Gabriel García Márquez. Without him our solitude would be greater

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I have a special admiration for him. He is a universal master of literary art. But I also profess him a special gratitude because he helped me to promote culture and art when I was Director-General of UNESCO and, like good teachers, to know how to look.

I remember one day in Havana, when I visited the International School of Film and Television. Upon my arrival, he was listening to the argument of a film that a stunned Colombian student exposed him: the protagonist watched for hours on what was happening in the house across from but was convinced that it could only cross the street when it rained so much that could do it through water. Finally one day it rained so much that could cross ... but then realized that what she was really interested to know who was "the woman across the street", i.e., herself ... In concluding his presentation, Gabriel said he liked it but he recommended to read the work of one Argentinean writer that had a similar argument. Annoyed, the future filmmaker said: "I assure you that I have not plagiarized!” Gabo replied with a broad grin: “I have no doubt, but you have to think that according to English, there are only a dozen variations of drama. And the English are exaggerated: there are really only two: love and death”.

Another day in Cartagena de Indias, near his home in a small bar he used to go, I asked Gabriel: “Where do you get these fabulous stories, these unusual characters, these remote places?” He answered slowly: "Well, I come here and take note of what customers say. Listening inspire me exorbitant profiles and happenings that I have to often "reduce" what happens in real life”...

Dear “Gabriel": You told me one day at UNESCO that the word "eternity” perturbed you extremely "because it is too long "...

Your thoughts, your messages, your characters will remain many centuries because they are now history. You are already some of the few humans who do not die, are just absent , that the silver trail of your work will  always remain ( ... is always the same as eternal?, because both terms mean there is no end ... but "always" is less emphatic, is a simpler "endless")...

I want reaffirm my deep appreciation for the support you and Carlos Fuentes provided me to organize the “Summit of Thought” in Latin America ... to the implementation of the “Demos " program... and to pay the  first  public  tribute   to  Rigoberta   Menchú  when  some   obstinate
"Ladinos” still did not understand why an Indian was awarded with the Nobel Prize.

Gabriel García Márquez, excellent journalist, was a great writer because before he had been a great storyteller. Only those who describe well can write better.

An exceptional person has died. But he will remain in each of us. He will stay in Macondo so we can all go and see him. It was “his village." Now he is forever (!), of the whole humanity.