Gabriel Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, fifteen years after the publication of his book One Hundred Years of Solitude. His speech accepting the Nobel Prize, lived up to his stature; a brilliant author and narrator seamlessnessly blending the real with the unreal, the ordinary and the magical. The speech offers glimpses into Marquez’s thoughts pertaining to Latin America, to his childhood and to humanity as a whole.
Marquez’s speech, akin to all his other works is embedded in his native land of Latin America, following the vicissitudes of life amongst the rampant corruption, destruction and anarchism. The speech at its core is a political statement to the Europeans and the Americans. Marquez outlines the ongoing political and economic crisis in Latin America; the widespread political unrest and anarchy, the lack of a stable government, poverty and underdevelopment- these have become the hallmarks of Latin America. The freedom from the Spanish has not resulted in freedom from the Latin American “Madness” ; with five wars and seventeen military coups; over two hundred thousand assassinations and millions of refugees. The tragedy of Latin America has been the lack of a coherent National Identity, without which there is only self-destruction not preservation. This is partly due to centuries of Spanish domination; but the continuous wars and coups have robbed the Colombian of the chance to forge a new identity for himself. This lack of an ideological identity leaves the Latin American feeling lost in the maze of the world; and only serves to accentuate the harsh reality of underdevelopment and poverty.
Some of the themes touched upon in his speech resonate in the book. Macondo is a fictional world created by Marquez as a vehicle for portraying the historical reality of Colombia and Latin America. The residents of Macondo develop and prosper only to be faced with destruction again and again. Latin