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Showing 1-15 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 3, 2005 10:44:09 AM PST
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In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2006 1:28:36 PM PDT
Original L. says:
There are two kinds of readers in the world: people who read literature, and those who don't.

Reading literature is an evolved ability, like the ability to appreciate art. Narrow self-interest, liking only one's own tastes, preferring cartoon and video approaches to life, and being ignorant are not necessarily obstacles to understanding literature, but they don't help.

Why bother? Because literature speaks to us at deeper levels and without ideology. It transcends any one culture or language, any particular religion and certainly it isn't science.

Very few people can write it. The 20th century saw many futile attempts. The boredom, apathy and laziness of the reader began to take its toll. Enter Gabriel Garcia Marquez with an antidote - if you can read literature.

If you read the book and love it, it will change your life and your notions of reality, art and spirit. It will change your notions about drama and about the written word. You will not be able to read other, less literary things in the same way. It will spoil you for good writing, and for higher themes.

If you can't understand the book or find it unbelievable or boring, you're living outside the Land of Literature, which is inside the Land of Myth. You can still read, but you'll do better reading bestsellers - perhaps high end bestsellers, but you probably shouldn't be aiming to read poetry extensively, or novels by Proust, Kundera, Joyce, Woolf or Eggars. You might wish instead to read Dostoevsky and see if you can make any sense of that. If you disliked 100 Years, I doubt you can. You can probably read Dickens, but you probably won't like that either.

Anyway, to those of you who posted reviews of 100 years and said it was stupid, you have no idea how stupid you seem to me. At least give ONE EXAMPLE of a book you thought was "smart." It will say way more about your rating system than anything else you can do. I'd also like to ask a question of other detractors from this book:

how are your powers of symbolization? what do you do with a fairy tale, when you encounter one? do you think those are boring too? what, for example, is the meaning of Little Red Riding Hood - in all its manifestations? Are you interested at all in metaphor, analogy, affect and rhythm? In longevity and immortality and their relationships to reason and myth?

Or are you more interested in what you think of as "entertainment"? I understand that many people lack spirituality and magic in their own lives, but I am confused as to why they aren't interested in finding out why they miss that potent piece.

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2006 12:29:33 PM PDT
Spyral says:
this whole post is one long "you just didn't get it" tirade. Weak.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 5, 2006 5:25:22 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 5, 2006 5:46:55 PM PDT
W. P. Voltz says:
I agree. I'm sorry, but it's a big world, and some people just don't like what others like. It doesn't mean that we don't know how to read or appreciate literature. I found it a rather exhuasting book to follow, and some books just aren't pleasing to me.

In answer to your questions:

At least give ONE EXAMPLE of a book you thought was "smart."

<i>"Crime and Punishment". It includes a wonderful singularity of thought and a linear, decipherable plot that circles around one common theme with enough skill to elicit the necessary anxiety and interest from a reader. It examines basic human emotion, desire, and derangement and challenges basic societal assumptions.</i>

how are your powers of symbolization?

<i>Uh, not sure what you mean by "my" powers of symbolization, but last time I checked, I think they were in working order.</i>

what do you do with a fairy tale, when you encounter one?

<i>Well, I usually read it. Why, what do you do? Eat it for breakfast?</i>

do you think those are boring too?

<i>No. Just because I think one book is boring, it doesn't mean I think all the rest are, especially those of rather unrelated genres.</i>

what, for example, is the meaning of Little Red Riding Hood - in all its manifestations?

<i>Ah, so I see that because we don't enjoy this one book, you've decided to relegate us to the category of drooling barbarians who can't tell a metaphor from a rock. All right, I'll take the bait. Well, like many fairy tales, myths, or biblical tales, "Little Red Riding Hood" serves to examine basic aspects of human nature and society through allegorical representation. Like the aforementioned genres, it attempts to offer a "moral" or warning that can be seen as fitting in with a greater moral order or metaculture. I will not go into all the additional manifestations of "Little Red Riding Hood," as I really think you should write your senior-year thesis by yourself.</i>

Are you interested at all in metaphor, analogy, affect and rhythm? In longevity and immortality and their relationships to reason and myth?

<i> Yes, of course. I think it's a prerequisite for anyone who wants to spend their life any liberal arts profession.</i>

Or are you more interested in what you think of as "entertainment"?

<i>I am interested in both. Last time I checked, the two categories weren't necessarily mutually exclusive.</i>

I understand that many people lack spirituality and magic in their own lives, but I am confused as to why they aren't interested in finding out why they miss that potent piece.

<i>As a student of supernatural literature in New Orleans, I don't think I'm missing either one. I also think this observation is a bit beside the point.</i>

Hope that answers your questions. I just didn't enjoy the book, and I leave to you the right to feel the same about any other work of literature.

<i>Il faut du tout pour faire un monde.</i>

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2006 4:48:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 6, 2006 4:49:20 PM PST
Gerard L. says:
It is possible for well-read, intelligent people who love literature to not enjoy certain "classics". I've read several shorter works of Marquez and Love in the Time of Cholera. Sorry, I find his style to grow tiresome after several reads. The circular-flashback-streamofconsciousness-magic realism just doesn't do it for me anymore. I've read, understood and enjoyed Faulkner also but in the same vein, sometimes I'm just not in the mood for his style. Perhaps it is a negative effect of having such distinctive styles that they are immediately recognizable and, for some, tiresome.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2007 10:43:35 PM PST
Kong Hai Sun says:
Well i agree with the other comments. i think your opinion that one must enjoy one hundred years to be able to enjoy literature in general is absolutely ill-conceived and narrow. in any case, from what i've read so far, both the book and comments on the book, magic realism seems to be perhaps a charming and novel idea, but really on the other hand it is also suspect: it may be seen as an easy way out of life's more prosaic entanglements, which actually casts doubt on marquez's skill as an artist, ie his ability to come up with a plot that is more complex, and more faithful to the world in general. the suspension of what i may perhaps term rules that are fixed in a more real world makes it easy.
and to say that literature transcends language is quite a fraudulent generalisation. poetry for one can never be adequately translated; and indeed good prose in my opinion can't ever be, either. a piece of literary work may speak to other cultures, but the literary style, which may be considered the stamp of genius, will never be able to seep out of that little container called individual language.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 19, 2007 1:25:27 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Oct 28, 2015 2:59:19 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 20, 2008 9:02:38 AM PDT
Zaphelps says:
To paraphrase Freud: "Some times a book is just a book"

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2008 8:44:41 AM PDT
I think it is a profound book about the fleeting nature of the life of this world. It shows how meaningless most people's lives are and how essentially nothing in this world can complete a person and that all the striving for wealth, power, glory, etc. is for naught. In the end, man will return to his inherent condition, that of solitude. That's why I think it's a spiritual book and whether the author intended or not, it is one of the most brilliant allegorical arguments for the existence of God.

Posted on Apr 25, 2012 5:06:22 AM PDT
I'm about halfway through the book, and I can see why people are taking both sides. At times, it is rambling and incoherent. It can be difficult to digest. However, those moments are contrasted with beautiful sentences and a compelling story about a family and a city. I'm not going to argue about what it means, since I think that everyone finds a different meaning from art, but it is art, and as long as it exhibits some kind of emotion, it is successful.

On another note, in my copy (a "Penguin Modern Classics") there is a capital letter "G" and an asterisk at the bottom of page 177. WHY?? I have searched the internet and found no references, but it seems odd that it is simply a printer's artifact.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:10:15 PM PST
Denise Grga says:
I have read hundreds of books of all sorts including lots of classics. This one is just plain boring. I usually read 100 pages a night. I can barely get 5 in with this book. Some parts are good, but they are very few. I'm forcing myself to finish it. I want to finish it.

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:11:49 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:17:19 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:16:03 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Jan 8, 2013 9:16:57 PM PST]

Posted on Jan 8, 2013 9:18:04 PM PST
Denise Grga says:
I have read hundreds of books of all sorts including lots of classics. This one is just plain boring. I usually read 100 pages a night. I can barely get 5 in with this book. Some parts are good, but they are very few. I'm forcing myself to finish it. I want to finish it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2013 8:37:41 AM PDT
J. Tan says:
Hey - did you manage to find the reason for this???
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Participants:  12
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Nov 3, 2005
Latest post:  Sep 3, 2013

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One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Oprah's Book Club) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Paperback - January 20, 2004)
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