I dare to think that it is this outsized reality, and not just its literary expression, that has deserved the attention of the Swedish Academy of Letters. A reality not of paper, but one that lives within us and determines each instant of our countless daily deaths, and that nourishes a source of insatiable creativity, full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more, singled out by fortune. Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable. This, my friends, is the crux of our solitude.
I was not a hypocrite, with one real face and several false ones. I had several faces because I was young and didn’t know who I was or wanted to be.
I was an ordinary person who studied hard. There is no miracle people. It just happens they got interested in this thing, and they learned all this stuff. They’re just people. There is no talent or special miracle ability to understand quantum mechanics, or miracle ability to imagine electromagnetic fields, that comes without practice and reading and learning and study.