Cartagena, Colombia, Jan 27 (EFE).- People of different nationalities gathered here Friday in the shade of leafy trees to listen to passages from “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” a collective reading to commemorate 50 years since Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece was first published.
The 12th Hay Festival Cartagena, the Caribbean city where the author (1927-2014) worked as a journalist in his youth and that inspired some of his work, was the venue for the tribute.
“It’s a great honor to read Garcia Marquez, but it’s a tragedy to read him in French. I’d like to read him in Spanish but I can’t,” French writer and children’s philosopher Brigitte Labbe told EFE after reading a excerpt of the magical realist novel centered on the fictitious town of Macondo.
The three-day collective activity, titled “The Joy of Reading ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude,'” was organized by the Hay Festival Cartagena and the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism (FNPI) with support from the Colombian Foreign Ministry and Cartagena’s Chamber of Commerce.
First published in June 1967 in Buenos Aires by Editorial Suramericana, the novel was an instant success that catapulted the Aracataca, Colombia-born artist to international fame.
He won the 1982 Nobel Prize in literature in large part due to the global literary impact of “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”
The FNPI, founded in Cartagena by Garcia Marquez – who died in Mexico City, where he had lived for many years – said the sprawling story of Macondo (modeled on Aracataca) and the Buendia clan had reached more than 30 million people in 35 languages over the course of a half-century.