When I was a young girl, I used to have some “Required Reading” books along my school years. As you know these were books that students had to read in order to have a test about them. Some of them turned up to be very interesting while others became an absolute torture. These were times when teenagers were not regarded as a potential danger for the society, thus we didn’t use to visit psychologists and the merest sidelong glance was enough to make us shut up. Fortunately I loved reading and I could bear the task more happily than the great majority of my class. However we had to read some books than I cannot imagine students reading in the current context…Kafka and his neurotic Metamorphosis, some chapters of Galdos’ Episodios Nacionales and Pio Baroja’s El árbol de la Ciencia .
In those days García Márquez was far from being among the “divinely ordained”, so I was not as lucky as Estrella …. “It was at High School when I read him for very first time and although the reading was compulsory I finished the book the same afternoon that it fell into my hands “. The thing is that I discovered “Gabo” in another way. A group of youngsters were part of an amateur theatre group called “La Caña”, and José Martin Recuerda used to come to Motril to watch our rehearsals. One day he gave us a present and it was precisely El Otoño del Patriarca . I had never read García Márquez but it was “the beginning of a beautiful friendship”.
What I liked most of his work was the simplicity to express emotions. He was true with himself, to his way of seeing reality in a clear and honest way. These magic, these apparently absurd elements were taking a natural part in a realistic environnement. At some time I learnt that it was called “magic realism”. Gabriel García Márquez has passed away but he was such a brilliant writer that, generously, shared his experiences with us. This is an extract from “Cien Años de Soledad” that I find particularly beautiful, full of an amazing simplicity…
Deslumbrada por tantas y tan maravillosas invenciones, la gente de Macondo no sabía por dónde empezar a asombrarse. Se trasnochaban contemplando las pálidas bombillas eléctricas alimentadas por la planta que llevó Aureliano Triste en el segundo viaje del tren, y a cuyo obsesionante tumtum costó tiempo y trabajo acostumbrarse. Se indignaron con las imágenes vivas que el próspero comerciante don Bruno Crespi proyectaba en el teatro con taquillas de bocas de león, porque un personaje muerto y sepultado en una película, y por cuya desgracia se derramaron lágrimas de aflicción, reapareció vivo y convertido en árabe en la película siguiente. El público que pagaba dos centavos para compartir las vicisitudes de los personajes, no pudo soportar aquella burla inaudita y rompió la silletería. El alcalde, a instancias de don Bruno Crespi, explicó mediante un bando que el cine era una máquina de ilusión que no merecía los desbordamientos pasionales del público.