March 6, 2017

¡Feliz cumpleaños, Gabo!


Good news for those who like their realism like they like their evenings (magical): today is the ninetieth anniversary of the birth of Gabriel García Márquez, the beloved Colombian novelist whose achievements included editing Fidel Castro, getting his face on money, writing books worthy of international heists, joining Melville House’s Last Interview series, and, oh yeah, winning the Nobel Prize in Literature. Márquez died in 2014, and has only grown more beloved since.

Did you know that Márquez also wrote movies? He so did. Here’s the 1985 film of his screenplay Tiempo de Morir (no subtitles, alas):

And if you’re an opera fan, here’s Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös’s setting of Márquez’s Love and Other Demons (in two parts):

However you feel about Spanish-language cinema and Hungarian opera, though, you should definitely read the speech Márquez gave on accepting the Nobel in 1982. Get a load of this:

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.

Not about to argue with that! You can read (and, in Spanish, hear) the whole speech here.


Today’s the tail end of our semi-hiatus — we’re posting some good stuff, but our regular writers have the day off. Don’t worry, though: we still love you, and will resume our usual activities tomorrow.