MADRID – Six years after the publication of his novel “Memorias de mis putas tristes” (“Memories of My Melancholy Whores”), on Oct. 29 Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s new book “Yo no vengo a decir un discurso” will hit the bookstores in Spain and Latin America.
The new work consists of 22 texts intended to be read in public that he wrote starting in high school.
Publisher Mondadori announced Tuesday that it had gathered these texts by the Nobel literature laureate that were written to be read by the Colombian writer before an audience.
The pieces begin with the one he wrote in 1944 to say goodbye to his companions who graduated from the Zipaquira High School up to the one he read in 2007 before the Academies of Language and the king and queen of Spain on the occasion of the author’s 80th birthday.
“Yo no vengo a decir un discurso” (“I Didn’t Come to Give a Speech”), a phrase that Garcia Marquez selected to be the title of the book, was the statement he made early in his remarks to his schoolmates at the 1944 graduation ceremony, when he was 17.
In “Como comence a escribir” (How I began to write), an address given in 1970 as the successful author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” he informs his listeners of his aversion to public speaking: “I started out as a writer in the same way that I climbed onto this dais – I had to do it.”
In his third public speech, upon receiving the Romulo Gallegos prize in 1972, the writer said that he had agreed to do two of the things he had promised “never to do: receive an award and give a speech.”
However, he changed his stance 10 years later, when he received the Nobel Literature Prize and had to pen the most important speech that any author could have to write. The result was “La soledad de America Latina” (The solitude of Latin America), considered to be a masterpiece, and since then giving speeches has been a part of his life.
The texts, most of them heretofore unpublished, not only synthesize Garcia Marquez’s obsessions as a writer – according to Mondadori – but gather together issues that have concerned him as a citizen, including the problems of his homeland of Colombia, nuclear proliferation, ecological disasters and the future of youth and education in Latin America, among many others.
In reviewing and rereading these texts for publication in the new book, speeches which had been scattered or forgotten, Garcia Marquez said that “I rediscovered how I’ve been changing and evolving as a writer.”