The best speeches of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Each speech of the great Colombian turned into a work of art, where autobiography was mixed with fantasy, and philosophy with journalism.

Gabriel Garcia Márquez did not know how to make speeches - and warned the reader about this. Apparently, that is why every speech of the great Colombian turned into a work of art, where autobiography was mixed with fantasy, and philosophy with journalism. "I'm Not Here to Make Speeches" is the title of one of his books. There is something in front of the reader that is quite the opposite of the very idea of ​​addressing the audience. Very intimate, personal and mesmerizing. One of the most famous writers of our time passed away on April 18, 2014.

Academy of Duty

Zipaquira, Colombia, November 17, 1944

Usually, at all such meetings of the public, a person is chosen or appointed to make a speech. This person finds the most appropriate topic and develops it in front of those present. But I didn't come here to make a speech. I could choose for today's meeting the noble and sublime theme of friendship. But what can I tell you new about it? I could fill many pages with different stories and opinions, but in the end it would not lead me to what I want to say. Let each of you analyze your own personal feelings, consider one by one the reasons why you feel this incomparable attraction to the person with whom you have the closest friendship, and then you can understand the meaning of this meeting.

The whole chain of daily events that united us all with inextricable bonds with a group of young people starting their independent path in life is nothing but friendship. And that's what I wanted to tell you today. But I repeat, I have not come to make a speech; I just want to appoint you as judges of justice in this process, in order to invite you to a sad and at the same time significant event - farewell to the students of this wonderful educational institution.

Here with us ready to depart is Enri Sanchez, the handsome d'Artagnan of athletics, with the three musketeers Jorge Fajardo, Augusto Londoño and Hernando Rodriguez. With us Rafael Cuenca and Nicolas Reyes, his shadow. Here we have Ricardo Gonzalez, the great knight of the test tube, and Alfredo Garcia Romero, declared a dangerous type in the field of all discussions: they are together, and their life has already become a model of true friendship. With us are Julio Villafagnier and Rodrigo Restrepo, members of our parliament and our journalists. Here are Miguel Angel Lozano and Guillermo Rubio, the apostles of precision. With us are Humberto Jaimes and Manuel Arenas, Samuel Huertas and Ernesto Martinez, ambassadors of enlightenment and goodwill. Here is Alvaro Nivia with his clever humor. With us are Jaime Fonseca, Hector Cuellar and Alfredo Aguirre, three different personalities and one true ideal: victory. Here Carlos Aguirre and Carlos Alvarado, they are united by the name and desire to become the pride of the motherland. With us are Alvaro Baquero, Ramiro Cardenas and Jaime Montoya, inseparable friends of books. And finally, here Julio Cesar Morales and Guillermo Sanchez are like two living pillars on whose shoulders I am responsible for my words when I say that this whole group of young graduates is destined to stay on the best daguerreotypes of Colombia for a long time.

Now that you have heard about the qualities of each of them, I want to issue a verdict that you, as judges of justice, must accept: on behalf of the National Lyceum and the whole society, I declare this group of young people, in the words of Cicero, full members academy of duty and citizens of the mind.

Honorable audience, the process is complete.

How I started writing

Caracas, Venezuela, May 3, 1970

First of all, I wanted to I would like to apologize for speaking while sitting, because if I get up, I risk falling from fear. It's true. I always thought that I would spend the last five most terrible minutes of my life on an airplane in the company of twenty or thirty people, and not in front of two hundred friends, as here. Fortunately, what is happening here now allows me to start talking about my literature - after all, I sometimes thought, as a sinful deed, that I became a writer in the same way that I rose to this podium: involuntarily. I confess that I did everything possible not to come to this meeting: I tried to get sick, to catch pneumonia, I went to the hairdresser in the hope that he would cut off my head... And finally, I thought of coming here without a jacket and without a tie in the hope that I will not be allowed to attend such an official meeting. But I did not take into account that I am in Venezuela, where you can appear everywhere just in a shirt. And here's the result: I'm here, but I don't know where to start. However, I can tell you how I started writing.

It never crossed my mind that I could become a writer, but in my student years, Eduardo Salamea Borda, editor of the literary supplement of the newspaper El Espectador in Bogota, published an article saying that new generations writers have nothing to offer that doesn't see a new storyteller or novelist. In conclusion, he claimed that he was being reproached for publishing in his newspaper only well-known works by eminent writers, but completely bypassing young ones, to which he replied that there simply were no young people who wrote well.

Then a feeling of solidarity with my peers seized me, and I decided to write a story just to shut up the mouth of Eduardo Salamea Borda, who was my good friend, or at least has since become my friend. I sat down, wrote a story and sent it to El Espectador. The second time I was seized with fear was the following Sunday, when I accidentally opened the newspaper and saw my story in a full page, and next to it was an article in which Eduardo Salamea Borda admitted his mistake, because "this story heralded the appearance of a genius in Colombian literature."

This time I really felt bad and thought: what an unpleasant story I got myself into! What should I do now so as not to let Eduardo Salamea Borda down? Keep writing, I told myself.

I've always had a problem with themes: I had to look for a story to tell it. And this allows me to reveal to you something that I have only become convinced of now that I have already published five books: the craft of writing is perhaps the only one that becomes more and more difficult as you master it. The ease with which I sat down to write that first story one evening cannot be compared with the amount of work it takes for me to write just one page now. As for my method of work, it is quite consistent with what I am talking about now. I never know how much I will write, about what I will write. I wait until something comes to my mind, and when an idea comes to me that I consider worthy of paper, I begin to scroll through it in my head so that it matures. When this is over (and sometimes many years pass, as in the case of One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I pondered for nineteen years), I repeat: so I thought about the idea, I sit down to write it down - this is where the most difficult and boring part of the job. Because the most intoxicating moment is when the story is just born in you, you give it shape, changing it repeatedly, so that when you sit down to write, it is no longer very interesting, at least to me.

I will tell you, for example, about an idea that has been in my head for many years, and I suspect that it has almost found its shape. I will talk about it now, because for sure, when I start writing about it, I don’t know at what point you will find that it has become completely different, and at what moment you will see in which direction it has evolved. Imagine a small town where an old lady lives with two children: a 17-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter. She serves breakfast to the children, and they notice that she has a very worried expression on her face. The children ask her what happened, and she replies: “I don’t know, but I woke up with the thought that something terrible was going to happen to our town.”

They laugh at her, they say it's an old woman's premonitions, it happens. The son leaves to play billiards, and at the moment when he is about to make the simplest carom, the opponent says to him: "We bet you one peso that you will hit."Everyone laughs and he laughs, makes a carom and misses. The opponent pays one peso and asks him: "But what happened, isn't it such a simple carom?" He says, "True, but I was very worried about one thing my mother told me this morning: something terrible is going to happen to our town." Everyone laughs at him, and he returns home with the peso he won, where his mother and either a cousin, or a granddaughter, or some other relative are waiting for him. He is happy that he won the peso and says, "I easily won this peso from Damaso because he is a fool." "Why is he stupid?" “Because I couldn’t make a simple carom,” he replies, “because I was worried that my mother woke up today with the thought that something terrible was going to happen to our town.”

And then his mother says to him: "Do not mock the forebodings of the old people, sometimes they come true." The relative hears this and goes for the meat. She tells the butcher, “I need a pound of meat,” and the moment he starts cutting off a piece, she adds, “Better give me two, because they say something terrible is going to happen and it’s better to be prepared for anything.” The butcher weighs the meat, and when another lady comes to buy a pound of meat, he tells her: "Take two, because the people who came here say that something terrible will happen, so they prepare and buy everything for the future."

Then the old woman says: “I have several children, give me better four pounds.” She leaves with four pounds, and so that the story does not drag out, I will tell you that the butcher ran out of meat in half an hour, he kills another cow, sells it, and the rumor spreads and creeps further. There comes a moment when everyone in town is waiting for something to happen. All activity is paralyzed. At two o'clock in the afternoon, as always, the heat. Someone says, "Do you see how hot it is?" “But it was always hot in our city. It is so hot that all the musicians of the town always had their instruments lined with tarpaulins and they always played in the shade, because in the sun the instruments simply crumbled to pieces. “And yet,” someone says, “it has never been so hot at this hour.” In a deserted town, in a deserted square, a bird suddenly flies, and a rumor creeps: "There is a bird in the square." And everyone comes running, frightened, to look at the bird.

"But, gentlemen, the birds always came here." "Yes, but not at this hour." There comes a moment when the inhabitants reach such a state that they desperately want to leave the town, but do not dare. "I'm macho! one of them shouts. "And I'm leaving." He grabs his furniture, children, animals, loads them into a wagon and crosses the main street, where the inhabitants of the town see him. They look at him and say: “If he decided to leave, then we will leave too” - and they begin to literally dismantle the whole town into pieces. They take away their belongings, animals, everything. One of the last residents to leave the town says, "May no misfortune befall what is left of our home," and sets his house on fire, and others set their houses on fire too. They run away in a terrible panic, as if it were an exodus during the war, among them a seigneur who was an omen, and she laments: "I said that something terrible would happen, and they told me that I had lost my mind."

For you

Caracas, Venezuela, August 2, 1972

Now that we are alone, among friends, I would like to ask for your complicity and sympathy, so that you can help me soften the memories of that first evening in my life when, being of sound mind and solid memory, I appeared in my own person to do two things that I promised myself never, under any circumstances, do: get an award and give a speech.

Contrary to other opinions I highly respect, I have always believed that we writers do not come into this world to be crowned, because most of you know that public honors are the beginning embalming. I have always believed that in the end we become writers, not because of our own merit, but by misfortune, simply because we do not know how to do anything else, and our reclusive work should not deserve more rewards and privileges than it deserves. for his work, for example, a shoemaker who makes boots. However, do not think that I have come to apologize for my coming, or that I am trying to belittle the award that I am being honored today and which bears the so appropriate name of America's great unforgettable writer. On the contrary, I came to enjoy this amazing spectacle because I understood the reasons that undermine my principles and force me to abandon scrupulousness: friends, I am only here because of my long-standing stubborn love for this land where I was once young, happy and without documents. This is an act of love and solidarity with my Venezuelan friends, generous, amazing, jokers to death. I came for them, that is, for you

"Private Correspondent"