Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude

by Jess

One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered Marquez’s magnum opus.  It won him the Nobel Prize in 1982, and some consider it the work that has most shaped world literature over the past 25 years.

I thought it was pretty good.

Much of Marquez’s writing inhabits a beautiful and fantastical dreamworld, and One Hundred Years read, to me, like nothing more than a long and lovely fairy tale.  Marquez has an amazing capacity for imagination.  But the repetition of names and histories (one of the major themes in the book) grew wearisome to me by the end of the novel (although it’s certainly impressive how he managed to keep straight all those Aurelianos and Jose Arcadios).  Still, my very favorite line came near the end.  The wise Catalonian packs up all his books and boards a train to return to his homeland.  He says, “The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.”

I also started Kurt Vonnegut’s Hocus Pocus, but, I’m sad to say, I may not bother to finish it.  I’m just not enjoying it at all, although quitting on a book doesn’t sit well with me.  I don’t like the way the narrative is chopped into small chunks, and oh my goodness, please tell me one more time about how your mother-in-law and your wife were certifiable, because I think maybe I missed it the first fifty times you told us.  Also, I find a great deal of the story boring, to be perfectly honest.  I don’t care about the long history of Tarkington College.  Unfortunately, Hocus Pocus is the only Vonnegut volume at the sad little Caroline Library.  Interlibrary loan, anyone?  Yes, please.

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