Buenos Aires pays tribute to Gabo for the 40th anniversary of his literary Nobel

The Buenos Aires Book Fair held this Thursday an act in tribute to the Colombian writer and journalist, Gabriel García Márquez, when it was 40 years since he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, and the Argentine capital was the place that catapulted to fame.

“His fame began in this city (Buenos Aires), although it was also his first frustration,” recalled the general director and co-founder of the Gabo Foundation, Jaime Abello, which is in charge of offering workshops for practical training and the search for excellence. in journalism.

García Márquez or Gabo, for his friends and readers, tried in 1952, without success, to publish "Litter" with Editorial Losada. The rejection by the institution was so great that even an editor sent him a letter suggesting that he “devote himself to something else”.

Some time later, that book, published in Colombia, would serve as the basis for García Márquez to write "One Hundred Years of Solitude" in 1967, under the Sudamericana publishing house in Buenos Aires, and which would make him worthy of the Nobel Prize.

In 1982, the Swedish Academy recognized him for his novels and short stories, in which he combines “the fantastic and the real in a world made up of imagination, reflecting the life and conflicts of a continent.”

"One hundred years of solitude" It is considered one of the most representative novels of magical realism of the 20th century and due to the success it had, it is the term with which it was applied to the literature of the 1960s in Latin America.

“We were not surprised when he won the Nobel,” said Gloria López, editor of Sudamericana and of the books that García Márquez published in the country, during the tribute.

“One Hundred Years of Solitude was never out of print, it was always reissued to get more copies. After she won, we decided for the first time in history to put out 50,000 reissues of her best-known books. There were none left,” she added.

Thirty years later, that same work was translated into at least 37 languages ​​and sold more than 30 million copies worldwide, and even became the obligatory bibliography of schools and universities in Latin America.

The book has 20 untitled chapters, where it narrates a story with a non-linear structure, since the events of the fictitious town of Macondo and the Buendía family, as well as the names of the characters that are repeated over and over again, mixing fantasy with reality. In addition, the narrator is also the main character, something postmodern for the time.

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The tribute also had as a special guest the Colombian film and television director, Rodrigo García Barcha, García Márquez’s eldest son.

“Gabo had mistrust of the prizes and the Nobel Prize in particular, because they had not given it to Jorge Luis Borges or Virginia Woolf or other authors that he respected and read a lot,” commented García Barcha. live from a giant screen at the Book Fair.

“The Swedish academy asked him not to tell anyone, but he was exploding to be able to tell someone,” recalled Barcha during the tribute, which gradually turned into a chat between friends with an audience.

“When the news was known, the telephone was saturated and the journalists and readers did not stop coming home, it was all very crazy and delusional, as if he were a rock star,” he added.

GABO AND FAME

Three years after winning the Nobel Prize, García Márquez published "Love in the time of cholera"a romantic novel inspired by her parents, which more than justified the reason for the award.

The work made headlines again during the harshest stage of the covid-19 pandemic, since in 2020 its sales increased by 621% in English and 168% in Spanish.

Until 1981, the writer lived between Mexico and Colombia, but an article in the newspaper El Tiempo accused him of having links with the M-19 guerrilla group, something that during the presidency of Julio César Turbay Ayala (1979-1982) could lead him to jail.

For this reason, the already renowned author decided to go into exile in Mexico City where he lived until the end of his days.

He always wanted to found his own media outlet, but he never succeeded, instead he managed to raise his foundation together with Jaime Abello to improve the quality of Spanish-speaking journalism.

Abello read to the public one of García Márquez’s last words: “I don’t want to be remembered for One Hundred Years of Solitude, nor for the Nobel Prize, but for the newspaper. I want us to make a completely accurate newspaper.”

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