San Juan, April 25 - Well-known Puerto Rican writers took part in a tribute to late Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, organised by the Puerto Rican government in commemoration of an author who helped unite this US commonwealth in the Caribbean with the rest of Latin America.
Reading him in my youth, I learned to place Puerto Rican reality in the context of Latin America, said Puerto Rican Secretary of State David Bernier, who led the homage to the Nobel laureate on World Book Day April 23.
Bernier said that as a child, one of his teachers, the Spaniard Papo Borges - who was also at the tribute - forced him and his classmates to read the Garcia Marquez masterpiece 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', while at the same time he created the necessary drama in the classroom to awaken interest in all of us.
When a writer has everyone who reads him identifying themselves with his work, he has become universal, Bernier said during a ceremony in which students read excerpts from the work of Gabo, who died last week at the age of 87.
Authors Juan Lopez Bauza, Yolanda Izquierdo, Carlos Pabon, Francisco Pons, Ricardo Cobian and Carmen Gilbert attended the tribute, as did Hector Feliciano, who had been close to the Colombian writer, collaborating with him on the publication of his last work as well as being involved for years with the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Foundation for New Ibero-American Journalism.
He felt himself very much a journalist, Feliciano, also of that profession, told EFE after his address in which he honoured the author with the lapidary phrase, Garcia Marquez wrote the Old Testament of Latin America.