“Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo.”
The opening line of the book that won Writer and Novelist Gabriel García Márquez a Nobel Prize for Literature, is surely something.It makes us realise what we are signing up for all while making us excited, knowingly or perhaps unknowingly, to look forward to a journey filled with crazy adventures.
Of course the english translation to the opening line looks like this -“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
100 years of solitude or Cien años de soledad is definitely the book that changed the literary landscape of the latin American literature to the world. This novel did it’s job all too well. But what is exactly this world that Gabriel García Márquez boasts about in his novel?
Taking into the consideration the cultural impact that this novel had and will continue to have on the people’s mind, it was an intriguing read for me to find the answer. “What exactly is so unique and different about this book?”, “What is so different about it’s characters?”, “What is so unique about it’s world setting?” ; Yes, I am guilty of thinking all these doubts, perhaps influenced by the mix opinions of the people who were already enlightened by the pages in this book, but it was indeed a fascinating read.
Reading this book in english and then trying to read the very same novel in Spanish was also a kind of learning experiment that I had very fun while performing. The time I came to know that the book is indeed translated directly, and an effort was made to retain the meaning of most to all of the words.
Evidently an effort was made so that no part of the story gets lost in the translation. But that is not what I want to write about today. Or rather that is not even close to what I want to write about today. For the topic that intrigued me the most, the dimension of this book, the story, that perhaps I think will stick with me for the longest time is the – “World Setting of Macondo.”
Macondo, the place that Gabriel García Márquez sets his novel in, can be thought of as a peice of a fraction of his imagination that smoothly layers over the Columbia and it’s state which in it’s true entirety was in the time period he penned down the novel.
A lot of things that are happening in the town of Macondo overlap the true events in the history of Columbia. And that also serves as the starting point of the fate for Márquez to turn his new characters and push them down the rabbit hole of adventure.
The 448 pages of this novel are the canvas on which the world of isolation is painted, as the word Solitude aptly suggests. But the turning point for the thinking process comes in when we look at the huge cast of the story.
People with personalities that actually reflects their dimensions in real world, speak to the surroundings and then die, only for another similar nature characters to take birth and make the same mistake.
The world of 100 years of Solitude is surely the background that sees time passing. Moving in a direction. Moving in circles. That makes the whole plot, the large family tree and the crazy seven generations’ lives feel less overwhelming and real.
Things that are explored in the words of this novel are far beyond the true sanity that I’ve ever read in novel before it. The mistakes or rather the repetitive mistakes that the characters make are fun and sometimes frustrating, and all this is wrapped in a blanket of something known as Magic Realism.
Magic realism or Magical Realism, is the genre that embodies the Reality-based events in the possibilities that magic is possible. And that world of magic overlaps reality in Macondo.
The wheel of time moves ahead as the time passes only to come back to the same event or eventual happening. It keeps the mind of the reader awake in a very bendy way.And that makes the world of Macondo and 100 years of solitude worth giving a shot.
The characters become alive and start to breath as we turn pages and dive deeper into the feelings of love, hatred, curiosity and make a way to the subconscious of the reader. They stay with the reader for a long time, for a long time after the book is closed.
The world of Macondo is truly fascinating with the way Gabriel García Márquez sculpted all the sides of the story.
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Mrinali Jadhav who writes under her pen name Luna Arsyn, is a Novelist, Poetess and an aspiring Singer-Songwriter under United Entertainment Music Label.
She is the current Editor-in-chief at Unverbalise and Head of the board of Editors. She believes in the power and magic of story telling and thus lives by the mantra of ‘Stories must be narrated for them to live on.’ She had authored 7 poetry books and published them under her series known as ‘If Only Happiness…’.
Her novels A Beautiful Chaos, Regina and Carolina are currently published and exclusively signed by Tencent Literatures direct subsidiary Webnovel in the form of an E-Novel.
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org