R.I.P. Gabriel García Marquez (1927-2014): Read his Nobel Prize lecture and download Gabo’s classics

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One of Latin America’s greatest writers has left the flesh to become History: Colombian novelist and journalist Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature (1982), died in Mexico City at age 87, leaving behind him a precious legacy for readers of today and tomorrow. Gabo was a gifted artist and sublime story-teller, famous for mastering the genre known as “magic realism“, and was perhaps the most widely known Latin American writer in the world – his most famous novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. Read below an excerpt from his Nobel lecture and download some of his classic books. Rest in peace, dear Gabo!

Read also: New York TimesAlJazeera, NPRThe TelegraphThe GuardianFlavorwire, The New Yorker.

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GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ’s MAIN WORKS:

Novels

  • In Evil Hour
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude
  • The Autumn of the Patriarch
  • Chronicle of a Death Foretold
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • The General in His Labyrinth
  • Of Love and Other Demons
  • Memories of My Melancholy Whores

  Short stories

  • Leaf Storm
  • No One Writes to the Colonel
  • Big Mama’s Funeral
  • Innocent Eréndira
  • Strange Pilgrims
  • The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World
  • A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings

 Non-fiction

  • The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor
  • Clandestine in Chile
  • News of a Kidnapping
  • Living to Tell the Tale

Gabriel-Garcia-Marquez-with-“One-Hundred-Years-of-Solitude”-on-his-headThe Nobel Prize of Literature lecture (1982) [excerpt]:

“Latin America neither wants, nor has any reason, to be a pawn without a will of its own; nor is it merely wishful thinking that its quest for independence and originality should become a Western aspiration. However, the navigational advances that have narrowed such distances between our Americas and Europe seem, conversely, to have accentuated our cultural remoteness. Why is the originality so readily granted us in literature so mistrustfully denied us in our difficult attempts at social change? Why think that the social justice sought by progressive Europeans for their own countries cannot also be a goal for Latin America, with different methods for dissimilar conditions? No: the immeasurable violence and pain of our history are the result of age-old inequities and untold bitterness, and not a conspiracy plotted three thousand leagues from our home. But many European leaders and thinkers have thought so, with the childishness of old-timers who have forgotten the fruitful excess of their youth as if it were impossible to find another destiny than to live at the mercy of the two great masters of the world. This, my friends, is the very scale of our solitude.

In spite of this, to oppression, plundering and abandonment, we respond with life. Neither floods nor plagues, famines nor cataclysms, nor even the eternal wars of century upon century, have been able to subdue the persistent advantage of life over death. An advantage that grows and quickens: every year, there are seventy-four million more births than deaths, a sufficient number of new lives to multiply, each year, the population of New York sevenfold. Most of these births occur in the countries of least resources – including, of course, those of Latin America. Conversely, the most prosperous countries have succeeded in accumulating powers of destruction such as to annihilate, a hundred times over, not only all the human beings that have existed to this day, but also the totality of all living beings that have ever drawn breath on this planet of misfortune.

On a day like today, my master William Faulkner said, “I decline to accept the end of man”. I would fall unworthy of standing in this place that was his, if I were not fully aware that the colossal tragedy he refused to recognize thirty-two years ago is now, for the first time since the beginning of humanity, nothing more than a simple scientific possibility. Faced with this awesome reality that must have seemed a mere utopia through all of human time, we, the inventors of tales, who will believe anything, feel entitled to believe that it is not yet too late to engage in the creation of the opposite utopia. A new and sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth.”

Read the full Nobel Lecture

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4 thoughts on “R.I.P. Gabriel García Marquez (1927-2014): Read his Nobel Prize lecture and download Gabo’s classics

  1. Gabo spoke for freedom’s fighters, like Victor Jara, Oscar Romero, and Salvador Allende.

    Y no olvidamos el valor de Víctor Jara,
    dando la cara siempre a la repression.
    Le cortaron sus dedos y su lengua
    y hasta la muerte gritó revolución

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    • That’s true, Claire! Well remembered. Gabo saw the world from a left-wing perspective, I believe, and that’s made clear, for example, by his stand against the Pinochet dictartorship in Chile… In fact, Latin America can’t forget the wound inflicted in that day – September 11th, 1973 – by the coup d’état (backed-up by the U.S.) that took not only Allende and Jara to their graves, but installed a regime of genocide that would take the lives of thousands of others.

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  2. Please forgive me if I am taking up too much space here on your beautiful blog. I promise I won’t give any more political speeches!
    But I just wanted to share that reading Gabo’s Nobel speech made me realize anew how those of us in the “two powers” annihilate people by thought alone – by simply extinguishing them from our minds.
    For example, I was overcome with rage, despair and disbelief when it took the mainstream media almost three full days to realize – or at least to clearly state – that the new Pope was the top Jesuit in Chile during that period – and he served the Junta! Francis banned the Liberation Theology that bloomed from his own order and spread like a huge flower across Latin America – and he ordered all Jesuits to cooperate with the Junta instead! Francis cooperated with their arrests, and helped to arrange for at least several of the Junta elite to adopt the children of those they had murdered.
    A lost generation, a people still in trauma – and I couldn’t find any American who remembered! Trained journalists who lack the context of even a few decades?

    That stolen generation recently entered its forties. Some of their grandmothers are still standing in the Plaza, waiting for them. And America has already forgotten them.

    That’s solitude.

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    • Hi, Claire! You’re completely welcome to write as much as you like here (including political speeches!).

      The new Pope really stirred a lot of controversy, at least in Latin America, when he was chosen, both because of his affiliation with Argentina’s military dictartorship and because of his opinions about the issue of same-sex marriage. For example, The Huffington Post wrote from Buenos Aires:

      “The gay community here remembers Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, as the man who launched “a war of God” against the move to approve gay marriage. “He was the visible face of the Catholic Church’s opposition to equal marriage and he approached it from a fundamentalist position, posturing that he had to wage a war of God against what he considered a plan of the devil,” said Esteban Paulon, president of the Argentine Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transsexuals.”

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/15/argentine-gay-pope-francis-war-of-god-against-same-sex-marriage_n_2885596.html

      I believe that the Vatican is deeply conservative and right-wing – as you’ve pointed out, the Roman Catholic Church persecutes and silences initiatives similar to the Liberation Theology, aimed at true Christian charity for those Fannon calls “the wretched of the Earth”.

      And when a criminal scandal of mass proportion breaks out – like the epidemic of pedophile-priests – this sacred Institution acts as if they wanted the world to turn a blind-eye and pretend nothing is happening… Well, I wonder, the Law in our democracies clearly states that sexual abuse of children is a criminal act, and why being a man of the Church should grant a criminal such levels of impunity?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

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