García Márquez and Vargas Llosa

García Márquez and Vargas Llosa

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García Márquez and Vargas Llosa

Gil closed the week with the drum in silence. So he walked on the white cedar stave until he reached the very famous novelty table. At the top of the tower a book shone: Gabriel García Márquez (1927-2014), Mario Vargas Llosa (1936): Dos soldades (Alfaguara, 2021). These pages bring the amulet of the past and the curiosity of the relics, it is about a lost conversation between these two great writers when they were young, it happened in 1969 in Lima, Peru, when the Latin American boom dragged them to success. and to other front-line writers, when there were more questions than answers (today we have more answers than questions). The Colombian writer Juan Gabriel Vásquez prolongs this dialogue in which he says “there are more valuable lessons about the novelist’s craft than in any literature faculty.” Gilga throws some effervescent tablets at this bottom page.

***

Vargas Llosa:

Something happens to writers that – it seems to me – never happens to engineers or architects. Many times people ask what are they for? People know what an architect is for, what an engineer is for, what a doctor is for, but when it comes to a writer, people have doubts. Even people who know they are good for something don’t know what for.

Garcia Marquez:

I have the impression that I started to be a writer when I realized that it was useless (…) At first I liked to write because things were published to me and I discovered what I have declared several times later and that has a lot of truth: I write so that my friends love me more.

***

Vargas Llosa:

When talking about loneliness I remembered that it is a constant theme in all your books; even the last one is called One Hundred Years of Solitude, and it’s curious, because your books are always very crowded or very populous, they are full of people; however, they are books whose deep matter is, in a way, loneliness.

Garcia Marquez:

I’m going to take a walk before I get to the answer. Actually, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t feel lonely to some extent. That is the meaning of loneliness that interests me. I fear that this is metaphysical and that it is reactionary and that it seems the complete opposite of what I am, of what I really want to be, but I believe that man is completely alone.

***

Vargas Llosa:

But before writing you have done a lot of things, haven’t you? At the beginning, you could not turn literature into an exclusive activity and you did journalism above all (…) Do you think that these parallel activities made it difficult to exercise your vocation, or rather they helped, stimulate and provide experience?

Garcia Marquez:

Look, for a long time I thought they helped her, but in reality everything makes it difficult for the writer, all secondary activity. What you want is to be a writer and everything else gets in your way and makes you very bitter about having to do it, having to do other things. I do not agree with what was said before. That the writer had to go through jobs and be in misery to be a better writer. I truly believe that the writer writes much better if he has his domestic and economic problems perfectly solved, and that the better health he has and the better his children are and the better his wife is, within the modest levels in which writers can move, they will always write better. It is not true that bad economic situations help because what the writer wants is to write and the best thing to write is to have all that resolved.

***

Like every pandemic Friday, Gil takes the drink with himself. While a modest amber waterfall falls into a short glass with two rocks, Gil reads aloud these phrases by García Márquez: “With the example of Julio Cortázar, we believe that the dignity of the writer cannot accept subsidies to write, and that all subsidy somehow compromises ”. _

Gil s’en goes

Gil Gamés

gil.games@milenio.com

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