Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cien anos de soledad

I know that my post is late, but this book is suppppppper hard for me to read and if I actually wanted to understand the first 200 pages, I needed to take my sweet time. Although the book is excellent, it does not take a very straightforward approach to telling its version of history. The concept of time seems to be just as confusing in this novel as in some of our other readings. Things are not told in the order which they happen. The evolution of the town of Macondo and the Buendia family are hard to keep track of.

The very first couple of pages demonstrate this confusion. In the same part we learn of the gypsies who bring with them new technologies that seem to fascinate the old world, we are reading about an event taking place in the future at the execution of the Colonel, which is carried out by firing arms. GGM is so talented to be able to merge these two events together so flawlessly with the concept of a far away memory that the Colonel is having while facing his inevitable demise. So at his point I was very confused about where the story would be taking place historically for the majority of the book, would it be in the past, during his childhood, or would it be someone elses story in the future long after his death?

They way the reader gets lost in between memories, history and the magic of the story reminds me a lot of our previous readings. People seem to live forever in this book. So far this one has successful smashed my brain to much and to me is the perfect example of Magic Realism at its finest. In this novel reality seems to disguisse itself as a memory or as a fantasy, everythin is very distorted.

So far the pages seem to be jam packed full of emotions and have me on a sort of rollercoaster ride. I will have to read the english version next because I worry that I am missing some of the brilliance of GGM's writing. I hope that I will be able to make it to the end of the book on time...It's just a lot of work to wrap your head around this book when your own life is so out of control. Stil, I am glad to reading Cien anos de soledad and I look forward to experiencing it in its entirety as I have begun and abondoned it many times in the past few years.


  1. Just a quick point... as I said yesterday, don't be so rure about the colonel's "inevitable demise"!

    Otherwise, yes, the time of the novel is definitely handled very fluidly. We'll talk about this more, too.

  2. I'll piggy back on Jon's comment, as your description of the seemingly fluctuating time line in the novel is also something that I picked up on while reading. In my own experience with the novel, I found that following the general scheme of the plot wasn't too difficult; however, the ebb and flow of time in the novel was definitely a source of confusion for me. It seemed like the main storyline was pitted with anecdotal moments that broke up the continuity of time. Anyway, I'm rambling - interesting observations either way.

  3. Hi Maria!

    "So far this one has successful smashed my brain to much and to me is the perfect example of Magic Realism at its finest."

    I almost laughed out loud when I read this, but you've hit the nail on the head: the reader needs to let go of what they think of as reality (and time in this instance) in order to enjoy, or at the very least attempt to read, haha, a good example of magical realism. Agreed that this Spanish version is taxing; and having read the English version myself, I highly recommend giving it a go after. If you're like me, chances are that you don't quite relate to the nuances of the story when reading the spanish version.
    Katie :)