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One Hundred Years of Solitude (Harper Perennial Modern Classics) Paperback – February 21, 2006
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"One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. . . . Mr. Garcia Marquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life." —William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review
One of the most influential literary works of our time, One Hundred Years of Solitude remains a dazzling and original achievement by the masterful Gabriel Garcia Marquez, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendiá family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad and alive with unforgettable men and women—brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul—this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
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“One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. It takes up not long after Genesis left off and carries through to the air age, reporting on everything that happened in between with more lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry that is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man. . . . Mr. García Márquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life.” — William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review
“More lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry than is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man.” — Washington Post Book World
“At 50 years old, García Márquez's masterpiece is as important as ever. . . To experience a towering work like One Hundred Years of Solitude is to be reminded of the humility we should all feel when trying to assert what is true and what is false.” — LitHub
"An irresistible work of storytelling, mixing the magic of the fairy tale, the realistic detail of the domestic novel and the breadth of the family saga.” — New York Times
“One Hundred Years of Solitude is substantive and substantial, and its prose precise for the simple reason that its sentences are too exquisite to be inessential. It is a novel on which is bestowed the laurels usually awarded to great works of frugal prose. Yet its genius is in the operatic telling.” — The Independent
“One Hundred Years of Solitude offers plenty of reflections on loneliness and the passing of time. It can also be seen as a caustic commentary on the evils of war, or a warm appreciation of familial bonds. García Márquez has urgent things to say that still feel close to home, 50 years after the book was first published.” — The Guardian
“One of the seminal works of 20th century Latin American fiction, it is a classic.” — Variety
“Fecund, savage, irresistible. . . . In all their loves, madness, and wars, their alliances, compromises, dreams and deaths...the characters rear up large and rippling with life against the green pressure of nature itself.” — Paul West, Book World
From the Back Cover
One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendía family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women -- brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul -- this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.
- Publisher : Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (February 21, 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 417 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060883286
- Lexile measure : 1410L
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 8.05 x 5.35 x 1.09 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The author, Gabriel García Márquez, uses magical realism to communicate the physical reaction of events by ways of the natural world. Magical realism is a literary device that in the book is displayed as a natural occurrence that the characters accept but us the reader interprets it as a phenomenon and is baffled as to why it seems normal. In 100 Years of Solitude magical realism is used in many different instances, and the majority of those instances have to do with the balance of nature. After the deaths of the workers on the banana plantation, it rains continuously for five years and the civilians think normally of it (Márquez 315). The rain symbolizes the washing away of the memories of the people and their troubled pasts. Márquez emphasizes this by using realism to convey an obvious difference that the reader notices to inflict an over exaggeration that helps convey the importance of that particular event. An unnatural occurrence in the human life is reciprocated by a representation of this as an unnatural occurrence in nature. Another literary device used in this novel is symbolism. There is an instance where after José Arcadio Buendía’s death they are measuring his coffin and yellow flowers begin to fall out of nowhere from the sky. José had just died and the city is preparing for his funeral. At first I assumed that they were talking about a few petals that blew past a window, but the flows are later described as a blanket and covering the streets (Márquez 140). The flowers aren’t just any that are falling from the sky, but they are yellow, a symbol of light. Flowers are also used to honor the dead so having huge masses fall from the sky represents the heavens sending a message to his family and friends of his return to heaven. These grand gestures are both approved by the citizens of Macondo, thus both are examples of magical realism, but one could argue that both of these scenes could represent symbolism. When magical realism is implemented, it means that the author is trying to convey a significant importance about that scene in a symbolic way. The rain is a symbol of mourning and because it rained for five years it represents a huge loss to the city. The flowers are a symbol of recognition and pride so having hundreds of thousands of flowers fall from the heavens is magical in it’s self but also represents the peaceful passing into heaven.
This was a fascinating book that got me thinking but also confused me which is what I assume Márquez wanted from this novel. The book often switches between different points in time, fast forwards though time, uses magical realism, makes me as a reader question the intent of his writing, and frustrates me through the motif of not learning from past mistakes. This crazy book is challenging, interesting, and funny. I recommend this book to any 16 year old that wants to challenge themselves with a complicated read and definitely to 18-19 year olds to help them prepare for reading challenging material in college. This is a great read for anyone that chooses to challenge themselves, but that being said I am never able to read anything very challenging with other big stresses, to-dos, and due dates in my life, so being a student and having to understand the book and study for finals was a bit challenging to do at the same time, because I couldn’t focus on the book as much as I would have liked during that time period. I appreciate the challenge and confusion that Márquez has written but there were some points of the book that was a bit too confusing, for example the names. I believe that the confusion between the names is what Márquez had intended because of the meaning and message that each of the names add to the character’s life and personality, but eventually I gave up trying to remember who was who. This gives me an excuse to re-read the book with maybe a different perspective and focus next time. Overall this is a challenging read for people that love to read. This book requires the reader to have the time to dig deep into the book and try to analyze any literary devices that seem important to the overall theme(s) of the novel.
Márquez, Gabriel G. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006. Print.
In the world of this story, part real and part fantasy, with the distinction between the two oscillating periodically with random amplitude, ice is a rare jewel, wars are imagined to be fought using magnifying glasses, and the immune system can be almost infinitely resistant to pathogens. Obstinacy and dogmatism become tools for survival and provoke warfare, and keep the imagination at abeyance. Fear is ranked less than curiosity but curiosity can trounce social coherence and shared purpose. Curiosity dominates, beginning at birth, with no concern at all with any wax of Icarus.
In the world of this story, the proliferation and diversity of avian fauna can operate as a directional beacon as well as an acoustic source of madness. Inventions can be in the imagination and as is canonical, can interfere with family life with its predilection to supervise and make rigid its younger members. Fortune telling and other flights of fancy can coexist with scientific and technical innovation with wandering gypsies being the innovators. There is also a slice of post-modernistic nihilism where words have filed for a divorce from their referents.
In the world of this story, loss of memory is a collective infection as is insomnia. There is regularity but also an out-of-equilibrium ethos viz a viz the dance, a consequence of the precision of the metronome and the pianola. Social graces and the rigidity of manners are here also, as well as prudence and other forms of linguistic tools of social manipulation. But fantasies, and the tools used to prove them out, can be destroyed with as much zeal as when they were invented.
In the world of this story, the soil of the land can be tread, even consumed, without taking into account any deity and not even reaching out for its assistance. War is brought about by the usual divisions, the usual ideological spirits, coupled with both religious and anti-religious fever. Fakery and quackery, and charlatans diffuse into the territory with ersatz concepts and inert pills. The cruelty and brutality of leaders meshes well with their political dogmatism.
In the world of this story, the inability to sleep is not because of worry or biting conscience, but rather because of a plague. Passion and sex are not violent but loud, enough to wake the dead, and accomplished in inopportune places. As is typical, those who fight these wars did not know why they were doing so. Genetic purity results in challenges to the status quo, and with characteristic lack of spine exercises violence against the wild beasts who possess it.
In the world of this story, the exhilaration of power (however fictitious is the latter) is countered by other enraptured and exaggerated emotions, leaving power wallowing like a hog in the dung heap of temporary glory. Isolation causes power to decrease exponentially, leaving its victim disoriented and more solitary than ever. Hell then becomes an anti-Sartrian lack of other people.
In the world of this story, family backgrounds, affiliations, names, and characteristics are the result of random perturbations and combinations collecting charge when rubbing together, with consequent repelling when collecting the same sign, and coming together if not. Volatility in outlooks occurs without the stultifying latency of inaction.
In the world of this story, beauty, incredible beauty, unbelievable beauty makes its appearance and instills both typical and atypical reactions, mesmerizing both the weak and strong, but inducing solitude in its bearer. But this beauty is natural, to be distinguished from the ersatz beauty of the those in authority, wrapped as it is typically is in bangles and crepe paper.
In the world of this story, towns and villages can be transformed by inventions as well as doubt, by decadent saboteurs who open their triangles to any willing and paying cylinder. Tolerance as well as xenophobia is clearly manifest with respect to the skin rash of foreign elements who diffuse across boundaries and ergodically mix with the inhabitants, transforming its architecture and forcing them to take on false manners and an excess of tact, prudence, and ethnic tolerance.
In the world of this story, intuition can win over perception, and cognition can sometimes win over intuition, but ice can be made in a hot jungle. Gluttony is celebrated as hospitality. Stomachs can at times have unbounded volume. Frivolous thoughts are sometimes quickly suppressed...
....but descriptions use sentences that run on as effectively and magnificently as the human generations that span this story; this incredible display of literary machinations.
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The purchase experience was xcellent. I give it 5 stars. Bought, paid, and delivered to door, in Mexico, in ENGLISH. Very quick.
Solitude is a metaphor, for melancholy, seclusion, mental illness, and many more similar feelings. Everybody goes through some dose of solitude through life, and it's nice to be able to reflect through Marquez's characters. What is interesting for me though is that most of the characters would be committed into instructions or jailed in our modern societies. However, with all their idiosyncrasies, obsessive-compulsiveness, and plain madness, they all managed to go through their existences long before the advent of mind-numbing medications.
Life was sure simpler, and far more entertaining back in this era. I would recommend this book, to anybody who wants to expand their literary horizons, and their understanding of some dark corners of human nature.
I can only hope that Marquez is spending the last days of his life at peace with his solitude...
On another note, I especially visited Baracoa, the place that Macondo is claimed to be modelled on. Dont know if that claim is true, or whether it was my imagination, but it did feel a wee bit eerie being there.