"Many years later, in front of the firing squad, Colonel Aurelio Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice." One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
On June 5th 2017, the General Secretariat of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), together with the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador, and the Embassy of Colombia, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude, by the Nobel laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The occasion was honored with a discussion table about the most important literature work of the twentieth century.
UNASUR’s Chief of Cabinet, Mr. Yuri Chillan, welcomed the Brazilian Ambassador to Ecuador, Mr. Carlos Lazary Teixeira, the Argentinian Minister and representative of the Pro Tempore Presidency, Mr. Guillermo Lucotti, representatives and officials from UNASUR countries, and the students from the “Mitad del Mundo” School, who attended the event.
Ecuadorian Minister Raul Perez Torres started his intervention recalling his first conversation with Garcia Marquez, and highlighted the importance of his presence in Latin American literature. "Latin America is portrayed in One Hundred Years of Solitude," he said, after qualifying the Colombian Nobel prize winner as "a word charmer."
For Perez Torres, "We [Latin Americans] discover ourselves and we relate with One Hundred Years of Solitude. Interculturality also means respecting the philosophy of the Other and democratizing the thoughts we have in our heads."
"One Hundred Years of Solitude, is a hundred years of history for us to better understand our America," said the Ecuadorian Minister and writer.
Meanwhile, the Colombian Ambassador accredited to the Ecuador, Mr. Fernando Panesso, after telling one of his anecdotes involving Garcia Marquez, outlined the awarded literary work. "It tells the peculiar story of the Buendia family in the town of Macondo. If there is anything in common between the members of this family, it is the repetition of names. The greatness of the novel lies in the total description of the characters,” he said.
In addition, Panesso proposed a contest for local students, based on the reading and analysis of selected texts written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The award would be luxury editions of the books by this author.
A teacher who accompanied the students from the “Mitad del Mundo” School expressed her pride in being part of this literary identity. "I am proud to be a part of this magic realism."
During the conversation, students also had the opportunity to participate and ask questions. Minister Perez Torres and Ambassador Panesso, respectively, recommended reading "No one writes to the Colonel" and "Love in the Time of Cholera."
At the end, the panelists invited all the attendees to read “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” and to enter and deepen into that Universe with our Latin American eyes.