It's been 50 years since the first edition of "Cien Años de Soledad" (100 Years of Solicitud) was published. Thanks to that, the image of Lain America in the world changed forever.
Latin America already had three Nobel Prizes for Literature, Gabriela Mistral, Miguel Ángel Asturias and Pablo Neruda, but the culture of the continent was still known in a fragmented and individualized way, without knowing the image of ourselves we spread to the world. “Cien Años De Soledad” publication was the definitive confirmation, without return, of the projection of the creative capacity of Latin Americans with respect to their own world.
Gabo could not imagine the fate of the package that he sent from Mexico's mail to the Sudamericana publishing house in Buenos Aires, putting together the little money he had. In fact they could only send half of the book and, for that mistake, the second part appeared.
When the book editions reached the first million copies, Gabo realized that something had happened with that act. As he himself said in his speech after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature, the world had recognized Latin America’s extraordinary creative capacity, it only needed to recognize our right to, with the same creativity, solve our problems with our own solutions. The magical realism or as it happened to denominate our Literature, projected the Latin American imaginary in the world for 50 years.
Since the first edition of “Cien Años De Soledad”, Latin American literature and its history, have definitely conquered a place in the world. Our literature has become one of the most important ones in the second half of the twentieth century.
Since then, our literature has received two other Nobel Prizes - Octavio Paz and Vargas Llosa , just as our political life has been enriched by so many other experiences that today, 50 years later, we must commemorate.
The continent is different from that of 50 years ago, less unfair and unequal. Progress has been made in overcoming neoliberalism. It is a more integrated and supportive country, where regional integration processes have been prioritized.
The balance of what has meant this half-century essential for our continent, from the political and cultural point of view, should form part of the great reflections that current dilemmas impose on the critical thinking of the continent.
This balance must return to “Cien Años de Soledad” as an essential piece of our present and with eyes set on the entire first half of the 21st century, whose destinies are defined in the confrontations that the continent is experiencing right now.
LatinAmerican Post | Manuela Pulido