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'One Hundred Years of Solitude':

Gabriel García Márquez creates a new dimension in One Hundred Years of Solitude which is where past, present and future merge. It is where reality and fantasy combine. Macondo is a town somewhere in the Carribean which we follow over the period of a hundred years right from its founding to its gradual destruction. Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula at the head of the Buendia family are the founders of a Macondo where flying carpets and ice are equally magical.

One can't help relate the events in the town to events witnessed in world history. The clash between the Liberals and Conservatives is reminiscent of the split in Christianity. The rebellion of the workers of the banana factory recalls the Industrial Revolution. There is even a reference to what may be compared to the holocaust - with the extermination of the rebels.

All this, of course, is seen through the eyes of the Buendia family. A nagging doubt is created by the different versions of history that different inhabitants of the town adhere to. It makes one think if the history we have grown up with is not the same as reality. And what is reality and where do we stand in the picture of things? Like Macondo, is our world also isolated from the 'real' world? What we witness, are they just glimpses of the progression of time?

Amid the fast pace with which time moves on, it is Ursula who maintains a saner view of the world around her as she recalls the magic of the past:

"What's happening," she sighed, "is that the world is slowly coming to an end and those things don't come here any more."
Further, the events are made out to be circular in nature, with every other thing reminding one of something that happened not so long ago.

"I know all of this by heart," Ursula would shout. "It's as if time had turned around and we were back at the beginning."
What is more real than anything else in the story is the fact that time changes things, but we can never really let go of the past. Time seems to grow outwards, rather like in concentric circles. It is not a linear growth that stretches on forever.

In the end, it is as if all the things exist at the same time.

Márquez is a man possessed of a remarkable imagination. One Hundred Years of Solitude is a book that not only creates new paths into your imagination, it makes you wonder whether there are many more unexplored worlds out there.
Book Review 4090823272168609897

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4 comments

Amit said...

OHYOS is an amazing book, and so is Love in the time of Cholera. Dunno if you have followed Marquez.. but the social pathos in his books... just plain simple mindblowing stuff!

Keep writing.. I love your book list :)

Tarana said...

Thanks Amit! This was the first time i read Marquez, but now i am hooked!

Sharique said...

I did a presentation on this book of Marquez. As usual I never cared to read the book and copied everything from wikipedia and other sites. But I felt so attached to the story that the first thing I did after my presentation was to read it completely (its 400 + pages which is just too much my by standards :P )

Pratyush said...

Sorry Tarana, i havent read this article and dont intend to read it... not of my interest

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