Yo no vengo a decir un discurso (I Didn't Come to Give a Speech)

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“¿Qué hago yo encaramado en esta percha de honor, yo que siempre he considerado los discursos como el más terrorífico de los compromisos humanos?” —Gabriel García Márquez
Los textos que Gabriel García Márquez ha reunido en este libro fueron escritos por el autor con la intención de ser leídos por él mismo en público, ante una audiencia, y recorren prácticamente toda su vida, desde el primero, que escribe a los diecisiete años para despedir a sus compañeros del curso superior en Zipaquirá, hasta el que lee ...

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“¿Qué hago yo encaramado en esta percha de honor, yo que siempre he considerado los discursos como el más terrorífico de los compromisos humanos?” —Gabriel García Márquez
Los textos que Gabriel García Márquez ha reunido en este libro fueron escritos por el autor con la intención de ser leídos por él mismo en público, ante una audiencia, y recorren prácticamente toda su vida, desde el primero, que escribe a los diecisiete años para despedir a sus compañeros del curso superior en Zipaquirá, hasta el que lee ante las Academias de la Lengua y los reyes de España al cumplir ochenta años.
            Estos discursos del premio Nobel nos ayudan a comprender más profundamente su vida y nos desvelan sus obsesiones fundamentales como escritor y ciudadano: su fervorosa vocación por la literatura, la pasión por el periodismo, su inquietud ante el desastre ecológico que se avecina, su propuesta de simplificar la gramática, los problemas de su tierra colombiana o el recuerdo emocionado de amigos escritores como Julio Cortázar o Álvaro Mutis, entre otros muchos.
            El lector tiene entra sus manos el complemento indispensable a una obra narrativa que nos seguirá hablando en un largo porvenir.


“What am I doing here on this perch of honor, when I have always considered speeches the most terrifying of human obligations?”
The speeches that Gabriel García Márquez has gathered in this collection were written by the author with the intention of being read by him before an audience, and span the course of nearly his entire life; from the first, a farewell written at seventeen to his fellow students at Zipaquirá, to his appearance before the Spanish-language Academies and the kings of Spain on his eightieth birthday.
Combined, these speeches provide a more profound understanding of the life of this Nobel Prize winner, revealing his fundamental creative and civil obsessions: his intense aptitude for literature and writing; his passion for journalism; his concerns over looming environmental dangers; his proposal for the simplification of grammar; the problems facing his beloved Colombian homeland; and the loving memory of fellow writers like Julio Cortázar and Álvaro Mutis, among many others.
In Yo no vengo a decir un discurso (I did not come to give a speech), the reader holds in his/her hands the essential complement to a body of work that will continue speaking to us for a long time to come.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This collection of speeches by Nobel Prize laureate Gabriel García Márquez appears in Spanish months before an English translation becomes available. No vine a decir un discorso (I Didn't Come to Give a Speech) is vintage Márquez: warm, wise, and ruminative. A literary master reflects on himself and the changing scene. Editor's recommendation. A paperback original.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307743459
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 564,010
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Gabriel García Márquez, nacido en Colombia, fue una de las figuras más importantes e influyentes de la literatura universal. Ganador del Premio Nobel de Literatura, fue además cuentista, ensayista, crítico cinematográfico, autor de guiones y, sobre todo, intelectual comprometido con los grandes problemas de nuestro tiempo, en primer término con los que afectaban a su amada Colombia y a Hispanoamérica en general. Máxima figura del realismo mágico, fue en definitiva el hacedor de uno de los mundos narrativos más densos de significados que ha dado la lengua española en el siglo xx. Entre sus obras más importantes se encuentran las novelas Cien años de soledad, El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, Crónica de una muerte anunciada, La mala hora, El general en su laberinto, El amor en los tiempos del cólera, Memoria de mis putas tristes, el libro de relatos Doce cuentos peregrinos, la primera parte de su autobiografía, Vivir para contarla, y sus discursos reunidos, Yo no vengo a decir un discurso. Falleció en 2014.

Gabriel García Márquez was born in 1927 near Aracataca, Colombia. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He is the author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Love in the Time of Cholera, Living to Tell the Tale, among other works of fiction and nonfiction. He died in 2014.


Gabriel García Márquez is the product of his family and his nation. Born in the small coastal town of Aracataca in northern Colombia, he was raised by his maternal grandparents. As a child, he was mesmerized by stories spun by his grandmother and her sisters -- a rich gumbo of superstitions, folk tales, and ghost stories that fired his youthful imagination. And from his grandfather, a colonel in Colombia's devastating Civil War, he learned about his country's political struggles. This potent mix of Liberal politics, family lore, and regional mythology formed the framework for his magical realist novels.

When his grandfather died, García Márquez was sent to Sucre to live (for the first time) with his parents. He attended university in Bogotá, where he studied law in accordance with his parents' wishes. It was here that he first read The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka and discovered a literature he understood intuitively -- one with nontraditional plots and structures, just like the stories he had known all his life. His studies were interrupted when the university was closed, and he moved back north, intending to pursue both writing and law; but before long, he quit school to pursue a career in journalism.

In 1954 his newspaper sent García Márquez on assignment to Italy, marking the start of a lifelong self-imposed exile from the horrors of Colombian politics that took him to Barcelona, Paris, New York, and Mexico. Influenced by American novelist William Faulkner, creator of the fictionalized Yoknapatawpha County, and by the powerful intergenerational tragedies of the Greek dramatist Sophocles, García Márquez began writing fiction, honing a signature blend of fantasy and reality that culminated in the 1967 masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude. This sweeping epic became an instant classic and set the stage for more bestselling novels, including Love in the Time of Cholera, Love and Other Demons, and Memories of My Melancholy Whores. In addition, he has completed the first volume of a shelf-bending memoir, and his journalism and nonfiction essays have been collected into several anthologies.

In 1982, García Márquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In his acceptance speech, he called for a "sweeping utopia of life, where no one will be able to decide for others how they die, where love will prove true and happiness be possible, and where the races condemned to one hundred years of solitude will have, at last and forever, a second opportunity on earth." Few writers have pursued that utopia with more passion and vigor than this towering 20th-century novelist.

Good To Know

Gabriel José García Márquez' affectionate nickname is Gabo.

García Márquez' first two novellas were completed long before their actual release dates, but might not have been published if it weren't for his friends, who found the manuscripts in a desk drawer and a suitcase, and sent them in for publication.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Gabriel José García Márquez
    2. Hometown:
      Mexico City, Mexico
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 6, 1928
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aracataca, Colombia
    1. Education:
      Universidad Nacional de Colombia, 1947-48, and Universidad de Cartagena, 1948-49

Read an Excerpt

Zipaquirá, Colombia, 17 de noviembre de 1944

Generalmente, en todos los actos sociales como éste, se designa una persona para que diga un discurso. Esa persona busca siempre el tema más apropiado y lo desarrolla ante los presentes. Yo no vengo a decir un discurso. He podido escoger para hoy el noble tema de la amistad. Pero ¿qué podría deciros de la amistad? Hubiera llenado unos cuantos pliegos con anécdotas y sentencias que al fin y al cabo no me hubieran conducido al fin deseado. Analizad cada uno de vosotros vuestros propios sentimientos, considerad uno por uno los motivos por los cuales sentís una preferencia incomparada por la persona en quien tenéis depositadas todas vuestras intimidades y entonces podréis saber la razón de este acto.

Toda esta serie de acontecimientos cotidianos que nos ha unido por medio de lazos irrompibles con este grupo de muchachos que hoy va a abrirse paso en la vida, eso es la amistad. Y es eso lo que yo os hubiera dicho en este día. Pero, repito, no vengo a decir un discurso; y sólo quiero nombraros jueces de conciencia en este proceso para luego invitaros a compartir con el estudiantado de este plantel el doloroso instante de una despedida.

Aquí están, listos para partir, Henry Sánchez, el simpático D’Artagnan del deporte, con sus tres mosqueteros Jorge Fajardo, Augusto Londoño y Hernando Rodríguez. Aquí están Rafael Cuenca y Nicolás Reyes, el uno como la sombra del otro. Aquí están Ricardo González, gran caballero del tubo de ensayos, y Alfredo García Romero, declarado individuo peligroso en el campo de todas las discusiones: juntos, ejemplares vidas de la amistad verdadera. Aquí están Julio Villafañe y Rodrigo Restrepo, miembros de nuestro parlamento y nuestro periodismo. Aquí, Miguel Ángel Lozano y Guillermo Rubio, apóstoles de la exactitud. Aquí, Humberto Jaimes y Manuel Arenas y Samuel Huertas y Ernesto Martínez, cónsules de la consagración y la buena voluntad. Aquí está Álvaro Nivia con su buen humor y con su inteligencia. Aquí están Jaime Fonseca y Héctor Cuéllar y Alfredo Aguirre, tres personas distintas y un solo ideal verdadero: el triunfo. Aquí, Carlos Aguirre y Carlos Alvarado, unidos por un mismo nombre y por el mismo deseo de ser orgullo de la patria. Aquí, Álvaro Baquero y Ramiro Cárdenas y Jaime Montoya, compañeros inseparables de los libros. Y, finalmente, aquí están Julio César Morales y Guillermo Sánchez, como dos columnas vivas que sostienen en sus hombros la responsabilidad de mis palabras, cuando yo digo que este grupo de muchachos está destinado a perdurar en los mejores daguerrotipos de Colombia. Todos ellos van en busca de la luz impulsados por un mismo ideal.

Ahora que habéis escuchado las cualidades de cada uno, voy a lanzar el fallo que vosotros como jueces de conciencia debéis considerar: en nombre del Liceo Nacional y de la sociedad, declaro a este grupo de jóvenes, con las palabras de Cicerón, miembrosde número de la academia del deber y ciudadanos dela inteligencia.

Honorable auditorio, ha terminado el proceso.

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Table of Contents


La academia del deber
Cómo comencé a escribir
Por ustedes
Otra patria distinta
La soledad de América Latina
Brindis por la poesía
Palabras para un nuevo milenio
El cataclismo de Damocles
Una idea indestructible
Prefacio para un nuevo milenio
Una alianza ecológica de América Latina .
No estoy aquí
En honor de Belisario Betancur con motivo de sus setenta años
Mi amigo Mutis
El argentino que se hizo querer de todos
América Latina existe
Una naturaleza distinta en un mundo distintoal nuestro
Periodismo: el mejor oficio del mundo
Botella al mar para el dios de las palabras .
Ilusiones para el siglo xxi
La patria amada aunque distante
Un alma abierta para ser llenada con mensajesen castellano

Nota del editor
Noticias sobre los discursos

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