“One Hundred Years of Solitude”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Published in Spanish in 1967, this voluminous Latin American novel is one of the masterpieces of universal literature.
The Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells the story of the Buendia family over seven generations in an imaginary village, Macondo. This one is described as being located in the Colombian Caribbean, a region well known by the author.
The Buendia family goes through events that marked the history of Colombia between the middle of the 19th century and the middle of the 20th century (civil wars, economic and social upheavals). However, the story of this family, as well as that of their village is accompanied by fantastic and imaginary phenomena that naturally inhabit everyday life: ghosts of the past, characters who are more than a hundred years old, magical inventions, unbelievable diseases, levitations , curse etc.
This singular and aesthetic approach to reality characterizes a new literary genre, the “magical realism” whose literary work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez has become one of the spearheads.
Theme of loneliness:
The Buendia family is struck by a curse that sentences it to one hundred years of loneliness … the propensity to solitude that characterizes the members of this family is obvious and the author keeps reminding us of it …
“Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction.”
The cyclic and repetitive character that permeates every human story (one of the most visible signs being the continual repetition of the same first names from generation to generation) conveys a feeling of irrevocability to human existence marked by solitute and by a propensity to always repeat the same mistakes.
Question is : Should I read this novel to heal of loneliness ???
I admit I had a little trouble getting into this story, even if the merits of writing and originality seem obvious to me. Initially, it seemed difficult to identify myself with the protagonists to finally focus on their fate. And then slowly, I have dropped my first resistance and I really let myself be caught by this original way of writing that guides the reader into the heart of the human comedy as Gabriel Garcia Marquez wanted to describe it to us.
So yes, this is a “feel good” novel, because it talks about the human being in its quintessence, that is to say in its loneliness. But yet, it seems that some hope exists : LOVE, and only love, can help oneself to escape from loneliness …
“and both of them remained floating in an empty universe where the only everyday & eternal reality was love…”