The solitude of Latin America

Wednesday 19 April 2023

García Márquez, Gabriel, The Nobel Prize, Dec 8, 1982.

This entry to the library contains a translation into English of Gabriel Gárcia Márquez’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature, 1982. As a globally renowned Colombian author, most well-known for his novels ‘100 Years of Solitude’ and ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, this moving speech reflects on post-colonial identities in Latin America.

Considering Márquez’s considerable talent, this speech is very easy to read as he weaves a rich tapestry of the history of violence and solidarity in Latin America, referring back to instances of colonialism and statistics of inequality on the modern day continent. As such, you need not have read any of Márquez’s work to grasp the narrative of anger and national pride that permeates the piece.

This speech becomes even more interesting as an example of literature becoming a space where peaceful change may actually be enacted. Through his writings, Márquez won himself this position on an international stage where his words are being translated into English, and so reaching a colonial audience. As such, through speeches such as these, he can begin to rally for a change to the kind of injustices that his literary canon is concerned with. He asks the brilliant question: ‘why is the originality so readily granted us in literature so mistrustfully denied us in our difficult attempts at social change?’


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