To win the Nobel Prize for literature

40 years ago, Gabriel José García Márquez, from Aracataca, won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the anniversary has made fashionable, again, these days, the theme of the coveted Prize, which not only solves the economic problems of the writer for life , but launches him to world fame.

But not everyone wins the Nobel. Only one writer each year, although it is sometimes possible to share the prize. They are extremely rare cases, but they can happen. Thus, we have the first condition to become worthy of such a high and noble distinction: The Nobel Prize for Literature must be won by a writer. A blacksmith, for example, can never aspire to win such a prize. My grandfather Cleto Ardila, another example, never even aspired to be nominated. He was a muleteer, not a writer. He could have won the Nobel for muleteers (he was a muleteer for a lifetime from La Victoria and Bucarasica to Ocaña and vice versa), but not for Literature. However, recently, it seems that they gave a musician the award for Literature. Cases are seen.

The second requirement is a little more difficult: You have to be a good writer. The clarification is necessary, because there are many writers. Good writers, very few. The difficult thing is to know when you are a good or a bad writer. The point is not to write, but to write well, so that people like it. The problem is the coba that friends give to the one who writes: “You are the verraquera. You are the successor of García Márquez. You are the best”. And if the writer eats coba, that is, if he eats short stories, he runs the risk of resting on his laurels and dreaming of the phone call from Stockholm: “We called him to tell him that he just won the Nobel Prize for literature.” I facilitate. of papaya. You have to believe your friends, but just a little bit more. It is said that García Márquez showed his friends some drafts of his writings, which were not the real ones, nor the ones he intended to publish. Perhaps he did not believe in them or in the coba they gave him.

Third. Pick good topics to write about. Writers know that there are topics that are blessed to talk about, and there are topics that don’t spark any interest. In other words, there are winning themes and losing themes. If that’s the way it is, why choose unsuccessful songs?

Fourth: Do not repeat topics, do not copy, do not plagiarize. It’s not worth, let’s say, rewriting another One Hundred Years of Solitude. Two hundred years would be a hardly salable book. Those in the know advise that the writer should be original in style and theme. It’s not worth raining on wet. A friend once told me that he was thinking of writing the story of a fisherman who caught nothing and died of sadness. “That’s already written,” I told him. It’s Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea.” My friend abandoned his dreams of being a writer.

Fifth: For this very reason, literati advise writers that they should read a lot. The first requirement for a writer, they say, is to be a devourer of books. So another requirement to win the Nobel is to have a house full of books. The problem is women, who cannot bear to see books in bed, in the dining room, in the living room and in the bathroom.

And one last recommendation: It is worth making friends with the Award Juries. An invitation to a chickpea cupcake would not go amiss, for example.

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To win the Nobel Prize for literature