Archive for the ‘Language and Translation’ Category

Problemas de traducción: La cuarta tradición del Libro Grande de A.A.

January 13, 2021

La cuarta tradición de la tercera edición del Libro Grande de Alcohólicos Anónimos está mal traducida del inglés. Esta traducción incorrecta se encuentra en varias publicaciones de AA en el castellano (español).

En inglés la cuarta tradición es:

“Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or AA as a whole.”

Al castellano está traducido de tal forma en la tercera edición y otros materiales de AA:

“Cada grupo debe ser autónomo, excepto en asuntos que afecten a otros grupos o a A.A., considerado como un todo”.

Lo que está mal traducido es la parte de la oración que en inglés dice “or AA as a whole.” En realidad lo que dice la oración en inglés es que cada grupo ha de ser autónomo, a no ser que su autonomía afecte a otros grupos de A.A. o afecte a la totalidad, o a la unidad, de Alcohólicos Anónimos. Una traducción más correcta sería:

“Cada grupo debe ser autónomo excepto en asuntos que afecten a otro grupos o A.A. en su totalidad.”

“As a whole” en inglés puede significar en ciertos casos “como un todo” pero no en este. Por ejemplo, el diccionario Collins traduce “as a whole” como un todo en el caso de “Europe should be seen as a whole = Europa debería considerarse como – un todo & una unidad ” pero lo traduce “en su totalidad en los siguientes casos: “taken as a whole, the project is a success = si se considera en su totalidad, el proyecto es un éxito”. La traducción “como un todo” corresponde más a cuando la acepción corresponde al significado de “una unidad” o “un conjunto”. En inglés lo que están diciendo es que la autonomía de un grupo no puede afectar la totalidad de AA. no a una unidad o un conjunto. Otra posible traducción más correcta podría ser:

“Cada grupo debe ser autónomo excepto en asuntos que afecten a otros grupos o a la unidad de AA.”

El diccionario lexico.com traduce “as a whole”: como una unidad. En ningún caso lo traduce como un todo.

Si traducimos “como un todo” al inglés en este contexto la traducción sería “as an everything” o sea también demuestra que el uso de “como un todo” en castellano es demasiado ambiguo y esta traducción posiblemente ha tenido mucho que ver con los grandes problemas que han tenido muchos grupos de A.A. en el mundo hispanohablante pues piensan que son completamente autónomos y no entienden cómo pueden afectar la unidad de A.A. por la manera que dirigen sus grupos, por estar mal traducida la tradición.

La traducción “como un todo” además, al llevar una coma por delante, pone en duda a qué se refiere; o sea, se refiera a que el grupo ha de ser considerado como un todo? Es más probable que el hispanohablante lo entienda de esta forma.

La tercera edición del Libro Grande en sí contradice su propia traducción. Si vamos a la parte del Libro Grande, titulada “Las Doce Tradiciones Forma Larga” en la página 515 del libro (tapa dura) vemos en el penúltimo párrafo, tercera oración:

4.- (…) Ningún grupo , comité regional, o individuo debe tomar ninguna acción que pueda afectar de manera significativa a la Comunidad en su totalidad sin discutirlo con los custodios de la junta de Servicios Generales”.

Esto está traducido del inglés “And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the Trustees of the General Service Board.” O sea, en este caso ellos mismos traducen “as a whole = en su totalidad”. También explican más el significado de la tradición.

De hecho la organización AL ANON traduce “as a whole” en su totalidad. Aquí lo vemos:

Cuarta Tradición
Cada grupo debiera ser autónomo, excepto en asuntos que afecten a otros grupos, o a Al‑Anon, o AA en su totalidad.

En el portugués podemos ver que la traducción corresponde a la unidad de A.A o el conjunto de AA:

Cada grupo deve ser autônomo, salvo em assuntos que digam respeito a outros grupos ou a A.A. em seu conjunto.

En francés vemos también una traducción correcta que se refiera a la unidad o totalidad de AA:

Quatrième Tradition: <<Chaque groupe devrait être autonome, sauf sur les points qui touchent d’autres groupes ou l’ensemble du Mouvement>>

L’ensemble du Mouvement se refiere a la unidad o totalidad de la organización de A.A. o movimiento.

También podemos ver esta traducción en danés:

4. Tradition: Hver gruppe bør være selvstyrende, undtagen i sager der angår andre grupper eller AA som helhed.

eller AA som helhed significa “o a AA como conjunto o totalidad”. O sea, que no afecte a la totalidad o conjunto de A.A.

Los doce pasos y las doce tradiciones de AA, además de su traducción son copyright de Grapevine Inc. y de A.A. World Services.

Copyright © 2015 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

Gabriel García Márquez interview by Ana Cristina Navarro

December 2, 2020

https://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/personajes-en-el-archivo-de-rtve/vida-segun-gabriel-garcia-marquez/2488243/

Interview by Ana Cristina Navarro from the TV program “Life according to…[La vida según…]” September 1995 

Transcription of interview in Spanish here.

GGM: Gabriel García Márquez

J [Journalist]: Ana Cristina Navarro

GGM:  A novelist can make up anything as long as he/she is capable of making it believable and I think the great challenge of a novel is that the reader believes every line. But what you discover is that already in Latin America, it is easier to make someone believe literature, fiction and novels, than reality [1:07].

The great challenge of a novel is that the reader believes every line.

gabriel garcía márquez

 J: What would you, what would you like to see through a keyhole without being seen?

GGM: You know what? Life from death. That would be—it is a great dream to be able to see life from death.

 J: You, who chooses the death of your protagonists, how would you choose yours? How would you like to die?

GGM: Well, if they could, if I were put to choose death, I wouldn’t choose it, I absolutely refuse to [1:38]. The only option I accept is to not die. I think the only really important thing there is is life; what is important is to be alive. And I think that death is a trap, it’s a betrayal, which is let loose on you without giving you the conditions.

 J: So you, like your friend [Juan] Rulfo [1:57], you wouldn’t choose someone to be in the grave next to yours to have someone to talk to, for example?

 GGM: No, no, not so. For me the fact that this ends is very serious and practically without any participation of one’s own, except when it comes. I think it’s unfair [2:15].

J: And what can we do to avoid it?

GGM: Write a lot.

What can we do to avoid [death]?

“Write a lot.”

gabriel garcía márquez

J: Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s fascination of the supernatural is Galician and his unconditional loyalty towards his friends is Basque. From the Andalusians he gets his fondness for exaggerations and word decorations. His sensible way of looking at life reminds one of Castile. But he also has a lot from Africa and the melancholy of the slaves, and like other Caribbeans, he likes to philosophize and be a prophet. He’s also the offspring of the enigmatic women from the Guajiro desert and if that’s not enough, he was born in a country where the absurd happens daily and with the same force every day, and that means being a child of Macondo [3:07].

Spain learnt about him from a novel that came from Buenos Aires named One Hundred Years Of Solitude. In Colombia, his country, he was already the best at features and reporting, and he had five published books and an award or two. Two years after the publishing of the epic story of the Buendías, he became the most sold Spanish language author in the world. It’s a record he still holds. His name is Gabriel García Márquez and he is 67 years old [3:41].

GGM: In Latin America, but particularly in Mexico and Colombia, we were trained and educated by the Spanish refugees, by the Spanish Republicans. So then the children of that time, we were Spanish Republicans. And I with that militant fervor of the first years of high school and college, I always told myself that I would never go to Spain until Franco died [4:24]. But in the meantime, I was already a Spanish Republican completely. I knew the history of the Spanish civil war very well, knew the history of Spain less well, but Spanish literature very well. So then there were these types of tendencies found inside of me that knew a country very well by reference, I knew its people, but I had never gone to Spain [5:00].

J: You had the nostalgia but without having lived it.

GGM: I had the anticipated nostalgia of Spain, moreover, I remember Azorín’s countryside, Machado’s countryside, all those literary references which later one discovers are real. Those writers did a wonderful photograph of Spain in their time. Later on, I would visit as if I had always been there. Those rivers with their black poplars on their banks. Until the moment came when I realized; I was in Europe for three years, in Italy, in France and England and I didn’t go to Spain. I flew over Spain twice. I stopped once in Madrid and I could have stayed, but I didn’t because I had made myself that promise, which no one had asked me to actually, instead it was something born out of my spirit and all of a sudden I realized [6:10] after writing Hundred Years Of Solitude, Franco was never going to die and I was never going to know Spain, so then without further ado, I went there. Now-

J: Why did you choose Barcelona and not another city to live in?

GGM: Why did I go to Barcelona? Because the person who had the most influence on me was Catalonian Ramón Villas, who lived many years in Barranquilla and who is the Wise Old Catalonian in One Hundred Years of Solitude. So I had heard so much about Barcelona, the cafés, the bookstores, the theaters of Barcelona, so I went to see how it was and I arrived in Barcelona as if I had lived there a long time and knew the place. And then I found that the affinity I had for my Spanish teachers, Spanish friends, the Spanish butcher, the Spanish fishmonger, the Spanish ironsmith, the Spanish shoemaker, whom we grew up with, still existed over there and even now people ask me “What did you come to do in Spain?” and I say, as always, to fight with my Spanish friends because we kick up a tremendous fuss, have some huge meals and one lives in a permanent state of volcanic eruption [7:29].

 J: Your friend Mario Vargas Llosa is from that time as well. Is that friendship broken forever? You’re not answering. OK. And what do you think about the controversy now in Catalonia regarding bilingual education, about the fact that children should be necessarily taught in Catalan? Do you have an opinion about that?

 GGM: What I don’t have is a lot of information. I don’t have a lot of information but I think that the most reasonable people in Catalonia realize what they have there is a natural historical reality, which means it doesn’t make a lot of sense to fight the Spanish language. I think the real war against the Spanish language comes from the Spanish Language Academy [8:36].

The real war against the Spanish language comes from the Spanish Language Academy.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

 J: So you still haven’t reconciled with the Spanish Language Academy, not even the latest dictionary publication seems better for you?

 GGM: No, because it is not a question of dictionaries, it’s not a question of the word quantity or the inclusion of terms, but of criterion. The criterion that they are the repositories of the poorness of the language; therefore they have the language in prison. It’s like a language police who have the language in jail and they don’t allow it to flow, to go out on the streets and pervert itself, which is the wonderful thing about living languages. In that sense, María Moliner went much farther than them because she made a usage dictionary and there are the words that are used and how they are used. It’s not that they tell you that’s an anglicism, this should not be used like this etc. Even though the academies, the corresponding ones in the different Latin American countries, have influenced the Spanish Academy a lot [9:50]

 J: Have they made them change?

 GGM: Well, no, they have made them become aware that the Spanish language is also Latin-Americanisms.

 J: Would you feel more comfortable writing in another language that you know?

 GGM: No, I can’t conceive of a richer, more wonderful, more radiant language than the Spanish language but written with absolute liberty [10:20].

 J: Will you continue writing for the new technology, it doesn’t scare you?

 GGM: Well, I do write with a computer.

 J: I know.

 GGM: I write using a computer since—I have all of Love In The Time Of Cholera in the computer. I wouldn’t be surprised if it were the first Spanish novel written using a computer. And I’m not sure if it’s because of age or because of the computer itself, but what I do know since I started to write using a computer, my book average, which was about seven years per book, is almost at three years for each book. I think the computer has a lot to do with that.

 J: I see that you’re not very scared of technology. Is there any recent scientific advance that scares you? [11:07]

 GGM: The way genetics are being handled. We already have the conditions to make you a Centaur. It hasn’t been done because of ethical reasons but we can already make centaurs. And I have the fear that we might go into an age of foolishness. Not everything else, everything else is all under the service of humanity and genetics. The study of genetics is super important but the insanity, the abuses that can be committed with genetics are terrible.

 J: By the way, when you went to the Príncipe de Asturias [Award Ceremony] and when you got off the airplane, you said, with a lot of enthusiasm, “at last I’m in Oviedo.” Why “at last” What were you hoping to find in Oviedo? [11:56]

 GGM: I didn’t make a very sincere statement over there and one which would have come from my soul because I didn’t know at that time if it would have been interpreted very well. But what I felt and what I wanted to say was that Oviedo seemed to me like a gigantic Centro Asturiano [Asturian Centers]. I said that with all my love, I didn’t want to say it because I don’t know if it would have been well interpreted. The thing is that among everything I was telling you about the relationships with Spaniards in Latin America, there’s one thing that left a mark on us since we were children: The Centro Asturianos in the different towns.

 J: In Mexico, in Venezuela—

 GGM: In Mexico, Venezuela, but in Mexico, in Mexico City, in Cuba, inVeracruz, everywhere. So then we—I had this idea of Asturias, of the beloved homeland, of the fabada stew, of the music, of the people—even of the different Asturian accents in comparison with other Spanish ones because I had become familiar with them in the Centros Asturianos. They are of this Asturian membership all over the world and when I went [to Asturias] I realized they’re the same over there.

 J: Spain in this moment is going through confusing, difficult, complicated moments. Specially for a person who is a friend of yours, Felipe González. Do you think Felipe will have a place in history or all of the sudden changes that his administration is going through will erase the footprint of what he may have done for Spain? [13:55]

 GGM: All of those sudden changes were able to happen because of the Spain that Felipe González has made. It was unthinkable before.

 J: OK, explain that.

 GGM: Before it was unthinkable to make so many false and true accusations, to create so much public controversy and to denigrate or entangle things the way they do now. It was impossible before. That space of freedom, of freedom of expression, of all types of freedoms is owed to Felipe González and his people. But I think that’s how it’s going to be judged. I think it’s a passing moment, Felipe will prevail, he will triumph before all his adversaries but it shouldn’t be forgotten that those adversaries had the opportunity to do everything they do because all those things are possible in the Spain of today, and they haven’t been during many years and centuries in Spain. I think the freedom that Felipe González’s Spain has hasn’t existed in Spain for many years and centuries. That’s how I see it [15:27]

 J: Have you already reconciliated with Spain with the immigrant issue? In 1992 you made some strong statements in that sense.

GGM: Yes, the thing is that Latin Americans never forget what we did with the Spanish refugees. Not all who came were university professors, great publishers, writers and scientists. A lot of riffraff came too. And it was about saving their lives, giving them a new life, a new world, which one time belonged to them; and we did so with pleasure. And we mixed with them the same way we did after Columbus’ arrival. And then all of a sudden, we find Spain starts to choose which ones yes and which ones no. So that hurts a lot because– I do not have any complaints, of course, when I arrive in Spain, I’m like a king. Friends treat me like a king. And many whom I know, writers, but what they’re doing, a critic, with a selection criteria, those people they consider good yes, like kings, and the rest they treat them at the airports in a way we never treated any Spaniard. And I think we never would. Furthermore, It’s strange that they do that. In that sense the discrimination continues.

 J: Do you still think that the closer Spain is to Europe, the farthest it will be from Latin América?

 GGM: Yes. When all of this started, I complained to Felipe González. And he said, “don’t worry I will be the bridge. Spain will be the bridge between Latin America and Europe.” But I think the circumstances have taken them to try to be more European than Latin Americans and we are here waiting for that not too far away day when they return, like the Chinese who sit on their doorstep to wait for the enemy’s corpse to go by. The Spaniards will return again because each day they are less European, despite all the technology and automatic stoves. Deep down they are still only Spaniards equal to us.

 J: Is it true that you detest Cristopher Columbus as a historical personage?

GGM: No, the thing is that he was pavoso [unlucky], like Venezuelans say. He brought bad luck. He carried his bad luck everywhere. You can’t talk about him in Santo Domingo.

 J: His journal however, fascinates you.

GGM: Well, but that is –

J: His travel journal

GGM: But that doesn’t seriously affect us.

J: Look, I’m going to read this star chart to you, published by the newspaper ABC in 1982, after they gave you the Nobel price and you tell me if you agree or disagree with it. Do you consult the stars sometimes?

GGM: Not at all. But I don’t because I do believe in it and I don’t want to know. It’s not because I don’t believe it.

J: Oh, in fortune tellers?

GGM: No, no, precisely because I believe there are fortune tellers—

J: Because of fear?

GGM: Because I believe in fortune tellers, I don’t want them to fortune-tell me anything.

J: OK. It says you are a Piscis three times Aquarius and thanks to Pluto’s influence you have the gift of persuasion. Do you agree or not?

GGM: Well, I don’t know by which planets, but I think when I’ve needed it, I’ve had it, yes.

J: I do think so. With an unconscious influenced by Virgo, which makes you analytical, intolerant, perfectionist and pedantic.

GGM: Oh yes, all of that. It’s perfect, luckily.

J: It also says you are a born psychologist. Incredibly intuitive, which makes one think you have privileged and secret information and that trifles irritate you. Did you write this horoscope?

GGM: No, no, no.

J: It seems like you did.

GGM: What is false there is that trifles irritate me. I mean, trifles irritate me if they are irritating. But some are not, nor do they have to be.

J: Do you admit you are vain? [20:14]

GGM: What is understood by vain? Let’s see, when a skinny weak person stands before a mirror to do this, he’s a vain one, but when Tarzan does it, that’s not vain, that’s proud. In that sense I’m not vain.

J: Are you capricious? Yes?

GGM: Capricious I think—

J: Do you like caprices?

GGM: We’ve got a definition problem [20:44].

J: No, no. A man who always buys the same style of boots is capricious because those are the ones he likes.

GGM: A capricious person, like the name says, is a person who is like a goat, who starts to butt a wall until he gets through it. I think I hit a wall once and I use the door. In that sense, I’m not capricious. I know exactly what they want to say but it’s not capricious, it’s something else. It’s like, like, like what?

J: Do you admit you dislike it when people are contrary to you?

GGM: No one likes it when someone is contrary but thanks to the friends I recognize as friends, and like good literary critics, who are unfavorable reading my originals, thanks to that I’ve been able to save a lot of my books.

J: Do you still share with your friends the literary correction of your books?

GGM: Oh, yes, of course. Yes, but who likes it when people are contrary?

J: No, no one does. But some are bothered more than others.

GGM: No, it doesn’t bother me more than others. I have learnt a lot from people who are contrary to me.

J: Do the reviews from literary critics, commentaries, do they manage to upset you?

GGM: Well, not anymore because I don’t read them. But I learnt something important: Any unfavorable review, any reproach, actually even any insult hurts a lot, but one learns it hurts less the next day, less the third day and on the fourth day one can’t remember anymore [22:22].

J: For example Bloom, who is an idol of literary review has just published the best writers of the century and you are not on the list. Does that bother you?

GGM: To the point I didn’t know I wasn’t on the list.

J: What would make you upset? What drives you up the wall?

GGM: Having to do something I dislike. Setbacks. Having to do something I dislike. Having to do interviews, for example, is what upsets me the most [23:02].

[one minute pause]

J: The truth is he didn’t play soccer with a cloth ball a lot, like the poor Caribbean soccer players, and he hardly had time to play baseball, the sport of the children of the coasts of the Americas. Gabriel did not have a favorite childhood game he repeated over and over because to forget the stories of the dead that his aunts would tell him, as soon as he learnt how to read, he did nothing else than devour the books his grandfather would lend him.

J: One has the impression that you were the loneliest child in the world. Is that true or is it now a novel [25:03]

GGM: I think all children are the loneliest children of the world. Let’s say what happens is I have probably managed to transmit it through my books but now I have a grandchild who is seven years old. I look at him and I know what he is thinking because I have the impression, he is suffering of the same solitude I suffered from and he’s thinking of the same things. Interesting it didn’t happen with my children.

J: What do you think is the inquisition today?

GGM: The inquisition continues exactly the same always. It starts at home. The inquisition is your parents. The inquisition is the teachers. The inquisition is the political powers, the financial powers. All the refinement you want but the inquisition continues. In a way we continue to live inside repressive circles which correspond to be the inquisition of today.

J: Let’s see, the parents are the inquisition. Have you ever felt to be an inquisitor of your own children?

GGM: I always had the worry of not being an inquisitor with my own children and I’ve never known if I was or not because we developed such a cordial relationship, of so much comprehension that I have the impression I was not, but it’s very probable I was, precisely for not being one. In the desire of not interfering, I was probably modifying and influencing them and probably affecting them. It will never be known.

J: Did you suffer any of those inquisitorial elements in your childhood? Did you also have your own inquisition as a child [27:10]?

GGM: Yes, of course, and luckily it’s what I owe being a writer to.

J: Why? Tell me.

GGM: I was controlled by means of fear. It was a big house, in Aracataca, very full of women. I remember a lot of women in that house and one only man, who was grandfather. But so that I would behave, especially at night, they would scare me terribly: “Don’t move because there’s a dead person who comes out of that room, don’t move because Mr. So and So died over there , don’t move because the devil comes out of there.” The saints, which were of the wooden statue type, of almost real-life shape, like the church ones, with those candles which makes them ghostly at night. They would threaten me with punishments from the Saints [28:04] I spent horrific nights.

J: And was it grandpa who always saved you from being burnt at the stake?

GGM: I had the impression grandpa saved me from being burnt at the stake but now I realize he was the most inquisited of all because he didn’t realize up to what point he himself was an instrument of all the women who lived in that house [28:26]

J: So what did this grandfather have which was so strong for you?

GGM: He paid attention to me. I had the impression there was a game that existed with the women, which perhaps has lasted forever, which is the game of seduction. Now I realize we were probably accomplices, and I had not realized it, accomplices against the women, except now I feel more of an accomplice of women than of men. I changed sides.

J: Everything he knows from his precocious vocation as a writer, Garcia Marquez has written in a book still unknown to us. A Manual To Be A Child are his reflections from working with a group of experts about the educational reform in Colombia: A leaflet that teaches children to defend their aptitudes before adults so they allow them to be what they always wanted to be.

GGM: I realized something I never had realized before, that I, all my training, all my education, was based on the tricks, on the cheating I always had to do to be a writer in a society where it wasn’t anticipated a person wouldn’t have one the of known liberal professions and all of a sudden wanted to be a writer. Parents are happy when they see children drawing or playing instruments and they help them until the child grows up and says “Well, what I want to be is a musician or painter. That’s when they become scared and try to convince [him/her] at all costs that [he/she] has a serious profession and furthermore [30:20] with whatever [he/she] can obtain with that serious profession, continue with what could appear as [his/her] hobby, [his/her] secondary pastime. In other words, I think if someone during [his/her] whole lifetime does only what [he/she] likes to do, and has all the conditions to do it well, that’s the secret of happiness and longevity.

If someone during [his/her] whole lifetime does only what [he/she] likes to do, and has all the conditions to do it well, that’s the secret of happiness and longevity.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

J: What did you feel, what did you experience being so little, the first day you saw your mother?

GGM: What I remember the most is the perfume.

J: What did it smell of [31:06]?

GGM: It’s a perfume which if I smell now I’ll probably recognize. It was a perfume that, let’s see, we lived in Aracataca. My mother had gone with her husband, my father, to Barranquilla. And the oldest memory I have in relation to her is I would be told “your mother lives in Barranquilla and your dad lives in Barranquilla,” there were no photos, there was none of that, and I had the image, an image of her which—

J: What would they tell you? Why did they live somewhere else?

GGM: No, that’s not–these things are not explained to children; I was very young anyway, when they went to Barranquilla and suddenly I started to hear “your mom is coming, your mom is coming, your mom is going to be here.” I couldn’t imagine how that could be and I’m clueless how old I was but I remember I was from a house with a great corridor and quite a large patio and they toldme your mom is already here and so look there she is. And I came in and many women were in the living room sitting all around, with the chairs against the wall, and I saw her and recognized her right away. She was dressed like the movie characters of that time, at the end of the twenties, beginning of the thirties, with the bell-shaped hat. I remember exactly her silk outfit with embroidery, beige colored, and a straw hat of the same color [32:55] and then she said “Oh” and hugged me and I smelled [the perfume]. Every time I remembered her it was because of the perfume. Actually together we’ve even been searching what perfume it could have been, she speaks of something like Coty but for me that’s what’s interesting and above all because for me the sense of smell is what evokes memories the most and the one that most easily takes you to remote episodes and allows you to relive them completely with just one burst [33:42].

J: And that absence of your mother during all those beginning years is what makes you say you have a serious relationship with her and without sentimentality?

GGM: No, the thing is we lived together a very short time. Let’s see, at that moment I was in Barranquilla, then when grandfather died and grandmother died, I went to live with them, but I remember, they went back to live to Aracataca and they lived in a different house, but I lived at my grandparents’ and they only took me to sleep at my parents’ house when they were going to give me a purgative.

J: Why?

GGM: Because when you were a kid they’d give you a purgative and where they had the purgative techniques was at home – because they had already been born – every year a sibling was born over there. There’s fifteen of us. So make the calculation, every year someone was born so at that time there must have been four or five [children], so there wasn’t a lot of time to dedicate to each one and when they decided to give a purgative they would do it collectively [35:00].

J: Everyone.

GGM: So then it was my turn – I who they wouldn’t come and get me for the parties – at night I missed being with my siblings, after they went to bed, throwing pillows at each and all that, not I, I lived in the Saint’s room.

J: And the siblings in the other house?

GGM: And the siblings in the other house. So when they took me to sleep there, I was happy because I was going to be with my siblings but I knew they gave purgatives there, a castor oil, they had the habit of mixing with milk and you’d notice the big oil sediments. Well, it was such that they’d give us a 50-cent coin as a prize, and for many years when I remembered those coins, I’d get the purgative nausea. As you can see, then, there were very few opportunities to speak to my mom who was always raising children and pregnant. The relationship became not one of strangers but it was a relationship which didn’t have memories.

J: You have your dreams of Cartagena. Have you been able to somewhat repair that relationship?

GGM: No, but it was never broken. It’s a different relationship from others. It’s a relationship with mother and father which is that way [36:19].

J: After having spent his life between many homes and many landscapes, he’s returned to Colombia. His two children and two grandchildren have stayed in other lands. He’s in Cartagena, the Caribbean City of aristocrats who are still chewing over the nostalgia of when the king of Spain ceased to rule and they stayed. In Cartagena Gabo seems already accustomed to the bodyguards and he’s built an unusual house in which to continue inventing stories to the rhythm of boleros and vallenatos. To guard the Caribbean from the site where the Bishops and the Clarisses were buried in Of Love and Other Demons and next to the school where the protagonist of Love In The Times Of Cholera goes to school. The writer has decided to live surrounded by the characters of his latest books and he walks the streets with them like nothing [37:17].

GGM: That´s the San Toribio church. Florentino Ariza played the violin there. Fermina lived over there. She’d come out of there and go to the – first she’d go by the Santa Clara convent. Have you been to the Santa Clara convent?

J: Yes, of course.

GGM: The Sierva Maria Convent.

J: Sierva María of all the Saints.

GGM: On the left she’d arrive to the La Presentación School which was where she studied. Florentino would follow her from here and on Sundays he played violin there, in the choir.

J: In that church.

GGM: And she was like those little girls coming there. She was exactly like that little girl, with the same uniform.

J: That’s adding poetry to reality.

GGM: That’s adding music to reality. In Of Love And Other Demons, for example, the Cessatio A Divinis episode, that is, the long and hard war between the bishop and the Clarisses nuns is historical, just one hundred years before [38:24].

J: However, the Clarissess issued a press release when you published your book denying they had fallen out with the bishop and that there were tunnels under the convent.

GGM: In Of Love And Other Demons the main subject is the concealment and mystification of reality, which still exists in many religious and secular communities. So it’s not odd for me that a community who still has roots in that era thinks that by denial, history is going to be denied. And it’s natural that it so happens but that episode is historical, perfectly documented, and all around it I did everything else [39:14].

J: And finally in your memoirs, Mercedes, your wife, will she have a protagonist role that we still haven’t seen in your books?

GGM: I don’t know if I’ll get all the way there because it’s not a chronological book and in which case I would have to write Mercedes’ chapter, or the chapter of our private relationship and she, as much she as I, we are too modest for that. That’s how it is, it must not be disturbed. Therefore I’m not too sure she would accept it and besides, Mercedes is all over my books, pieces everywhere, complete characters, which can be seen in Hundred Years Of Solitude, even with her own name. It’s not that those memoirs are raw but I’ve got them abandoned because I decided to write them between two books and now it turns out I’m not leaving space between  two [books] because I get out of one and go right away to the next one [40:39].

J: Tell me something about Mercedes, besides how beautiful she was because she was a very delightful woman.

GGM: She is.

J: Obviously, yes. What is it about her that fascinated you from the start because you as far as it’s known—

GGM: She didn’t pay attention to me; she paid so little attention to me like she does now and like she’s always done

J: But many years however—

GGM: No, no, the thing is she didn’t pay attention to me and she still doesn’t. That’s something men really like, to not be paid attention to.

J: Since he proposed to her at thirteen years of age, Mercedes has been at his side setting the objectives and supporting his projects no matter how absurd they may seem. While she shines on her own, he finds the way to mediate in all types of causes, some unsuccessful, like when he tried to stop the war between the Medellin Cartel and the Colombian government. García Márquez has just finished a great article about those hard years of drug violence in Colombia [41:36].

J: Can you identify obvious signs that drug trafficking has been here, I mean that it’s left an indelible mark in this society?

GGM: Oh, yes, it has. There’s already some cracks, very important cultural cracks, part of it being easy money. Easy money, which I think is one of the most serious things, the concept of easy money, why work so much if by being a little drug mule just once you’ll already have enough [money] for the rest of your life. This is extremely serious because it’s already contaminated the whole country. The corruption is immense; it’s enormous and the temptation of corruption is everywhere. Those are the serious consequences, they’re cultural, they’re already inside the Colombian soul. They are very serious but it’s like if we’re living a plague. I think it will be resolved in the simplest way: One day it will be out of fashion. But in the meantime, the damage it will make and the deaths it will create will be enormous. But one day it will be out of fashion.

J: Do you believe in the international legalization of drugs as a solution [42:47]?

GGM: Everything North American journalists know about drug trafficking in Colombia, which is a lot, they know because Colombian journalists have investigated it, have uncovered it and many of them have sacrificed their lives for those publications. However, we don’t know anything about how drug trafficking is in the U.S. because North American journalists do as if it doesn’t exist. If in the U.S. 30 million drug addicts are supplied with drugs daily without incident, without any problem, as if it were delivering milk, bread, the newspapers—if they can get supplied without incident, it means there are Mafias which are much more powerful than in Colombia and a much more significant corruption of the authorities than in Colombia. The problem is humankind has lost control of the problem of drug trafficking and drugs. It doesn’t mean we’re going to become discouraged and we’re not going to continue fighting, but we’re not going to make the assumption that the drug problem can be solved with glyphosate fumigations and with Congress certifications when it’s a problem the whole world suffers from and cannot resolve. It’s like the medieval plagues which were over when they were over. From there to say what I’ve been thinking since a long time ago and I’ve said the only thing that can save us from this is legalization, the decriminalization of drugs. But we have to be careful with the implications. This doesn’t mean we’re going to do it in Colombia and they’re not going to do it in Peru and they’re not going to in, no. It’s only possible when it’s a global agreement, of the whole world completely and without exceptions because when there’s one exception, it fails. And it’s very difficult to achieve because the interests committed in the immense drug business are so big and so high up which will make it very difficult to reach a global agreement [45:18].

J: You signed a document the other day implying the Colombian guerrilla no longer makes any sense, no longer has a raison d’être. Do you think the Chiapas movement has a justification for existence? What is your opinion of what is happening in Mexico, you being almost Mexican?

GGM: Precisely because I’m a foreigner who is almost Mexican I do not comment on Mexican politics.

J: OK, you have been close to a lot of people in power, you have and have had friends in power. I think maybe Torrijos was the closest person to you, maybe I’m wrong. Did you ever see Torrijos cry? Did you see the sadness of a leader, the pain?

GGM: No, I saw him cry but of joy. when they agreed to the Treaty of the Canal, I was with him because I had been called before. He had shut himself up in Farallón, which was a Panamanian military base. They called me and said “The general has been shut in for about a week.” He had a direct line which just by picking [the phone] up would call the Panamanian embassy in D.C. They were discussing the last minutes, the last points of the Treaty and he was shut in waiting but he couldn’t sleep, he couldn’t eat, he couldn’t do anything due to the pressure he was in and his friends had the fear, as did I, that he may have a heart attack. So they called me and I went there and shut myself in with him. We were practically alone and we were alone almost a week. We drank all the whisky in the world and sometimes Champagne with ice, which is something [47:23], I know, is done in the Caribbean, it’s a little barbarian but it’s cultural, it’s how it is, and suddenly the moment the news came that it was done, he started to cry like a child. Amazing, amazing to witness that.

J: And what was he saying? What words do you remember?

GGM: No, no, he could not, nothing. There was nothing to say. It was very serious because if that Treaty would not have been agreed to, very serious historical events could have happened. Torrijos was willing to destroy the Canal.

J: Do you think that Treaty has any undoing? Because some people are trying to disobey it in the year 2000.

GGM: Whatever they want but Latin America will never allow the Treaty to be violated. Latin America, which hardly did protest with the invasion of Panama will not allow the Treaty to be violated because that’s a Treaty which is in Panamanian territory but it belongs to all Latin America.

J: Are you able to tell Fidel [Castro] everything you think?

GGM: Generally I do, the thing is that sometimes he doesn’t believe it.

J: Are you really the one who tells him the truth?

GGM: No, I think he has a lot of friends. If someone has told truths to Fidel in front of me is Felipe [Gonzalez] and he has a very good relationship [with him], but they have a different relationship between them than the one I do with both of them. They relate to each other as Spaniards [do]. And they have the same—

J: Like Gallegos [Spaniards].

GGM: Yes, like Gallegos  in the Cuban Spanish dialect, like Gallegos. The things Felipe has told him [inaudible] are very admirable and very admirable how Fidel listens.

The things Felipe [González] has told [Fidel Castro] are very admirable and very admirable how Fidel listens.

gabriel garcía márquez

J: Do you think the end of the Embargo is close, of the Cuban Embargo?

GGM: I don’t think it’s close and furthermore now with the Republican win it’s very difficult it’ll happen but I think partial agreements will come which in the end make the Embargo something more or less formal. I think that could be. The thing is the world is changing [49:51] and the U.S. cannot not change too.

J: And what about the light symptoms of opening up that we’re seeing in the movies, in daily life—

GGM: In Cuba–the thing is in Europe they have the habit of believing that opening up is only about freedom of expression and democratic freedoms and blah, blah, blah. They think, like the U.S. furthermore, that a democracy is defined by an election. If there’s an election it doesn’t matter what they’re capable of doing and the outrages and injustices committed [50:17] because it’s a government based on elections. But Cuba is very far from being what it was five years ago. The progress achieved in Cuba is immense, it’s not small openings, it’s big openings. But they don’t tell you that. What they’re waiting for is that Fidel holds elections because what they want is for Fidel to fall and they think if they hold elections, Fidel will fall and he’s not going to fall. They want to do with Fidel what they did with the Sandinistas, not with the Sandinistas, with Nicaragua. They said hold free elections and we’re going to help you with this, and this, and that. They held them. If the Sandinistas had won they would have said for sure [the elections] were rigged, that there was fraud, and they would not have recognized them. They recognized [the elections]  because the Sandinistas lost and they haven’t given Nicaragua one penny of what they had promised and look at the situation Nicaragua is in. How do they expect with that precedent, that Fidel is going to believe what they are promising him? He doesn’t believe anything. Cubans are doing what they think they must do and fortunately Europe and practically all of Latin America are acknowledging it and they are helping a lot. And the U.S. what they’re doing is missing the train, and it’s leaving, and there’s not going to be room even in the last wagon.

J: Which historical moment have you lived which interests you the most, the one that has marked you the most?

GGM: It’s still a secret. It won’t be in some time but it’s still a secret.

J: When you had just received the Nobel price you said you would give it to [Juan] Rulfo or [Graham] Greene. Who would you give it to today?

GGM: Today in Spanish I would give it to Carlos Fuentes.  .Let’s see, I would give it to Milan Kundera. Well, I’ll make a list of friends for you in alphabetical order.

J: Did you ever see Hemingway?

GGM: Yes, of course, I only saw him once promenading in the Saint Michel neighborhood. Yes, I recognized him from the other sidewalk, he was with Mary, who was a lot shorter than I imagined, very blonde. I had already written Leaf Storm and I thought well, I’ll cross to the other side, he probably speaks Spanish because he lived a lot in Spain and he was a war correspondent during the Civil War. I’ll go over there and I’ll tell him some story and maybe he’ll invite me for a coffee. But if not, why be a creep or interfere. It was a fleeting moment and I thought, I have nothing to do, so I did the only thing I could think of “Bye Teacher!” and he from the other side looked like this and [UI] “Bye Amigo!” and he left and I never saw him again [54:00].

J: There’s an encounter you had which catches the eye. You spent a lot of hours with Kurosawa, the Japanese film director. What did Kurosawa want from you?

GGM: I was very lucky that Kurosawa was waiting for this cyclone which was taking time. He was filming a movie and he had all the possibilities of doing the end of the movie with a fake cyclone, a props cyclone. And he had it perfect but he insisted it had to be cyclone number 32 I think it was, because over there they don’t have names, they have numbers.. He knew cyclone number 32 was coming, he calculated the movie could end with cyclone number 32,  and cyclone number 32 started getting delayed. I had received messages from Kurosawa that he wanted to do The Autumn of the Patriarch [54:57]. So I sent a message to tell him I was delighted, no one could do it better than him. He was silent for a long time and then suddenly I received a message which said “I’m too old already and too sickly to get into the problems of the Caribbean.” Then I realized they had explained things wrong to him and when I went there, I told him I wanted to talk to him and he showed up at my hotel and said “we can talk until the cyclone gets here.”

J: How was your first encounter with the King and Queen of Spain?

GGM: I went alone to La Zarzuela [palace], Mercedes didn’t go. The King and Queen were there. The approximation to each one of them is completely different. The queen was obviously very interested in literary subjects, she wanted to speak about them, I did. The King is much more loose. There was even a moment where he said, “No, here the one that reads novels is the queen, I’m involved in other problems.” And it surprised me a lot. I had the luck of witnessing a moment of their family life in a place where even though there was no protocol it was not expected to happen. It was at a particular moment. The Prince, the now Prince of Asturias, all of a sudden opened the door, he was sweating, he had just been playing soccer or something and then the Queen said in English: “I’ve told you to knock [the door] before coming in.” And the King, all very buddy like, said “Oh, no, but I gave him permission to come in like that.” “No, he shouldn’t come in without knocking. Leave and knock.” So he did, the boy knocked, then he came in  and it was an experience which interested me very much .

 J: Are you more of a friend to men or to women?

GGM: Women.

J: Why?

GGM: Because I have a better understanding, above all I work a lot better with women. In the workshops I do, I always have a better understanding with women.

J: And what have you enjoyed the most, being close to the Powerful or attacking them?

GGM: No, being close to the powerful. But of course. The fountain of life, of information, of the inspiration, of power, is infinite. The thing is it’s a completely magical situation and I ask myself if it’s ever been real. I think power is the most unreal thing that exists.

J: And you are not scared of being misinterpreted by always wanting to be close to the powerful?

GGM: It’s not that I want–[stammers]

J: But it fascinates you.

GGM: It’s not that I always want to be close to the powerful. It’s the powerful that want to be close to me. It’s not that presidents are looking for me, no. What I want to say is that subject matter, that literary subject, which is the power, always comes to meet me. Maybe I identify it a lot better than others, besides you are speaking about power since you are thinking about presidents.

J: Yes.

GGM: Power is everywhere [54:48] here, here–at all levels.

J: I’m thinking of the powerful at all levels.

GGM: Power is on all levels.

J: The powerful were Pablo Escobar, the Guerrilla, the power–

GGM: The powerful was Pablo Neruda as well. No, power is on all levels. The thing is that I have a nose to identify it and if you think about it, I have not written a single line that’s not about Power, and above all the most powerful, important and eternal of all powers, which is Love.

I have not written a single line that’s not about Power, and above all the most powerful, important and eternal of all powers, which is Love.

gavriel garcía márquez

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

La vida según Gabriel García Márquez

September 25, 2020
https://www.rtve.es/alacarta/videos/personajes-en-el-archivo-de-rtve/vida-segun-gabriel-garcia-marquez/2488243/

Entrevista de Ana Cristina Navarro del programa “La vida según…” Septiembre 1995

Traducción al inglés

Transcripción de la entrevista:

Gabriel García Márquez: El novelista puede inventar todo siempre que sea capaz de hacerlo creer. Y yo creo que el gran reto de la novela es que te la crean línea por línea. Pero lo que descubre uno es que ya en América Latina la literatura, la ficción, la novela es más fácil de hacer creer que la realidad. (1:07)

Ana Cristina Navarro, periodista : A usted, ¿qué le gustaría mirar por un agujerito sin ser visto?

GGM: ¿Sabes qué? La vida desde la muerte. Ese sí sería… es un gran sueño poder ver la vida desde la muerte.

P: Usted, que escoge la muerte de sus protagonistas, ¿cómo escogería la suya? ¿Cómo le gustaría morirse?

GGM: No, si a mi me pudieran, si a mi me pusieran a escoger la muerte, no la escogería, me niego… rotundamente. (1:38) Yo la única opción que acepto es la de no morirse. Creo que la única cosa realmente importante que hay es la vida, lo importante es estar vivo. Y creo que la muerte es una trampa, es una traición, que se lo sueltan a uno sin ponerle la condición.

P: Entonces usted, como su amigo Rulfo, (1:57) ¿no escogería a alguien en la tumba de al lado para tener con quien conversar, por ejemplo?

GGM: No, no, no, eso no. Para mí es muy serio el hecho de que esto se acabe y prácticamente sin ninguna participación de uno, sino cuando llega. Creo que es injusto. (2:15)

P: ¿Y qué podemos hacer por evitarlo?

GGM: Escribir mucho.

Gallega es su fascinación por lo sobrenatural y vasca la lealtad incondicional por los amigos. De los andaluces tiene el gusto por la exageración y el adorno en la palabra. Y recuerda a Castilla en esa manera sabia de ver la vida. Pero además, tiene mucho de África y de la melancolía de aquellos esclavos y, como a otros caribeños, le gusta filosofar y ser profeta. Es también fruto de las mujeres enigmáticas del desierto guajiro. Y por si fuera poco, nació en un país donde lo absurdo es cotidiano y además acontece con la misma fuerza todos los días y eso significa ser hijo de Macondo. (3:07)

España supo de él por una novela que vino de Buenos Aires llamada Cien años de soledad. En Colombia, su país, ya era entonces el que mejor bordaba la crónica y el reportaje, y tenía cinco libros editados y algún premio (3:25). Dos años después de la publicación de la historia épica de los Buendía, se convirtió en el autor más vendido en lengua castellana en todo el mundo. Un récord que todavía conserva. Su nombre es Gabriel García Márquez y tiene 67 años. (3:41)

Creo que el gran reto de la novela es que te la crean línea por línea

Gabriel García Márquez

GGM: Nosotros en América Latina, pero particularmente en México y en Colombia, fuimos formados, educados, formados por los refugiados españoles, por los republicanos españoles. Entonces, los niños de esa época éramos republicanos españoles. Y yo, con ese fervor militante de los primeros años del bachillerato y de la universidad, siempre me dije que no iría nunca a España mientras no muriera Franco. (04:24) Pero mientras tanto, era ya completamente republicano español. Conocía muy bien la historia de la Guerra Civil, menos bien la historia de España, pero muy bien la literatura española. Entonces, había una especie de corrientes encontradas dentro de mí que conocían muy bien un país por referencia, conocía su gente, pero no había ido nunca a España. (5:00)

P: Tenía la nostalgia sin haberla vivido.

GGM: Tenía la nostalgia anticipada de España. Además yo recuerdo los campos de Azorín, los campos de Machado, todas esas referencias literarias que después encuentra uno que son reales. Esos escritores hicieron una fotografía de la España de su tiempo que es maravillosa. Yo llegaba después como si hubiera estado siempre ahí. Esos ríos con los chopos en sus orillas. Hasta que llegó un momento en el que me di cuenta. Estuve tres años en Europa, en Italia, en Francia y en Inglaterra y no fui a España. Volé por encima de España las dos veces. Hice una escala de ida en Madrid y podía haberme quedado y no me quedé porque me había hecho esa promesa, que nadie me pidió además, sino que era una cosa que me había nacido a mí del espíritu. Y de pronto caí en la cuenta, (6:10) después de haber escrito Cien años de soledad, de que Franco no se iba a morir nunca y yo no iba a conocer nunca España, entonces sencillamente sin más vueltas me fui. Ahora…

P: ¿Por qué escogió Barcelona y no otra ciudad para vivir?

GGM: ¿Por qué me fui a Barcelona? Porque la persona que más influyó sobre mí era el catalán Ramón Villas, que vivió muchos años en Barranquilla y que es el sabio catalán de Cien años de soledad. Entonces yo había oído hablar tanto de Barcelona, de los cafés de Barcelona, de las librerías, de los teatros de Barcelona, que me fui a ver cómo era eso, y yo llegué a Barcelona como si hubiera vivido ahí mucho tiempo y como si la conociera. Y luego encontré que esas afinidades que tenía yo con mis maestros españoles, con los amigos españoles, con el carnicero español, el pescadero español, el herrero español, el zapatero español, entre los cuales nos criamos, seguían existiendo allá. Y todavía ahora me preguntan “¿qué viene a hacer a España?” y digo yo, como siempre, a pelear con mis amigos españoles porque armamos unas broncas tremendas y unas comilonas tremendas y vive uno en permanente erupción volcánica.(7:29)

¿Qué podemos hacer para evitar (la muerte)? Escribir mucho.

Gabriel García Márquez

 

P: De esa época también era su amigo Vargas Llosa. ¿Esa amistad está rota para siempre? No contesta. Bien. ¿Y usted qué piensa de la polémica que tienen ahora en Cataluña sobre la educación bilingüe, sobre el hecho de que los niños se tengan que educar necesariamente en catalán? ¿Usted tiene una idea formada sobre eso?

GGM: Yo lo que no tengo es mucha información. No tengo mucha información, pero yo creo que la gente más sensata en Cataluña se da cuenta que es una naturalidad histórica lo que hay ahí, que es decir, no tiene mucho sentido hacer la lucha contra el castellano. Yo creo que la verdadera guerra contra el castellano la hace la Academia de la lengua (8:36).

La verdadera guerra contra el castellano la hace la Academia de la lengua.

Gabriel García Márquez

P: ¿O sea que sigue sin reconciliarse con la Academia de la lengua española? ¿Ni siquiera la última edición del diccionario le ha parecido mejor?

GGM: No, porque no es una cuestión de diccionarios, no es una cuestión de cantidad de palabras o de incorporación de términos, sino de criterio. El criterio de que ellos son los depositarios de la pobreza del lenguaje entonces ellos tienen preso el idioma. Es como una policía del idioma que lo tiene preso y no lo deja que fluya y que vaya por la calle y se pervierta, que es lo que es estupendo de los idiomas vivos. En ese sentido, María Moliner fue mucho más lejos que ellos porque María Moliner hizo un diccionario de uso y ahí están las palabras que se usan y cómo se usan. No es el que te digan que es un anglicismo, que esto no se debe usar así y etc. etc. Y eso que las academias, las correspondientes de los distintos países de América Latina, han influído mucho sobre la española. (9:50)

P: ¿Le han obligado a cambiar?

GGM: Bueno no, le han hecho tomar conciencia de que el castellano también son los americanismos.

P: ¿Usted se sentiría más cómodo escribiendo en otra lengua de las que conoce?

GGM: No, yo no puedo concebir una lengua más rica, más maravillosa, más radiante que la lengua castellana, pero escrita con absoluta libertad. (10:20)

P: ¿Usted seguirá escribiendo para la nueva tecnología? ¿No le tiene miedo?

GGM: Bueno, yo escribo en computadora.

P: Lo sé.

GGM: Yo escribo en computadora desde… tengo todo El amor en los tiempos del cólera en computadora A mí no se me haría raro que fuera la primera novela en español que se escribió en computadora. Y yo no sé si es por la edad o si es por la computadora misma, pero lo que yo sé es que desde que empecé a trabajar en computadora mi promedio de libros, que era de unos siete años cada libro, está casi en tres años cada libro. Yo creo que la computadora tiene mucho que ver con eso.

P: Ya veo que usted no le tiene mucho miedo a la tecnología. ¿Hay algún avance de la ciencia reciente que le asuste? (11:07)

GGM: La genética como se está manejando. Ya estamos en condiciones de hacerle centauro. No se ha hecho por razones éticas, pero ya se puede hacer de centauro. Y tengo el temor de que se vaya a entrar en una era de disparate. Lo demás no, lo demás todo está al servicio de la humanidad y la genética. El estudio de la genética es importantísimo, pero la locura, los abusos en que se puede incurrir con la genética es terrible.

P: Por cierto, cuando usted fue al Príncipe de Asturias y cuando se bajó del avión, dijo, con mucho entusiasmo, “por fin llego a Oviedo”. ¿Por qué por fin? ¿Qué era lo que esperaba encontrar en Oviedo? (11:56)

GGM: Yo no hice allá una declaración que era muy sincera y que me hubiera salido del alma porque no supe en ese momento si hubiera sido muy bien interpretado. Pero yo lo que sentí y lo que quise decir era que Oviedo me había parecido como un centro asturiano a lo bestia. Eso lo he dicho con todo el amor, no lo quise decir porque no sé si sería buena interpretación. Es que, entre todo esto que te decía yo de la relación con los españoles en América Latina, hay una cosa que nos marcó desde niños: los centros asturianos en las distintas ciudades.

P: En México, en Venezuela…-

GGM: En México, en Venezuela, pero en México, en la ciudad de México, en Cuba, en Veracruz, por todos lados. Y entonces nosotros, yo tenía una idea de Asturias patria querida, de la fabada, de la música, de la gente, inclusive de las diferencias de acento de Asturias en relación con los otros españoles porque los había conocido en el centro asturiano. Los centros asturianos son de una militancia asturiana en todas partes del mundo que cuando llego me di cuenta que allá eran los mismos.

P: España en este momento pasa por momentos confusos, difíciles, complicados. Especialmente para una persona que es amigo suyo, que es Felipe González. ¿Usted cree que Felipe tendrá un sitio en la historia o que todas estas peripecias por las que está pasando su Administración borrarán la huella de lo que puede haber hecho por España? (13:55)

GGM: Todas esas peripecias han podido suceder por la España que hizo Felipe González. Antes era impensable.

P: A ver, explique eso.

GGM: Antes era impensable que se pudieran hacer tantas acusaciones falsas y auténticas, que pudiera hacerse tanta polémica pública, que se pudiera denigrar o enzarzar en la forma en que se hace ahora. Antes era imposible. Ese espacio de libertad, de libertad de expresión, de toda clase de libertades se debe a Felipe González y a la gente de Felipe. Pero yo creo que así es como eso se va a juzgar. Yo creo que es un momento pasajero, que Felipe prevalecerá, que Felipe triunfará frente a todos sus adversarios, pero que no hay que olvidar que esos adversarios han tenido las posibilidades de hacer todo lo que hacen porque en la España de hoy todas esas cosas son posibles y no lo han sido durante muchos años y siglos en España. Yo creo que la libertad que tiene la España de Felipe González no la ha tenido España en muchos años y en muchos siglos. Así lo veo yo. (15:27)

P: ¿Ya se ha reconciliado con España con el tema de los inmigrantes? En el ‘92 hizo duras declaraciones en ese sentido.

GGM: Sí, es que los latinoamericanos no olvidamos nunca lo que nosotros hicimos con los refugiados españoles. No todo lo que vino fueron los maestros universitarios, los grandes editores, los grandes escritores, los grandes científicos. Vino también mucha morralla. Y se trataba de salvarles la vida, de darles una nueva vida, de darles un nuevo mundo que en alguna época les perteneció y nosotros lo hicimos encantados. Y nos mezclamos con ellos como nos mezclamos después de la venida de Colón y de pronto nos encontramos que España empieza a escoger a cuáles sí y a cuáles no.  Entonces eso duele mucho porque, por supuesto, yo no tengo ninguna queja, yo personalmente llego a España como rey. Me tratan los amigos como rey. Y a muchos que yo conozco, los escritores, pero lo que están haciendo, un crítico, con un criterio de selección, que los que ellos consideran buenos sí, como reyes, y a los otros los tratan en los aeropuertos en una forma como no hemos tratado nosotros jamás a un español. Y creo que no lo haríamos nunca. Es extraño además que lo hagan. En ese sentido esa discriminación continúa.

P: ¿Sigue pensando que mientras más cerca esté de Europa España, más lejos estará de Latinoamérica?

GGM: Ah sí. Cuando todo eso empezó, yo me quejé con Felipe González. Y me dijo, “no te preocupes que yo seré el puente. España será el puente entre la América Latina y Europa”. Pero yo creo que las circunstancias los han llevado a tratar de ser más europeos que latinoamericanos y nosotros estamos aquí esperando un día no muy lejano en que regresen como se sentaban los chinos en la puerta de su casa a esperar que pasara el cadáver del enemigo. Los españoles volverán otra vez porque son cada día menos europeos a pesar de toda la tecnología y las estufas automáticas. En el fondo siguen siendo unos españoles iguales a nosotros.

P: ¿Es verdad que usted detesta a Cristóbal Colón como personaje histórico?

GGM: No, lo que pasa es que era pavoso, como dicen los venezolanos. Llevaba la mala suerte. Su mala suerte la llevaba por todas partes. En Santo Domingo no se puede hablar de él.

P: Sin embargo, su diario a usted le fascina.

GGM: Bueno, pero eso es

P: Su diario de viaje.

GGM: Pero eso no nos afecta gravemente.

P: Mire. Le voy a leer una carta astral que publicó el diario ABC en el año ‘82, después de que le dieron el premio Nobel y usted me va diciendo si coincide o no coincide con el personaje. Por cierto, ¿usted consulta a los astros de vez en cuando?

GGM: No, en absoluto. Pero no los consulto porque creo en eso y no lo quiero saber. No es porque no crea.

P: Ah, ¿en las adivinas?

GGM: No, no, es que precisamente porque creo que hay adivinas…

P: ¿Por miedo?

GGM: Porque creo que hay adivinas, no quiero que me adivinen nada.

P: Ya. Dice es un piscis tres veces acuario y gracias a la influencia de Plutón posee el don de la persuasión. ¿De acuerdo o no?

GGM: Bueno, no sé por qué planetas, pero creo que cuando lo he necesitado lo he tenido, sí.

P: Yo creo que sí. Con un inconsciente influido por Virgo que lo hace analítico, intolerante, perfeccionista y pedante.

GGM: Ah sí, eso todo, es perfecto, por fortuna.

P: Dice, además, que es un sicólogo nato. Increíblemente intuitivo, que hace pensar que tiene información privilegiada y secreta, y al que irritan las pequeñeces. ¿Usted dictó este horóscopo?

GGM: No, no, no.

P: Parece que sí.

GGM: Ahí lo falso es que me irriten las pequeñeces. Digo, las pequeñeces me irritan si son irritantes, pero hay algunas que no lo son, ni tienen por qué serlo.

P: ¿Usted admite que es vanidoso? (20:14)

GGM: ¿Qué se entiende por vanidoso? A ver, cuando un raquítico se para frente al espejo a hacer así, ese es un vanidoso, pero cuando se para Tarzán, eso no es vanidoso, eso es orgulloso. En ese sentido no soy vanidoso.

P: ¿Es caprichoso, sí?

GGM: Caprichoso yo creo…

P: ¿Le gustan los caprichos?

GGM: Estamos metidos en un problema de definiciones. (20:44)

P: No, no. Es caprichoso un señor que se compra el mismo modelo de botas siempre porque esas son las que le gustan.

GGM: Un caprichoso como su nombre lo indica es una persona que es como una cabra, que empieza a dar de frentazos contra un muro hasta que pasa por ahí. Yo creo que yo me doy con un muro una vez y paso por la puerta. En ese sentido no soy caprichoso. Yo sé exactamente lo que quieren decir, pero no es caprichoso, es otra cosa. Es como, como, ¿cómo qué?

P: ¿Admite que no le gusta que le lleven la contraria?

GGM: A nadie le gusta que le lleven la contraria, pero gracias a los amigos que yo reconozco como amigos y como buenos críticos literarios, que me llevan la contraria leyendo mis originales, gracias a eso yo he podido salvar muchos de mis libros.

P: ¿Todavía comparte literariamente la corrección de sus libros con los amigos?

GGM: Ah, sí, claro. Sí, pero, ¿a quién le gusta que le lleven la contraria?

P: No, a nadie. Pero hay a quien le molesta más que a otros.

GGM: No, a mí no me molesta más que a otros. He aprendido mucho de los que me llevan la contraria.

P: ¿Consiguen perturbarlo las críticas de los críticos literarios, los comentarios?

GGM: Bueno, ya no porque no los leo. Pero aprendí una cosa importante: cualquier crítica desfavorable, cualquier reproche, inclusive cualquier insulto, duele mucho, pero uno aprende que al día siguiente duele menos, al tercer día menos y al cuarto día ya no se acuerda. (22:22)

P: Por ejemplo Bloom, que es un pope de la crítica literaria, acaba de publicar los mejores escritores del siglo y usted no está en la lista. ¿A usted eso le molesta?

GGM: Hasta el punto que no sabía que no estaba.

P: ¿Qué es lo que consigue alborotarle la úlcera, por ejemplo? ¿Qué lo saca de sus casillas?

GGM: Tener que hacer algo que no me gusta. Las contrariedades. Tener que hacer algo que no me gusta. Tener que hacer entrevistas, por ejemplo, es lo que más me alborota la úlcera. (23:02)

[Pausa de un minuto]

La verdad es que no jugó mucho a bolita de trapo como los futbolistas pobres del Caribe y apenas sí le dio tiempo a practicar el béisbol, ese deporte de los niños de las costas americanas. Gabriel no tuvo un juego infantil favorito que repitiera una y otra vez porque, para olvidar los cuentos de muertos que le contaban las tías, en cuanto aprendió a leer no hizo otra cosa que devorar los libros que le prestaba el abuelo.

P: Uno tiene la impresión de que usted fue el niño más solitario del mundo. ¿Eso es verdad o ya es novela? (25:03)

GGM: Yo creo que todos los niños son los niños más solitarios del mundo. Digamos que lo que pasa es que yo, probablemente, he logrado transmitirlo a través de mis libros, pero ahora tengo el nieto que tiene siete años. Yo me quedo viéndolo y sé lo que está pensando porque tengo la impresión de que está padeciendo la misma soledad que padecía yo y está pensando las mismas cosas. Curioso que no me sucedió con los hijos.

P: ¿Usted cuál cree que es la inquisición hoy en día?

GGM: La inquisición sigue exactamente igual en todo momento. Empieza por la casa. La inquisición son los papás. La inquisición son los maestros. La inquisición es el poder político, el poder económico. Todos los refinamientos que tú quieras pero la inquisición continúa, seguimos viviendo en alguna manera en unos medios represivos que corresponden a la inquisición de hoy.

P: A ver, la inquisición son los papás. ¿Usted alguna vez se ha sentido inquisidor de sus propios hijos?

GGM: Siempre tuve la preocupación de no ser inquisidor con mis propios hijos y nunca he podido saber si lo fui o si no lo fui porque desarrollamos una relación tan cordial, de tanta comprensión que yo tengo la impresión de que no lo fui, pero es muy probable que lo haya sido precisamente por la negativa. En el deseo de no interferir probablemente estaba modificándolos, influyéndolos y probablemente afectándolos. Eso nunca se sabrá.

P: ¿Usted padeció en su infancia alguno de esos elementos inquisitoriales? ¿Usted tuvo también su propia inquisición de niño? (27:10)

GGM: Sí, claro, y a eso debo, por fortuna, el haber sido escritor.

P: ¿Por qué? Cuénteme.

GGM: A mí me manejaron a base de miedo. Era una casa grande, en Aracataca, una casa muy grande, muy llena de mujeres. Yo recuerdo en esa casa muchas mujeres y un solo hombre, que era el abuelo. Pero, para que yo me portara bien, sobre todo de noche,  me metían unos miedos terribles: no te muevas porque de ese cuarto sale un muerto , no te muevas porque ahí murió fulano de tal, no te muevas porque ahí sale el diablo. Los santos, que tenían santos de bulto, de tamaño casi natural como el de las iglesias, con las veladoras esas que los hacen fantasmales en las noches. Me amenazaban con los castigos de los santos, (28:04) yo pasaba noches tremendas.

P: ¿Y el abuelo era el que lo salvaba de la hoguera siempre?

GGM: El abuelo, yo tenía la impresión de que me salvaba de la hoguera, pero ahora me doy cuenta que el abuelo era el más inquisitoriado de todos porque él no se daba cuenta hasta qué punto él mismo era un instrumento de todas las mujeres que vivían en esa casa. (28:26)

P: ¿Qué era lo que tenía tan fuerte ese abuelo para usted?

GGM: Que me hacía caso. Yo tenía la impresión de que con las mujeres existía un juego, que a lo mejor ha durado toda la vida, que es el juego de la seducción. Ahora me doy cuenta que probablemente éramos cómplices, y no me había dado cuenta, cómplices contra las mujeres, solo que ahora yo me siento más cómplice de las mujeres que de los hombres. Cambié de bando.

P: Todo lo que sabe de su vocación precoz de escritor, García Márquez lo ha escrito en un libro que aún no conocemos. Un manual para ser niño son sus reflexiones de trabajo con un grupo de expertos sobre la reforma de la educación en Colombia, un folleto que enseña a los niños a defender sus aptitudes frente a los adultos para que les dejen ser lo que siempre quisieron ser.

GGM: Caí en la cuenta de algo que no había caído nunca: que yo, toda mi formación, todo mis estudios, se basó en las triquiñuelas, en las trampas que tuve que hacer yo siempre para ser escritor en una sociedad donde no estaba previsto que una persona no tuviera una de las profesiones liberales conocidas y apareciera de pronto con que quería ser escritor. Los padres cuando ven a los niños dibujando o ven que tocan instrumentos se ponen felices y los ayudan hasta el día en que el niño crece y dice “bueno, yo lo que quiero ser es ser músico o pintor”. Ahí se asustan y tratan de convencerlo a toda costa de que tenga una profesión seria y además (30:20) pues que después con lo que pueda obtener con esa profesión seria, seguir con lo que podía parecer más bien su hobby, su afición secundaria. Es decir, yo pienso que si una persona durante toda la vida hace solamente lo que le gusta hacer y tiene todas las condiciones para hacerlo bien, ese es el secreto de la felicidad y de la longevidad.

Pienso que si una persona durante toda la vida hace solamente lo que le gusta hacer y tiene todas las condiciones para hacerlo bien, ese es el secreto de la felicidad y de la longevidad.

Gabriel García Márquez

P: ¿Qué sintió usted, qué experimentó siendo tan niño, el primer día que vio a su madre?

GGM: Lo que más recuerdo es el perfume.

P: ¿A qué olía? (31:06)

GGM: Es un perfume que probablemente si lo siento ahora lo reconozco. Era un perfume que, a ver, nosotros vivíamos en Aracataca. Mi madre se había ido con su marido, mi padre, a Barranquilla y yo la memoria más antigua que tengo en relación con ella es que me decían que tu mamá vive en Barranquilla y tu papá vive en Barranquilla, no había fotos, no había nada de eso y yo tenía la imagen, una imagen de ella que…

P: ¿Qué le explicaban? ¿Por qué vivían en otra parte?

GGM: No, eso no… A los niños no se les explican esas cosas. Era yo muy niño, de todas maneras, cuando se fueron a Barranquilla y de pronto empecé a oír “que viene tu mamá, que viene tu mamá, que va a venir tu mamá”. Yo no me imaginaba cómo podía ser aquello ni tengo idea qué edad podía tener, pero recuerdo que yo venía de una casa con un gran corredor y un patio bien profundo y yo venía y me dijeron ya llegó tu mamá y entonces mira está ahí. Y yo entré y estaban en la sala sentados alrededor, con las sillas pegadas en la pared, muchas mujeres, y yo la vi y la reconocí enseguida. Estaba vestida como los personajes de las películas de esos años, de los años finales de los veinte, principio de los treinta, con el sombrero de campana. Recuerdo exactamente su traje de seda con bordados, color beige, el sombrero de pajilla del mismo color, (32:55) y entonces ella me dijo “Ay”, me abrazó y yo sentí el olor. Siempre que la evoqué era por el perfume. Inclusive con ella hemos estado escarbando después qué perfume podía ser. Ella habla de algo como Coty, pero para mí lo interesante es eso y sobre todo porque el sentido del olfato para mí es el más evocador y el que más fácilmente lo traslada a uno a episodios remotos y le permite revivirlos completos con una sola ráfaga. (33:42)

P: ¿Y esa ausencia de la madre en todos esos años del comienzo es lo que hace que usted diga que tiene con ella una relación seria y sin sentimentalismos?

GGM: No, lo que pasa es una cosa, que vivimos muy poco tiempo juntos. A ver, en ese momento estaba en Barranquilla, luego, cuando murió el abuelo y murió la abuela, fui a vivir con ellos, pero yo recuerdo, ellos volvieron a vivir en Aracataca y vivían en una casa distinta, pero yo vivía donde los abuelos y no me llevaban a dormir a casa mis padres sino cuando me iban a dar purgante.

P: ¿Por qué?

GGM: Porque uno era niño le daban purgante y donde tenían las técnicas del purgante era en casa, porque ya habían nacido… allá nació un hermano cada año. Nosotros somos 15. Entonces saca la cuenta, cada año nacía uno y en este momento debía haber 4 ó 5,  ya no había mucho tiempo de ocuparse de cada uno y cuando decidían además dar un purgante, daban un purgante colectivo. (35:00)

P: Todos.

GGM: Entonces a mí me toca… a mí que no me iban a buscar para las fiestas… yo añoraba estar con los hermanos de noche, después de que se acostaban tirarse almohadas y todo aquello, yo no… yo vivía en el cuarto de los santos.

P: ¿Y los hermanos en la otra casa?

GGM: Y los hermanos en la otra casa. Entonces cuando a mí me llevaban a dormir allá, yo iba contento porque iba con los hermanos, pero sabía que daban purgante, un aceite de ricino, tenían la costumbre de darlo en leche y uno notaba los grandes posos de aceite. Bueno, como sería que nos daban como premio una moneda de 50 centavos, y yo durante muchos años me acordaba de esas monedas y me daba la náusea, la naúsea del purgante. Entonces, como ves, eran muy pocas las oportunidades que tenía para hablar con mi mamá que siempre estaba criando y estaba en cinta. La relación se volvió no como un extraño pero sí era una relación que no tenía recuerdos.

P: Tienes tus sueños de Cartagena, ¿usted ha podido recomponer un poco esa relación?

GGM: No, pero si nunca estuvo descompuesta, es una relación distinta de otra. Es una relación con la madre y con el padre que es así. (36:19)

P: Después de haber repartido la vida entre muchos hogares y muchos paisajes ha vuelto a Colombia. Los dos hijos y los dos nietos se han quedado en otras tierras. Está en Cartagena, la ciudad de los aristócratas del Caribe que siguen rumiando la nostalgia de cuando dejó de mandar el rey de España y se quedaron ellos. En Cartagena, Gabo parece acostumbrado ya a los guardaespaldas y se ha hecho construir una casa insólita en la que seguir inventando cuentos a ritmo de boleros y vallenatos. Para vigilar el Caribe desde el solar donde estuvieron enterrados los obispos y la clarisas de Del amor y otros demonios y al lado del colegio donde estudia la protagonista de El amor en los tiempos del cólera. El escritor ha decidido vivir rodeado de los personajes de sus últimos libros y con ellos pasea por estas calles como si nada. (37:17)

GGM: Aquella iglesia es la iglesia Santo Toribio. Ahí tocaba el violín Florentino Ariza. Fermina vivía ahí. Salía por ahí y se iba hasta el… primero pasaba por el convento de Santa Clara, ¿tú conociste el convento de Santa Clara?

P: Sí, claro.

GGM: El convento de Sierva María

P: De Sierva María de Todos los Santos.

GGM: A la izquierda llegaba al colegio de La Presentación, que era donde estudiaba. Florentino la seguía desde acá y el domingo él tocaba el violín ahí, en el coro.

P: En esa iglesia.

GGM: Y era como esas niñitas que van ahí. Era exacta como esas niñitas, con el mismo uniforme.

P: Eso es ponerle poesía a la realidad.

GGM: Eso es ponerle música a la realidad. En Del amor y otros demonios, por ejemplo, el episodio de la cessatio a divinis, o sea, la guerra larga y dura, entre el obispo y las Clarisas, es histórico, solo que 100 años antes. (38:24)

P: Sin embargo las Clarisas sacaron un boletín de prensa cuando usted publicó su libro desmintiendo que ellas estuvieran peleadas con el obispo y que debajo del convento hubiera túneles.

GGM: En Del amor  otros demonios, el tema principal es ese ocultamiento y esa mistificación de la realidad que todavía subsiste en muchas comunidades religiosas y laicas. Entonces, a mí no se me hace raro que una comunidad que todavía tiene raíces en esa época piense que negando va a negarse la historia y es natural que sea así, pero ese episodio es histórico, perfectamente documentado y alrededor de él hice yo todo lo demás. (39:14)

P: Y por fin en sus memorias, Mercedes, su esposa, ¿tendrá un lugar protagónico que hasta ahora no hemos visto en sus libros?

GGM: Yo no sé si llegaré hasta ahí porque no es un libro cronológico y en ese caso tendría que escribir el capítulo de Mercedes o el capítulo de nuestras relaciones privadas y ella, tanto ella como yo, somos muy púdicos en eso. Eso es una cosa así, que no se debe tocar. Entonces no estoy muy seguro de que ella la aceptaría y además Mercedes ha quedado regada en todos mis libros, pedazos por todos lados, personajes completos que se ven, en Cien años de soledad inclusive con su propio nombre. Esas memorias no es que estén crudas pero las tengo abandonadas porque decidí escribirlas entre dos libros y ahora resulta que no estoy dejando espacio entre dos porque salgo de uno y enseguida para el otro. (40:39)

P: Dígame una cosa de Mercedes, aparte de lo hermosa que era porque era una mujer muy bella…

GGM: Lo es.

P: Evidentemente, sí. ¿Qué fue lo que le fascinó de ella desde el principio? Porque usted, que se sepa…-

GGM: Que no me hacía caso, que me hacía tan poco caso como el que me hace ahora y como el que me ha hecho siempre.

P: Pero muchos años, sin embargo…

GGM: No, no, es que no me hacía caso y todavía no me hace caso. Eso le gusta mucho a los hombres, que no les hagan caso.

P: Desde que él le propuso matrimonio a los 13años, Mercedes está a su lado marcando el norte y apoyando sus proyectos por absurdos que parezcan. Mientras ella brilla con luz propia, él utiliza la forma para mediar en todo tipo de causas, algunas fracasadas, como el intento de parar la guerra entre el cártel de Medellín y el Estado colombiano. García Márquez acaba de terminar un gran reportaje sobre esos años duros de la violencia de la droga en Colombia. (41:36)

¿Usted reconoce signos evidentes de que el narcotráfico ha pasado por aquí, quiero decir, ha dejado huellas ya imborrables en esta sociedad?

GGM: Oh, sí, ha dejado. Hay ya unas desgarraduras, unos desgarramientos culturales muy importantes, entre ellos el del dinero fácil. El dinero fácil, que yo creo es de las cosas más graves, la concepción del dinero fácil, para qué trabajar tanto si haciendo la mulita por una vez ya tienes para el resto de la vida. Eso es gravísimo porque ya eso ha contaminado todo el país. La corrupción es inmensa, es enorme y la tentación de la corrupción está por todas partes. Esas son las consecuencias graves, son culturales, ya están metidas en el espíritu de Colombia. Son muy graves pero es como si estuviéramos viviendo una peste. Yo creo que se va a resolver de la manera más sencilla: un día pasará de moda. Pero mientras tanto los daños que habrá hecho y las muertes que habrá dejado son enormes. Pero un día pasará de moda.

P: ¿Usted cree en la legalización internacional de la droga como solución? (42:47)

GGM: Los periodistas norteamericanos saben todo lo que saben del narcotráfico en Colombia, que es mucho, lo saben porque los periodistas colombianos lo han investigado, lo han destapado y muchos de ellos han sacrificado su vida por esas publicaciones. En cambio nosotros no sabemos nada de cómo es el narcotráfico dentro de los Estados Unidos porque los periodistas norteamericanos hacen como si ese narcotráfico no existiera. Si en los Estados Unidos se abastecen 30 millones de drogadictos diariamente sin ningún incidente, sin ningún problema, como si fuera repartir la leche, el pan, el periódico… si se pueden abastecer sin incidentes, eso quiere decir que hay unas mafias mucho más poderosas que las de Colombia y una corrupción de las autoridades mucho más importante que la de Colombia. El problema es que el narcotráfico, la droga, como problema, se le salió de las manos a la humanidad. No quiere eso decir que nos vamos a descorazonar y no vamos a seguir luchando, pero no vamos a partir de la base de que se puede acabar con el problema de la droga con fumigaciones de glifosato y con certificaciones de congresos cuando es un problema que el mundo entero está sufriendo y no puede resolver. Es como las pestes medievales, que se acabaron cuando se acabaron. De ahí a decir lo que yo vengo pensando desde hace mucho tiempo y he dicho, que lo único que nos salve de esto es la legalización, la despenalización de la droga, pero hay que tener cuidado con la implicaciones, eso no quiere decir que lo vamos a hacer en Colombia y no lo van a hacer en el Perú y no lo van a hacer en… no. Eso solo es posible cuando sea un acuerdo global, total del mundo entero y sin excepciones porque cuando queda una excepción, eso fracasa. Y es muy difícil que eso se logre porque los intereses que están comprometidos en el inmenso negocio de la droga son tan grandes y tan altos que muy difícilmente se va a llegar al acuerdo global (45:18)

P: Usted firmó el otro día un documento dando a entender que la guerrilla colombiana ya no tiene sentido, ya no tiene razón de ser. ¿Usted cree que en Chiapas ese movimiento tiene razón de ser? ¿Cómo ve lo que está pasando en México usted que es casi mexicano?

GGM: Precisamente porque soy un extranjero casi mexicano no comento en la política mexicana.

P: Bien. Usted ha estado cerca de mucha gente en el poder, tiene y ha tenido amigos en el poder. Yo pienso que quizá Torrijos fue la persona más cercana a usted, a lo mejor me equivoco. ¿Usted alguna vez vio llorar a Torrijos? ¿Vio la tristeza del poderoso, el dolor?

GGM: No, yo lo vi llorar pero de alegría. Cuando se pusieron de acuerdo para el Tratado del Canal. Estaba con él porque a mi me habían llamado antes, que él se había encerrado en Farallón, que era una base militar panameña. Me llamaron y me dijeron: “el general tiene como una semana de estar encerrado”. Tenía un teléfono directo que bastaba descolgarlo y se comunicaba, estaba en comunicación directa con la embajada de Panamá en Washington. Estaban discutiéndose los últimos minutos, los últimos puntos para el Tratado y él estaba encerrado esperando pero no podía dormir, no podía comer, no podía hacer nada de la tensión en que estaba y tenían el temor los amigos de él y mío que le pudiera dar un infarto. Entonces me llamaron y me fui allá y me encerré con él. Estábamos prácticamente solos y estuvimos solos casi una semana. Nos tomamos todo el whisky del mundo y a veces champaña con hielo, que es una cosa(47:23) que ya sé que se hace en el Caribe, es un poco bárbaro, pero es cultural, es así, y de pronto en el momento en que llegó la noticia que ya, se puso a llorar como un niño. Una maravilla, una maravilla asistir a eso.

P: ¿Y qué decía? ¿Qué frase recuerda?

GGM: No, no, si no podía, nada. No había nada que decir. Es que era muy grave porque si ese Tratado no se hubiera acordado, hubieran podido suceder cosas históricamente muy graves. Torrijos estaba dispuesto a destruir el canal.

P: ¿Usted piensa que ese Tratado tiene marcha atrás? Porque hay quién intenta no cumplirlo en el año 2000.

GGM: Todo lo que quieran, pero América Latina no permitirá jamás que ese Tratado no se cumpla. Esa América Latina, que apenas si protestó con la invasión de Panamá, no permitiría que ese Tratado no se cumpla porque ese es un tratado que es en territorio panameño, pero es de toda la América Latina.

P: ¿Usted es capaz de decirle todo lo que piensa a Fidel?

GGM: Se lo digo generalmente, lo que pasa es que a veces no lo cree.

P: ¿Pero es usted de verdad el que le dice las verdades?

GGM: No, yo creo que él tiene muchos amigos. Si alguien le ha dicho verdades delante de mí a Fidel Castro es Felipe y tiene una muy buena relación, pero ellos tienen un trato distinto del que tengo yo con ambos. Ellos se tratan como españoles. Y tienen las mismas…

P: Como gallegos.

GGM: Como gallegos según el lenguaje cubano, como gallegos. Las cosas que le ha dicho Felipe [inaudible] son muy admirables y muy admirable cómo lo oye Fidel.

P: ¿Usted piensa que está cercano el desbloqueo, digamos, de los cubanos?

GGM: Yo no creo que esté cercano y además ahora con el triunfo de los republicanos es bastante difícil que se dé el desbloqueo, pero creo que van a ir llegando acuerdos parciales que al fin y al cabo conviertan el bloqueo en una cosa más o menos formal. Yo creo que eso podría ser. Es que el mundo está cambiando (49:51) y los Estados Unidos no pueden no cambiar también.

P: ¿Y los  ligeros síntomas de apertura que estamos viendo en el cine, en la vida cotidiana?

GGM: En Cuba… Lo que pasa es que en Europa tienen la costumbre de considerar que la apertura es solamente en cuanto a libertad de expresión y libertades democráticas y bla bla bla. Consideran, como los Estados Unidos además, que la democracia se define por una elección. Si hay elección, no importa lo que sean capaces de hacer y las arbitrariedades y las injusticias que se cometan (50:17) porque es un gobierno basado en elecciones. Pero Cuba está muy lejos de ser la que era hace cinco años. Los progresos que se han hecho en Cuba son inmensos, no son pequeñas aperturas, son grandes aperturas. Pero eso no lo cuentan. Lo que están esperando es que Fidel haga elecciones porque lo que quieren es que Fidel se caiga y piensan que si hace elecciones se va a caer y no se va a caer. Quieren hacer con Fidel lo que hicieron con los sandinistas, o no con los sandinistas, con Nicaragua. Dijeron hagan elecciones libres y les vamos a ayudar en esto y en esto y en esto. Las hicieron. Si las hubieran ganado los sandinistas, hubieran dicho con seguridad que habían sido amañadas, que había fraude, y no las hubieran reconocido. Como perdieron los sandinistas, las reconocieron y no le han dado a Nicaragua ni un centavo de lo que habían prometido y mira la situación en la que está Nicaragua. ¿Cómo quieren que con ese precedente, Fidel vaya a creerles lo que le prometen? No cree en nada. Están haciendo los cubanos lo que creen que deben hacer y afortunadamente Europa y prácticamente toda la América Latina lo están reconociendo y están ayudando muchísimo. Y los Estados Unidos lo que están es perdiendo el tren, y ese tren se va y ellos no van a quedar ni en el vagón de cola.

Las cosas que le ha dicho Felipe (González) son muy admirables y muy admirable cómo lo oye Fidel (Castro).

Gabriel García Márquez

P: ¿Y cuál es ese momento histórico de los que ha vivido que más le ha interesado, el que más lo ha marcado?

GGM: Todavía es secreto. No lo será dentro de algún tiempo, pero todavía es secreto.

P: Cuando le acababan de dar el Nobel, usted me dijo que se lo daría a Rulfo o a Greene. ¿Hoy a quién se lo daría?

GGM: Hoy en español se lo daría a Carlos Fuentes. A ver, se lo daría a Milan Kundera. No, pues te voy a hacer una lista de amigos por orden alfabético.

P: ¿Usted alguna vez vio a Hemingway?

GGM: Sí, claro. Lo vi una sola vez paseándose por el barrio Saint Michel. Sí, lo reconocí desde la otra acera. Iba con Mary que era mucho más bajita de lo que yo me imaginaba, muy rubia. Yo había escrito ya La Hojarasca y pensé bueno, yo paso al otro lado, él seguramente habla español porque vivió mucho en España y fue corresponsal de guerra durante la Guerra Civil, yo paso para allá y algún cuento le echo y a lo mejor me invita a tomar un café. Pero si no, por qué hacer el lagarto, el entrometido. Fue una cosa fugaz y dije no, no tengo nada que hacer, y entonces hice lo único que se me ocurrió y grité “¡Adiós, maestro!”. Y él desde el otro, miró así y [inaudible] “¡Adiós, amigo!” y se fue y nunca más en la vida lo vi. (54:00)

P: Hay un encuentro suyo que me llama la atención. Estuvo muchas horas con Kurosawa, el director de cine japonés. ¿Qué quería Kurosawa de usted?

GGM: Yo tuve la enorme suerte de que Kurosawa estaba esperando un ciclón que se estaba demorando. Él estaba filmando una película y tenía todas las posibilidades de hacer el final de esa película con un ciclón ficticio, un ciclón de utilería. Y lo tenía perfecto, pero él insistía en que debería de ser el ciclón número 32 creo que era, porque allá no tienen nombres  sino número. Él sabía que venía el ciclón número 32, calculó que en el ciclón número 32 podía terminar la película y el ciclón número 32 empezó a demorarse. Yo había recibido mensajes de Kurosawa de que él quería hacer El otoño del patriarca. (54:57) Entonces yo le mandé a decir que yo encantado, que nadie podía hacerlo mejor que él. Él tuvo un largo silencio y de pronto recibí un mensaje que decía: “Ya estoy muy viejo y muy enfermizo para meterme en los problemas del Caribe”. Entonces yo me di cuenta que le habían explicado mal las cosas y cuando fui allá le dije que quería hablar con él y él apareció en mi hotel y dijo “podemos conversar hasta que llegue el ciclón”.

P: ¿Cómo fue su primer encuentro con los reyes de España?

GGM: Fui solo, no fue Mercedes, a la Zarzuela. Estaban el rey y la reina. La aproximación a cada uno de ellos es completamente distinta con uno que con otro. La reina evidentemente estaba muy interesada en los temas literarios, quería hablar de ellos, hablé de ellos. Y el rey es bastante más suelto. Inclusive hubo un momento que me dijo. “no, aquí la que lee novelas es la reina, yo ando en otros problemas”. Y me llamó mucho la atención. Tuve la suerte  de que hubo un episodio de la vida familiar en un lugar donde a pesar de que no había protocolo se suponía que no iba a ocurrir. Fue en determinado momento, el príncipe, el hoy príncipe de Asturias, abrió de pronto la puerta sudando, venía de jugar fútbol o algo así, y entonces la reina en inglés le dijo. “te he dicho que no entres sin tocar”. Y el rey, muy de amigote así, dijo: “Oh, no, pero si yo lo he autorizado a que entre así”. “No, no debe entrar sin tocar. Sal, toca.” Tocó, el niño tocó, entonces entró y fue una experiencia que a mí me interesó muchísimo.

P: ¿Eres más amigo de los hombres o de las mujeres?

GGM: De las mujeres.

P: ¿Por qué?

GGM: Porque me entiendo mucho mejor, sobre todo trabajo mucho mejor  con ellas. En los talleres que hago, siempre con las mujeres me entiendo mucho mejor.

P: ¿Y cómo te has divertido más, estando cerca del poder o atacándolo?

GGM: No, estando cerca del poder. Hombre, por supuesto. La fuente de vida, de información, de inspiración del poder, es infinita, es que es una situación totalmente mágica y yo me pregunto si alguna vez ha sido real. El poder yo creo que es lo más irreal que existe.

P: ¿Y usted no tiene miedo de ser malinterpretado por querer estar siempre cerca del poder?

GGM: Yo no es que quiero… [balbucea]

P: Pero le fascina…

GGM: Yo no es que quiero estar siempre cerca del poder. Es el poder el que siempre quiere estar cerca de mí. No es que los presidentes me busquen, no. Lo que quiero decir es que esa materia, esa materia literaria que es el poder, siempre me sale al encuentro, tal vez yo lo identifico mucho mejor que otras personas porque además tú hablas del poder pues estás pensando en presidentes…

P: Sí

GGM: El poder está en todas partes, (54:48) acá, acá… en todos los niveles…

P: Yo pienso en los poderosos a todos los niveles

GGM: En todos los niveles está el poder.

P: El poder era Pablo Escobar, el poder era la guerrilla, el poder…

GGM: El poder era Pablo Neruda también. No, en todos los niveles está el poder, lo que pasa es que tengo un olfato para identificarlo y si tú te pones a pensar, yo no he escrito una línea que no sea sobre el poder y sobre todo sobre el más poderoso, importante, grande y eterno de todos los poderes que es el amor.

No he escrito una línea que no sea sobre el poder y sobre todo sobre el más poderoso, importante, grande y eterno de todos los poderes que es el amor.

Gabriel García Márquez

 Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

The Brazilian People’s Song: Canto das três raças

June 8, 2020

Translation into English of the famous Samba song about the struggle of the Brazilian people.

Canto das três raças > The song of the three races

Ninguém ouviu > No one heard
Um soluçar de dor > a sob of pain
No canto do Brasil > in the Song of Brazil

Um lamento triste > A sad mourn
Sempre ecoou > always echoed,
Desde que o índio guerreiro > ever since the Native warrior
Foi pro cativeiro > was enslaved;
E de lá cantou > and from where he sang

Negro entoou > The Black Man sang in tune
Um canto de revolta pelos ares > a song of rebellion ignited
No Quilombo dos Palmares > in the Palmares Free Settlement
Onde se refugiou > where he found refuge

Fora a luta dos Inconfidentes > And in the Inconfidentes Independence Uprising
Pela quebra das correntes > to break the chains
Nada adiantou > Nothing was gained

E de guerra em paz > From war to peace and
De paz em guerra > from peace to war
Todo o povo dessa terra > All the people of this land
Quando pode cantar > whenever they can sing,
Canta de dor > they sing in pain

Canto das três raças has profound lyrics and melody which resonate in your soul. It’s a song performed by Clara Nunes, a famous Samba singer, who was known as the Queen of Samba by many.

The song was written in the mid 1970s by Paulo Cesar Pinheiro and he composed it with Mauro Duarte. I found no information about Mauro Duarte in English that you can open in a link, but from what I read in Portuguese, he was a gifted musician who settled in Rio de Janeiro at an early age, a city that is known to be a hotbed of Samba.

Pinheiro, a writer, poet and composer, who is still alive today, is of White, Native and African ancestry, which is why he named the song of “the Three Races,” which he considered at the time to be the “fundamental races of Brazil.” According to information I found online, in one of his books, he says the song was “born out of that interbreeding of the three races; from the strong nostalgia of the white colonizer, from the fatal fear the black man felt by being away from his land (banzo africano), and out of the native man’s suffering.”

The word banzo is an African word which is also found in American English slang.

I’m not the first to translate this famous song into English and neither does my translation pretend to be the best out there. My translation is not literal and takes context and rhyme into account.

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

Sources:

https://musicariabrasil.blogspot.com/2010/04/mauro-duarte.html

https://leopoldinense.com.br/coluna/764/o-canto-de-uma-guerreira-mineira-clara-nunes

https://musicaemprosa.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/canto-das-tres-racas-paulo-cesar-pinheiro/comment-page-1/

https://www.ebiografia.com/paulo_cesar_pinheiro/

https://musicaemprosa.wordpress.com/2016/12/13/canto-das-tres-racas-paulo-cesar-pinheiro/comment-page-1/

https://www.urbandictionary.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Nunes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulo_C%C3%A9sar_Pinheiro

https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english-portuguese

https://www.britannica.com/

Diccionário Universal Milénio Língua Portuguesa, Lisboa 1999, Texto Editora

Rio de Janeiro. Photo by Vinícius Vieira ft on Pexels.com

Pedalando pela Dinamarca

May 5, 2020

In English. En castellano.

Integrada à ampla rede de transporte público de ônibus e trens, a bicicleta é considerada um importante meio de transporte neste pequeno país escandinavo, que tem uma das mais modernas infraestruturas do mundo para ciclistas. Todo ano, desde 2015, o Copenhagenize Index, um ranking das cidades mais bike-friendly do mundo, coloca a capital da Dinamarca no topo da lista. Se você gosta de andar de bicicleta, a Dinamarca está pronta para recebê-lo.

Uma típica ciclovia dinamarquesa. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

Os dinamarqueses e as bicicletas

Copenhagen, a capital da Dinamarca, localizada na Ilha da Zelândia, e cujo nome significa “porto de mercadores” no idioma local, tem uma população de 633.000 pessoas (2017) e cerca de 675.000 bicicletas, além de 120.000 carros. 62% da população da região da capital usa a bicicleta para ir trabalhar ou ir à escola, quatro entre dez pessoas têm carro e nove entre dez pessoas têm bicicleta. Na verdade, desde 2016, o trânsito de bicicletas na ilha superou o de carros, sendo que 52% dos domicílios não têm carro. Os dinamarqueses, em média, pedalam 3 km/dia em Copenhagen, 2,4 km/dia em Århus, a segunda maior cidade daquele país; e 2,6 km/dia em Odense, a terceira maior. 75% das bicicletas continuam nas ruas no frio inverno dinamarquês e cerca de 4000 a 5000 delas são vendidas anualmente em Copenhagen.

A Dinamarca é o país dos ciclistas há quase 100 anos e, nas décadas de 1920 e 1930, pedalar tornou-se um símbolo de igualdade e liberdade. No começo dos anos 70, quando a terra de Hans Christian Andersen e todos os países do mundo estavam investindo pesado na infraestrutura automobilística – a qual veio a estagnar com a crise de petróleo do Oriente Médio – Copenhagen apostou alto e exigiu uma cidade no modelo car-free, ou seja, livre de carros.

Lady with front bike carrier
26% dos cidadãos de Copenhagen com dois filhos possuem uma “cargo bike” (bicicleta adaptada para transporte de carga). Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

As crianças dinamarquesas começam a andar de bicicleta antes dos seis anos de idade. Quando mais novas, quase sempre são vistas nas bicicletas dos pais. Tais veículos podem ser adaptados com diferentes peças e suplementos para transportar uma ou mais crianças de uma só vez. Na verdade, foram os dinamarqueses que inventaram o baú frontal para bicicletas visto aqui e abaixo, o qual carrega convenientemente crianças ou cargas, neste que é o país das bicicletas. Na escola, as crianças aprendem a cultura do pedalar, regras e normas de segurança para andar de bicicleta, como parte do currículo escolar. 49% de todos os jovens dinamarqueses entre 11-15 anos vão para a escola de bicicleta.

Cargo bike frontal dinamarquesa
A “cargo-bike” frontal inventada na Dinamarca. Fonte: christianabikes.com

A infraestrutura para pedalar na Dinamarca

O que parece ser muito importante e que justifica o sucesso das bicicletas na Dinamarca é, dentre outros fatores, o fato de eles terem ciclovias separadas, às quais os carros não têm acesso. Copenhagen tem cerca de 400 kilômetros de ciclovias, separadas das vias de carros e dos passeios de pedestres.

Geograficamente, a Dinamarca é uma península ao norte da Alemanha, composta por Jutland, a ilha da Zelândia e inúmeras outras ilhas. É um país moderno e abastado com cerca de 43,1 mil kilômetros quadrados e com 12.000 kilômetros de ciclovias. Os país construiu 13 pontes para bicicletas desde 2017 e há ainda mais três em construção. Recentemente foi terminada uma ponte com vias de 5,5 m de largura em cada sentido e que recebe mais de 22.000 ciclistas/dia (Dybbølbro). Também estão sendo construídas centenas de kilômetros de “superciclovias”, que vão conectar a cidade de Copenhagen a às cidades próximas.

Ponte de bicicleta dinamarquesa
Uma típica ponte para bicicletas na Dinamarca. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

A rede de transporte público funciona junto às ciclovias dinamarquesas. Os trens de passageiros têm um vagão exclusivo para bicicletas. 20% dos ciclistas dinamarqueses pedalam até as estações de trem e 5% o fazem das estações até seu destino. Em Copenhagen, esses números são 30% e 10%, respectivamente.

ciclovias dinamarquesas
Ciclovias junto às linhas férreas estaduais da Dinamarca. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

Saúde e meio ambiente

Pedalar reduz problemas de saúde, faltas no trabalho e economiza em custos de saúde ao contribuinte dinamarquês. Estudos dinamarqueses demonstram que, para cada kilômetro pedalado, a Dinamarca ganha aproximadamente $1,10 dólares em benefícios para seu sistema público de saúde. Além disso, os ciclistas de Copenhagen solicitam menos 1,1 milhão em dias de afastamento médico em comparação aos não-ciclistas. Isso se traduz em 215 milhões de euros de economia anual. A cada 1200 kilômetros pedalados, tem-se menos um dia de afastamento por doença. Essa é ainda uma ótima forma de os dinamarqueses saírem para tomar um ar todos os dias e aproveitar as áreas externas, o que acalma o pensamento e reduz o stress.

Os benefícios de andar de bicicleta para o meio ambiente falam por si: pedalar reduz a emissão de carbono, a poluição, os ruídos e os congestionamentos. Pedalar faz uso mais eficiente do espaço público, cria uma vida urbana mais rica e torna as cidades locais melhores para se viver. Na região da Zelândia, uma das maiores e mais povoadas ilhas da Dinamarca, onde fica a capital Copenhagen, o uso da bicicleta significa menos 500 toneladas de CO2 por ano e os moradores da região produzem 92% menos emissões quando substituem o carro pela bicicleta. Os dinamarqueses consideram que andar de bicicleta é o presente e o futuro da mobilidade e do desenvolvimento de uma cidade inteligente. E com mobilidade a baixo custo.

Trem passageiros Dinamarca
Um vagão exclusivo para bicicletas em um trem de passageiros na Dinamarca. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

Tecnologia dinamarquesa

Os dinamarqueses tentam fazer o uso da bicicleta o mais conveniente possível para poder estimulá-lo. A tecnologia de onda verde, que existiu de forma similar para carros na Dinamarca por muitas décadas, hoje pode ser vista nas ciclovias com sinais verdes em LED. Quando está na ciclovia com onda verde andando a 20 km/h, o ciclista sabe que o próximo sinal estará verde e que não terá de parar. Além disso, quando está chovendo, algumas ciclovias são equipadas com sensores que deixam os sinais verdes por mais tempo. Os dinamarqueses também estão sempre testando e implantando novas tecnologias para melhorar a segurança, como as luzes LED que avisam caminhoneiros sobre a presença de ciclistas, quando viram à direita.

As ciclovias dinamarquesas têm ainda uma infraestrutura urbana com um conforto razoável, como estações de serviço; monitores com todo tipo de informação em tempo real, como previsão do tempo, número de ciclistas, etc.; bombas de ar; apoio para os pés e até mesmo latas de lixo bike-friendly, convenientemente inclinadas.

Apoio pés ciclistas Dinamarca
Apoio para os pés para ciclistas na Dinamarca. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

As superciclovias dinamarquesas

As chamadas “superciclovias” dinamarquesas, assim batizadas pelo Departamento de Superciclovias (o Sekretariatet for Supercykelstier) daquele país, conectam às cidades próximas a Copenhagen. O objetivo é ampliar os trajetos de longa distância por bicicleta, tornando-os competitivos em relação ao uso de trens e ônibus. Isso reduz as emissões de carbono e, ao mesmo tempo, melhora a saúde dos ciclistas. Outros países europeus também estão construindo esta nova categoria de vias públicas para bicicletas.

superciclovia c-82 Dinamarca
A superciclovia C-82 tem 7,3 km de extensão em um dos barrios periféricos de Copenhagen. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

Em 2009, Copenhagen e a maior parte das cidades próximas iniciaram um projeto conjunto para construir um total de 750 kilômetros dessas ciclovias até 2045. Já foram construídas até agora um total de oito delas, passando de 12 kilômetros em 2012 para 167 kilômetros em 2019.

Construídas com a meta de manter Copenhagen e suas cidades próximas como “os melhores lugares para bicicletas” do mundo, as superciclovias fazem o match perfeito entre finanças e meio ambiente. Uma pesquisa dinamarquesa apontou que substituir 1% de todos os trajetos de carro por trajetos de bicicletas nos poupa 23.000 toneladas de CO2. O tráfego de bicicletas nas superciclovias aumentou cerca de 23% desde 2012, sendo que 14% dessas pessoas costumavam usar carro. O maior número de ciclistas registrado em uma superciclovia em um dia de semana foi de 29.000, com uma média de trajeto de 11 km/dia por ciclista. Haveria um aumento de 30% no uso de carro, se ninguém da região usasse bicicleta.

As superciclovias vão custar $319,8 milhões de dólares até 2045 e trarão um excedente socioeconômico de $892,3 milhões de dólares. Destes, $667,7 milhões de dólares compreenderão benefícios ao sistema de saúde. Também reduzirão em 40.000 o número de dias de afastamento por doença por ano.

Um estudo feito pela danskindustri.dk descobriu que 10% dos ciclistas reduzem anualmente os dias de afastamento por doença em 267.000, reduzem 6% de trânsito e congestionamentos, além de economizarem $160 milhões de dólares para a saúde pública.

Conheça alguns ciclistas

De acordo com um estudo de um mês feito pela supercykelstier.dk , a dinamarquesa Mette, de 49 anos, que usou uma bicicleta elétrica, observou uma redução de cinco anos em sua idade corporal ao pedalar cerca de 27 km/dia. Ela também viu seu IMC (Índice de Massa Corporal) cair de 24,4 para 23,4 em um único mês.

Família dinamarquesa andando de bicicleta
Família dinamarquesa andando de bicicleta. Fonte: supercykelstier.dk

A dinamarquesa Fiona Weiss, que anda de bicicleta há 50 anos, gosta de pedalar mais no verão. Nas palavras dela, “pedalar nos traz energias boas e me permite descobrir lugares que eu não veria se estivesse no trem, além de manter minhas pernas em forma”. Ela também diz gostar de pedalar mesmo “em um bom dia de inverno, quando eu sinto vontade de sair para tomar um ar, à beira do mar ou em um bosque”.

Bettina Fürstenberg é uma dinamarquesa de 52 anos, que costumava pedalar cerca de 16 kilômetros por dia até sofrer um grave acidente com a bicicleta por volta dos 30 anos. No momento, ela tem três bicicletas, sendo uma delas elétrica. Segundo ela, pedalar é “a forma mais rápida de se mover por Copenhagen”. E “sem poluir o ar”. Ela acha que “ainda são necessárias vias melhores e maiores, com regras mais rígidas para os ciclistas”, como “limites de velocidade”. Embora não tenha se recuperado totalmente do acidente que sofreu, ela ainda anda de bicicleta “para qualquer tipo de atividade, como ir trabalhar, ir ao cinema, a parques, às compras, etc.”.

Área externa de um prédio típico de Copenhaga. Foto: Jorge Carbajosa
Área externa de um prédio típico de Copenhagen. Foto: Jorge Carbajosa

O know-how de ciclismo à moda dinamarquesa

A Embaixada do Ciclismo da Dinamarca é uma entidade local que promove o ciclismo em cidades de todo o mundo. Eles oferecem um filme em realidade virtual, que apresenta um passeio de bicicleta por Copenhagen, uma viagem de estudo de dois dias pela Dinamarca, e preparam relatórios anuais. Os dinamarqueses têm diversos sites em inglês, que promovem o ciclismo e mostram o país. Muitos deles foram usados neste trabalho e estão elencados no final deste texto.

Estação central de Copenhagen
Bicicletários da Estação central de Copenhagen. Foto: Jorge Carbajosa

A Língua Dinamarquesa

O dinamarquês é uma língua de origem germânica falada na Dinamarca, nas Ilhas Faroé (no Atlântico Norte) e por uma minoria na Groenlândia. É uma língua inteligível pelos suecos e noruegueses. Todas essas línguas descendem da língua nórdica antiga. O islandês, outra língua da terra dos Vikings, também deriva da língua nórdica antiga.

Como o português, o dinamarquês é uma língua indo-europeia, o que significa que são apenas parentes distantes. A maioria dos dinamarqueses fala bem o inglês já na mais tenra idade.

Traduzido por Ilka Santi, ilkam@uol.com.br

Leia o artigo em inglês aqui

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

Fontes:

http://www.cycling-embassy.dk/

https://cyclingsolutions.info/

https://Copenhagenizeindex.eu/

https://denmark.dk/people-and-culture/biking

https://www.danskindustri.dk/english

http://www.m-w.com

http://www.bing.com

http://www.google.com

https://www.etymonline.com/

McKay’s Modern Danish – English Dictionary by Hermann Vinterberg, David McKay Company, Inc.

An Introduction to Old Norse, E.V. Gordon, Oxford 1990.

Palm Sunday Seville 1940

April 30, 2020

Email from my father, Ramón Carbajosa-Segura on April 4th, 2004:

Dear Sons,

64 years ago, Franco’s fascist police took away my father and kept him in jail for 6 months. It happened before lunch time. All of my mother’s crying and begging was useless and so was ours (Pepe, Eduardo, Alicia and I). From the balcony of the apartment where we lived crowded together, we saw how they put him inside a car and left. Mom cried all afternoon, waiting for his return, since the police had assured her that it was just for a couple of hours….At 11pm that same day, my mother lost an eight month pregnancy of a boy to a miscarriage, and I being only 9 years old, had to go find a cab driver and a doctor, running down the streets of Seville crying, while my mother lost a lot of blood. 

I will never forget it, I will never forgive it.

All of you know the story already, but it is question of showing the flag every year as a matter of principle.

Read Original Email in Spanish

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

Franco Hitler

Hitler and Franco

Resistiré – Spain’s Hymn Against Coronavirus

April 5, 2020

A world famous emotional song of encouragement and overcoming, released by Duo Dinámico in 1988, is Spain’s hymn of resistance against the Corona-virus. The original version of Resistiré can be found here.

Here is the translation:

Cuando pierda todas las partidasWhen I’m losing every game

Cuando duerma con la soledadWhen I sleep with loneliness
Cuando se me cierren las salidas
When all exit doors close on me
Y la noche no me deje en paz
And the night doesn’t let me sleep

Cuando sienta miedo del silencioWhen Silence Scares me

Cuando cueste mantenerse en pieWhen it’s hard to stay standing up
Cuando se rebelen los recuerdos
When memories rebel
Y me pongan contra la pared
and put me up against the wall

Resistiré, erguido frente a todoI will resist, proudly face it all
Me volveré de hierro para endurecer la piel
I will turn into iron to thicken my skin
Y aunque los vientos de la vida soplen fuerte
And although life’s headwinds blow strong
Soy como el junco que se dobla,
I’m like the palm tree that bends
Pero siempre sigue en pie
but always stands upright again

Resistiré, para seguir viviendoI will resist to continue living
Soportaré los golpes y jamás me rendiré
I will withstand the punches and never give up
Y aunque los sueños se me rompan en pedazos
And though my dreams may shatter to pieces
Resistiré, resistiré
I will resist, I will resist

Cuando el mundo pierda toda magiaWhen the world loses all its magic
Cuando mi enemigo sea yo
When I’m my own enemy
Cuando me apuñale la nostalgia
When nostalgia stabs me

Y no reconozca ni mi vozAnd I can’t recognize my own voice

Cuando me amenace la locuraWhen insanity threatens me
Cuando en mi moneda salga cruz
When all odds are against me
Cuando el diablo pase la factura
When the Devil comes to be paid,
o Si alguna vez me faltas tu
Or if I ever miss you

The translation above is almost literal. It has a few adaptations to American-English, for example juncos are reeds, but in the U.S. we would usually associate palm trees to being capable of resisting strong winds, not the stem of a plant.

The literal translation of “Cuando el diablo pasa factura” is “when the devil brings the bill.” Pasar factura means when something brings about negative consequences, when things take their toll, or when someone is asking for a favor or services to be paid back. It’s really referring to those times when we’re being too hard on ourselves for something that’s happened in the past. “The Devil to pay” is of course an idiom that can work here.

In order for this translation to have the same impact as this song, it would have to be culturally recreated and also keep its overall meaning. Personally I’ve heard very few songs whose translations are successful. And that’s because song lyrics are usually very elaborate and pertain to a particular country or culture. It’s almost like songs cannot be translated and should always be sung in their original version.

Every night Spaniards across the country go to their balconies to applaud medical workers. Balconies have become a place where Spaniards unite to display solidarity, and a stage for all kinds of performances, including  the song Resistiré.

Duo Dinámico is a pop band founded in the late fifties in Spain by Ramón Arcusa and Manuel de la Calva. The lyrics to the song Resistiré were written by Spanish journalist and composer Carlos Toro and the music by Duo Dinámico’s Manuel de la Calva.

The song was also made famous in Pedro Almodóvar’s 1989 movie “Tie me up, Tie me down,” where it is sang by Antonio Banderas, Victoria Abril and Loles León. You can see the clip here.

Resistiré has a recent version interpreted by more than 30 Spanish artists to fight the Coronavirus. Many versions that can be found in youtube performed by artists throughout the Spanish speaking world.

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Typical condominium buildings in Spain. Photo by San Fermin Pamplona on Pexels.com

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

Sources:

https://elcierredigital.com/cultura-y-ocio/716621110/cancion-resistire-balcones-coronavirus.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resistir%C3%A9_(D%C3%BAo_Din%C3%A1mico_song)

http://www.eldiario.es

http://www.elpais.es

Bicycle Riding in Denmark

March 26, 2020

En español. Em português.

Integrated with its widespread public bus and train network, cycling is considered an important means of transportation in this small Scandinavian country, which has one of the world’s most modern bicycle infrastructures. Out of 20 cities throughout the world, and every year since 2015, the Copenhagenize Index has ranked Denmark’s capital, København (Copenhagen), the most bicycle friendly city in the world. If you like to ride your bike, Danmark is geared for cycling.

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A Typical Danish Bikeway.  Credit: supercykelstier.dk

Danskerne (the Danes) and Bicycles

The capital city of København (Copenhagen), which means the Merchant’s Port in Dansk (Danish), has a population of 633,000 people (2017), about 675,000 bicycles, and 120,000 cars. 62% of københavnerne (Copenhageners) cycle to work or school; 4 out of 10 own a car; and 9 out of 10 own a bicycle. In fact, since 2016, cykel (bicycle) traffic surpassed car traffic in the capital region, with 52% of households not owning a car. Danskerne on average cycle 1.9 miles per day in Copenhagen; 1.5 miles in Århus, the second largest city; and 1.6 miles in Odense, the third largest. 75% of bike traffic continues throughout the cold Danish winters, and 4000 to 5000 bikes are sold in Copenhagen annually.

Danmark has been a bicycle nation for over 100 years and in the 1920s and 30s, cycling became a symbol of equality and freedom. In the early seventies, when the land of Hans Christian Andersen and all countries of the world were investing heavily in cars and automobile infrastructure, things took a turn with the Mideast oil crisis and Københavnere, demanded that their wonderful Copenhagen, as the famous song says, be car free.

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26% of Copenhageners with 2 children own a cargo bike. Credit: supercykelstier.dk

Dansk børn (Danish children) start riding bicycles before they are six years old and are often seen at very early ages on their parents’ bicycles, which may be adapted with different parts and carriages to transport one or several children at a time. Danskerne actually invented the front wooden box transport bike seen here and below, which conveniently carries children or cargo in this bicycle nation. In school, children learn cykling (cycling) culture, rules and safety as part of their curriculum. 49% of all børn aged 11-15 cycle to school.

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The Danish Front Cargo Bike was invented in Denmark. Credit: christianiabikes.com

Danish Cykling Infrastructure

Among many other factors, perhaps the most important key to the Danish biking success is that cyklister (cyclists) have their own separate bikeways, which cars cannot access. København has about 249 miles of them, which are separated from car lanes and sidewalks altogether.

Geographically comprised of the peninsula Jutland, Zealand and numerous other small islands, Danmark is a wealthy and modern country of 16,577 square miles, which has 7500 miles of bikeways.  It’s built 13 bicycle bridges since 2017 and three more are under construction. The recently finished Dybbølbro bridge has 6 yard wide lanes in each direction to accommodate more than 22,000 daily bicycle riders. It’s also currently constructing hundreds of miles of “super” bikeways which connect Copenhagen to its suburbs. 

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A typical bike bridge in Denmark. Credit: supercykelstier.dk

The public transportation network works together with Danish bikeways. Commuter trains have a dedicated wagon for bicycles.  20% of Danish cyclists ride their bikes to train stations and 5% from the train stations to their destination. In Copenhagen, it’s 30% to 10% respectively.

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The Statsbaner commuter & subway Trains (State Railways) Credit: supercykelstier.dk

Health and The Environment

Cykling reduces health problems, work absences and it saves the Danish tax payer money on health costs. Danish studies show that for every 2/3 of a mile cycled, Denmark gains approximately $1.10 in health benefits in its medicare-for-all type health care system. In addition, cyclists in Copenhagen request 1.1 million less sick days versus non cyklister (cyclists), which translates as 215 million euros in annual savings. For every 746 miles cycled, one sick day is reduced. It’s also a great way for Danskerne to get fresh air every day and enjoy the outdoors, which clears your mind and reduces stress. 

The benefits of cykling to the environment speak for themselves. It reduces carbon emissions, pollution, noise, and traffic congestion. It uses public space more efficiently, creates a thriving urban life and makes cities more livable. In the Capital region, bicycle usage saves 500 tons of CO2 annually and Sjælland residents produce 92% less emissions when they stop using their cars and switch to cykler (bicycles). Danes consider cykling the present and future of mobility and smart city development. It also provides mobility at a low cost. 

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A bicycle dedicated wagon in a Danish Commuter Train. Credit: supercykelstier.dk

Danish Teknologi

Danes try to make cykling as convenient as possible in order to encourage it.  The grøn bølge (green wave) technology, which has existed in a similar form for cars in Denmark for many decades, are green LED lights adapted for bikeways which, when lit, mean that if the cyklist rides at about 12.5 mph he/she will catch the next traffic light in green, and will not have to stop. In addition, when it’s raining, some bikeways are fitted with sensors that allow longer green traffic lights. Danes are also constantly testing and implementing new technology to improve safety, for example LED lights that warn truck drivers of cyclists, when making a right turn.

Dansk bikeways also have a variety of cykelinventar (urban furniture) which add considerable comfort, such as service stations; monitors with all kinds of real time information like weather, number of riders, etc; air pumps; footrests; and  even bike-friendly tilted trash receptacles.

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Bicycle footrest in Denmark. Credit: supercykelstier.dk

The Danish Super-Bikeways 

Known as the supercykelstier, translated by that organization, the Sekretariatet for Supercykelstier (The Department for Superbikeways),  into English as the  “bicycle superhighways,” they connect the kommuner (suburbs) to København. The object is to increase long distance cykling commuting, and make it competitive to taking the train or bus, thereby reducing carbon emissions, and at the same time, improving the health of cyclists.  Other European countries are also constructing this new category of bike thoroughfares.

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The 4.54 mile in length C-82  Superbikeway in one of Copenhagen’s near suburbs. Credit: supercykelstier.dk

In 2009, most of Sjælland’s suburbs (Zealand, the name of the Island where Copenhagen is) started this joint project to build a total of 466 miles of these highways by 2045. A total of 8 have been built thus far, progressing from 7.5 miles in 2012, to 104 miles in 2019.  

Built with the vision of keeping Copenhagen and its suburbs as the “greatest bicycle region” in the world, the superbikeways make perfect environmental and financial sense. Danish research found that replacing 1% of all car trips in Sjælland with a bicycle, saves 23,000 tons of  CO2 . Bike traffic in the superbikeways increased 23% since 2012  and 14% used to travel by car instead.  The highest number of cyclists recorded on one superbikeway on a weekday was 29,000 and riders average 6.8 miles per day. In addition, there would be a 30% increase in car commuting if no one in the region used a bicycle.

The superbikeways will cost $319.8 million by 2045, and bring a total socio-economic surplus is $829.3 million, of which $667.7 million comprise the health benefits. They will also reduce by 40,000 the number of sick days per year.

A study by danskindustri.dk found that 10% additional cykling annually would reduce sick days by 267,000, decrease traffic congestion by 6%, and save $160 million in public health care. 

Meet Some Danish Cyclists

According to a supercykelstier.dk one month study, Mette, a 49 year old Danish woman who used an electric bicycle, saw a 5 year reduction in her body age by cycling 16.7 miles/day. She also saw her Body Mass Index reduced from 24.4 to 23.4 in one month.

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A typical Danish parent with her children. Credit: supercykelstier.dk 

Fiona Weiss, a Danish woman who has ridden a bicycle for 50 years, cycles mostly in summer and says “it gets the happy vibes going and allows me to discover places I would not see on the train, (keeping) my legs slim.” She also enjoys cycling on “a good winter day. If I feel like going to the seaside or forest for winter fresh air.”

Bettina Fürstenberg is a 52  year old Danish woman who used to ride her bicycle an average of about 10 miles a day until she had a serious bike accident in her thirties. She currently owns three bicycles, one being electric. She says cycling is the “fastest way to move around Copenhagen,” and it “doesn’t pollute the air.” She feels that “better and larger roads are still needed…with stricter rules for cyclists” such as “speed limits.” Although she hasn’t fully recovered from her accident, she still rides her bikes for “any kind of activity, like work, movies, parks, shopping, etc.”

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Outside area of a typical Copenhagen building. Photo by Jorge Carbajosa

Danish Bicycle Know-How

The Cycling Embassy of Denmark promotes cycling for cities throughout the world. It offers a virtual reality film featuring a bike ride in Copenhagen, a two day study trip in Denmark and prepares annual reports. Danes have numerous websites in English promoting cycling and their country. Many were used for this story and are listed below.

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Bicycle parking areas at Copenhagen’s Main Central Station. Photo by Jorge Carbajosa

Danish and English Linguistics

The Danish language is spoken in Danmark, Færøerne (the Faeroe Islands) and by a minority in Grønland (Greenland). It is mutually intelligible with Swedish and Norwegian, which descend from Old Norse. Icelandic, another language that comes from the Vikings, also comes from Old Norse.

The Danish language is related to English because they are both Germanic in origin. The Angles were in fact, Danes, who migrated to England in the fifth century A.D. In addition, Old Norse influenced English because of Vikingerne (the Vikings) invasions of Great Britain in the eighth century A.D. and in 1066 A.D. by the Normans (the North Men) who were also of Viking origin.

Most Danes speak English well and learn it at a young age.

Copyright © 2020 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

I would like to dedicate this article to all my friends from Denmark and specially to Bettina Fürstenberg, Birgitte Borgsmidt, Robert Clarke, Dr. Joe Asbury, and to world cyclists Jorge Balderas and Ignacio Durán.

Sources:

http://www.cycling-embassy.dk/

Cycle superhighways

https://cyclingsolutions.info/

https://copenhagenizeindex.eu/

https://denmark.dk/people-and-culture/biking

https://www.danskindustri.dk/english

http://www.m-w.com 

http://www.bing.com

http://www.google.com

https://www.etymonline.com/

McKay’s Modern Danish – English Dictionary by Hermann Vinterberg, David McKay Company, Inc.

An Introduction to Old Norse, E.V. Gordon, Oxford 1990

Beau-frère

April 3, 2013

I was celebrating Easter with my girlfriend, at her aunt’s house. Most of the people there were from Togo because she is from that country. The party had a lot of wonderful food and great African music. People were dancing, drinking and being merry.

I was speaking to a man from Sudan about several things. We were conversing in French and at one point a man in his fifties who was dressed in a beautiful colorful striped African shirt approached me and remarked that he was surprised I speak French. Well, I understand a lot more than I speak, I explained. I introduced myself and my girlfriend who was sitting next to me. I thought maybe they were relatives but they didn’t know each other despite the fact that this party was at her aunt’s. The man was pleasant. He was also surprised that my girlfriend is from Togo and he called me “Beau-frère.” In French it means “Brother-in-law.” The man from Sudan said it was a privilege to be referred this way by a stranger.  After greeting us he left us and joined the people he had come with to the party.

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Photo by Craig Adderley on Pexels.com

Later on when we decided to go home and when we started to say our good-byes, this same African man came to bid us farewell. He was very polite and held my hand. Then he looked at my girl-friend and said: “This woman is my daughter. Please make sure you take good care of her. Take care of my daughter please. Treat her well. I trust that you will.”

I promised and assured him I would always treat her well. I thanked him for his concern. I was touched by this man’s good intentions and sense of fraternity towards his own kin.

Copyright © 2013 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

Languages of Kenya

November 21, 2012

Unlike many other countries, Kenya is predominantly a trilingual country, meaning that many people speak three languages. Kenyans grow up speaking their tribal language at home, which some refer to as a “vernacular” language and then they learn Swahili at their schools, which they also read on the press, listen to it on the radio, TV, songs and learn it by speaking to others. It is also referred to as the Kiswahili language, and it is considered the National language of Kenya and a Lingua Franca of East Africa. Finally English is also learnt much the same way as Swahili by Kenyans and it is considered the official language of Kenya, which means it is the language that the government of Kenya conducts business in. Vernacular languages are no longer taught at schools in Kenya.

The “vernacular” languages spoken by the 42 tribes of Kenya can be divided

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Purple leaves in Nairobi

into three different language groups: The Bantu, the Nilotic and the Cushitic. The most spoken tribal language in Kenya is the Kikuyu language. The Kikuyu tribe is about 20% of the population in Kenya. Kenya’s current president, Mr. Emilio Mwai Kibakint,  is a Kikuyu.

President Obama’s father, Barack Hussein Obama Senior, was from the Luo tribe, which are a Nilotic tribe found in Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Uganda and Kenya. They speak the Dholuo language.

Copyright © 2017 Jorge Luis Carbajosa

References: Wikipedia and some Kenyans.