One of the most notable acts of resistance carried out by the University of Puerto Rico students recently has been the “One Hundred Years of Solitude Marathon” [Leer sin pausa: Lectura maratónica de Cien años de soledad]. From March 9 at 11:00am until 8:30am the next day, students and faculty members of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras gathered for a non-stop relay reading of Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece. The idea was to protest against the university administration’s decision to freeze several programs, or “placing them ‘on pause.’”
The reading took place at the Antonia Martínez Square, next to the School of Humanities of the Río Piedras campus, where students set camp for the 24-hour read. The activity was convened “as an act of resistance against the dismantling of the University of Puerto Rico,” and cuts or elimination of services and academic programs, such as the undergraduate program of Hispanic Studies, among others.
The organizers of the event explained, “In the same way that a single person cannot read without One Hundred Years of Solitude without stopping, a person alone cannot bring about change. But many people can achieve what one person cannot; many people can join their wills to read uninterruptedly, against all odds, one of the best literary works of all time. Together we can achieve great things!” The reading was accompanied by music, performance and art, and although it was read mostly in Spanish, several readers incorporated other languages in which García Márquez’s work has been translated.
[Many thanks to journalist Ricardo Díaz Alcaraz for bringing this item to our attention and for the photo.]