In the Portal de los Dulces de Cartagena, the newsboys, sipping their coffee, proclaimed the award to García Márquez. A clueless man asked what lottery García Márquez had won. And the one who answered him had grace to answer: It seems that he won a bigger lottery than the Extraordinary Draw.

At various times García Márquez said that he undertook the monstrous feat of writing One Hundred Years of Solitude when he was a seventeen-year-old boy, but the excessive adventure of writing something where the supernatural was the most natural thing revolved around him like a recurring nightmare in his soul. and he still did not have enough time to comprehend it, only when twenty years passed, and in just eighteen months locked up like a captive in his cell, he reached the implacable miracle of a work of art that defied time and the great stories told by humanity. in more than two millennia, when in the nights of antiquity the children sat next to their parents under the starry sky to listen to stories like Scherazada inventing a thousand and one nights of stories to postpone death. Also read: 40 years of the Nobel Prize: the news that made García Márquez lose sleep

Forty years have passed since that glorious day for Colombia and the world. Gloria Triana showed García Márquez photos and images from that December 10, 1982, twenty-five years later. Seeing his grandparents’ white liquid, seeing the yellow rose that trembled on his chest, and seeing the procession of musicians and dancers at the Nobel Prize in Literature ceremony, he himself confessed to Gloria Triana: “I don’t know when it happened everything and we woke up old. I was very scared that day.”

“I want to believe, friends, that this is, once again, a tribute paid to poetry. To the poetry by virtue of which the overwhelming inventory of the ships that he numbered in his Iliad, the old Homer is visited by a wind that pushes them to sail with its timeless and hallucinating alacrity. The poetry that sustains, in the thin scaffolding of Dante’s triplets, the entire dense and colossal fabric of the Middle Ages. The poetry that with such miraculous totality rescues our America in the Heights of Machu Picchu by Pablo Neruda the great, the greatest, and where our best dead-end dreams exude their millennial sadness. Poetry, in short, that secret energy of everyday life, which cooks the chickpeas in the kitchen, and infects love and repeats the images in the mirrors.

In each line that I write I always try, with more or less success, to invoke the elusive spirits of poetry, and I try to leave in each word the testimony of my devotion for its divination virtues, and for its permanent victory against the deaf powers of death. I understand the award that I have just received, with all humility, as the consoling revelation that my attempt has not been in vain. That is why I invite all of you to toast what a great poet of our Americas, Luis Cardoza y Aragón, has defined as the only concrete proof of the existence of man: poetry. Thank you very much”

(Excerpt from La soledad de América Latina, a speech by Gabriel García Márquez upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982)

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The spell that Gabriel García Márquez cast the day he won the Nobel Prize