One hundred years of solitude wiki
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia MarquezRevised 28 March 2012
Huh? Oh. Oh, man. Wow.
I just had the weirdest dream.
There was this little town, right? And everybody had, like, the same two names. And there was this guy who lived under a tree and a lady who ate dirt and some other guy who just made little gold fishes all the time. And sometimes it rained and sometimes it didn’t, and… and there were fire ants everywhere, and some girl got carried off into the sky by her laundry…
Wow. That was messed up.
I need some coffee.
The was roughly how I felt after reading this book. This is really the only time I’ve ever read a book and thought, “You know, this book would be awesome if I were stoned.” And I don’t even know if being stoned works on books that way.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (which is such a fun name to say) is one of those Writers You Should Read. You know the type – they’re the ones that everyone claims to have read, but no one really has. The ones you put in your online dating profile so that people will think you’re smarter than you really are. You get some kind of intellectual bonus points or something, the kind of highbrow cachet that you just don’t get from reading someone like Stephen King or Clive Barker.
Marquez was one of the first writers to use “magical realism,” a style of fantasy wherein the fantastic and the unbelievable are treated as everyday occurrences. While I’m sure it contributed to the modern genre of urban fantasy – which also mixes the fantastic with the real – magical realism doesn’t really go out of its way to point out the weirdness and the bizarrity. These things just happen. A girl floats off into the sky, a man lives far longer than he should, and these things are mentioned in passing as though they were perfectly normal.
In this case, Colonel Aureliano Buendia has seventeen illegitimate sons, all named Aureliano, by seventeen different women, and they all come to his house on the same day. Remedios the Beauty is a girl so beautiful that men just waste away in front of her, but she doesn’t even notice. The twins Aureliano Segundo and Jose Arcadio Segundo may have, in fact, switched identities when they were children, but no one knows for sure – not even them. In the small town of Macondo, weird things happen all the time, and nobody really notices. Or if they do notice that, for example, the town’s patriarch has been living for the last twenty years tied to a chestnut tree, nobody thinks anything is at all unusual about it.
This, of course, is a great example of Dream Logic – the weird seems normal to a dreamer, and you have no reason to question anything that’s happening around you. Or if you do notice that something is wrong, but no one else seems to be worried about it, then you try to pretend like coming to work dressed only in a pair of spangly stripper briefs and a cowboy hat is perfectly normal.
Another element of dreaminess that pervades this book is that there’s really no story here, at least not in the way that we have come to expect. Reading this book is kind of like a really weird game of The Sims - it’s about a family that keeps getting bigger and bigger, and something happens to everybody. So, the narrator moves around from one character to another, giving them their moment for a little while, and then it moves on to someone else, very smoothly and without much fanfare. There’s very little dialogue, so the story can shift very easily, and it often does.
Each character has their story to tell, but you’re not allowed to linger for very long on any one of them before Garcia shows you what’s happening to someone else. The result is one long, continuous narrative about this large and ultimately doomed family, wherein the Buendia family itself is the main character, and the actual family members are secondary to that.
It was certainly an interesting reading experience, but it took a while to get through. I actually kept falling asleep as I read it, which is unusual for me. But perhaps that’s what Garcia would have wanted to happen. By reading his book, I slipped off into that non-world of dreams and illusions, where the fantastic is commonplace and ice is something your father takes you to discover.
“[Arcadio] imposed obligatory military service for men over eighteen, declared to be public property any animals walking the streets after six in the evening, and made men who were overage wear red armbands. He sequestered Father Nicanor in the parish house under pain of execution and prohibited him from saying mass or ringing the bells unless it was for a Liberal victory. In order that no one would doubt the severity of his aims, he ordered a firing squad organized in the square and had it shoot a scarecrow. At first no one took him seriously.”
One Hundred Years of Solitude
In this lecture I would like to start with an initial question and then suggest some possible directions one might like to explore in answering it. We can all agree, I think, that this novel is amazingly rich, so I don't propose anything like a last word. However, by examining some patterns in the novel, we can perhaps help to shape some potentially illuminating observations. First, I want to consider One Hundred Years of Solitude as an epic, in the traditional sense of the word, and from that consideration to frame an interpretative question. Second, I propose to look at the complex effects this novel creates: a wonderfully comic sense combined with an overall tragic irony underlying the remarkably energetic and entertaining inventiveness in the plot and the characters. Thirdly, by way of accounting, at least in part, for these complex effects, I wish to look at two particular aspects: the double sense of time in the novel and the style of magical realism.
The widely acclaimed book, considered by many to be the author's masterpiece, was first published in Spanish in , and subsequently has been translated into thirty-seven languages and has sold more than 30 million copies. Ultimately, a hurricane destroys Macondo, the city of mirrors; just the cyclical turmoil inherent to Macondo. The protagonists are controlled by their pasts and the complexity of time. Throughout the novel the characters are visited by ghosts. The ghosts and the displaced repetition that they evoke are, in fact, firmly grounded in the particular development of Latin American history".
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In June , there was a referendum to change the name of the town to Aracataca Macondo. He also mentions the fact that Macondo is the local name of the tree Cavanillesia platanifolia , which grows in that area. It is the central location for the subsequent novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. He has since used Macondo as a setting for several other stories. In the narrative of One Hundred Years of Solitude , the town grows from a tiny settlement with almost no contact with the outside world, to eventually become a large and thriving place, before a banana plantation is set up. The establishment of the banana plantation leads to Macondo's downfall, followed by a gigantic windstorm that wipes it from the map. The fall of Macondo comes first as a result of a four-year rainfall, which destroyed most of the town's supplies and image.