GABO, THE BEST
Yesterday, during his speech, in the 4th Congress of the Spanish language opening session, Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez gave an interesting account of the great vicissitudes he faced while he was in the process of writing his master piece “One Hundred Years of Solitude”. I say “interesting” basically because it does reveal, beyond his eminent mastery of language, an extraordinary example of keeping persistency while pursuing his beliefs. Something that I would call, rephrasing a famous quote: the audacity of belief. Everybody knows that after being awarded the Nobel Prize in 1982, Gabo has kept writing more than ever.
I have got the opportunity to meet him personally many times over the years. I have to say that they have always been difficult “encounters” where it seems to be that I have always ended up saying something awkward. I wonder why? (Hehehehe!).
The First time that I met him, I was working as a bookseller at a renowned bookshop at the age of 17. That was like 5 or 6 years ago (Hehehehehehe, well, probably more). I recognized him immediately as he entered through the door: Maestro! Good morning, would you be kind enough to sign my book….. yes, of course, what is your name young boy?….. You know what? I haven´t read any of your books yet but I surely will….. Say what? Where have you been? Death??..... Arrrrrgh!
The second time, I was working as an editor of a magazine at the Mexican National University while taking my major in Philosophy there. I saw him right after a great conference he gave: Sir! Good afternoon, would you be willing to sign my book….. yes, of course, what is your name young man?..... You know what? I am that “death” young boy to whom you signed a book once who had not read any of your books. Well, I have already done it, and I think they are great!..... Say what? Don´t remember, probably you were not death but plain crazy!!….. Arrrrrgh!
The third time, I was working as a director at a private University Language Centre. I saw Gabo at a major event held at the Royal Academy of Arts here in Mexico: Gabo! Good night, can you sign my book….. yes, of course, what is your name man?..... You know what? Do it to Fanny, please….. Fanny??? That is an interesting name for a man….. That is not my name! That is my girlfriend´s name….. And where is your girlfriend?..... At home!!!..... Hahahahaha! Mexican after all!!….. Arrrrrgh!
I don´t want to continue talking about it (Hehehehehe!). So, it would be good enough to conclude this post by saying that I subscribe any homage to his work today, 40 years later since the first appearance of what many consider the greatest novel in Spanish since “Don Quixote”.