Monday, January 29, 2007

100 Years of Solitude

I started writing the quotes because I really enjoy them, but it will be a long while before that is finished. Suffice it to say, the ending of this book left me vastly baffled as to what the whole town had been written FOR, if it would so violate the Greek notion of immortality through renown. In other words: this line of people we watched being born, expanding, and being killed off one by one. ALL of the line. "The first is tied to a tree and the last is carried away by ants."

So...why? Why did Garcia write such a story and label it isolation if it was simply a huge consolidated example of solitude, not the typical metamorphosis story (in which is presented a problemic existence, and then an appropriate remedy).

To shed light on this question, it is almost imperative that the searcher read his Nobel acceptance speech. In it he describes the curious isolation of Latin America, how the horrors have forced miracles into the communities almost on willpower alone. How the culture of Latin America is mysterious, passionate, cruel, and cyclic. This book is all of those in exaggerated form. Perhaps Garcia himself is still looking for this remedy--but wouldn't it take away from Latin American mystique somewhat, to lose the revolutionary spirit in the complacency of psuedo-American "democracy"?

  • "It was a truly happy village where no one was over thirty years of age and where no one had died." p. 9
  • "Always following his compass, he kept on guiding his men toward the invisible north so that they would be able to get out of that enchanted region. It was a thick night, starless, but the darkness was becoming impregnated with the fresh and clear air. Exhausted by the long crossing, they hung up their hammocks and slept deeply for the first time in two weeks. When they woke up, with the sun already high in the sky, they were speechless with fascination. Before them, surrounded by ferns and palm trees, white and powdery in the silent morning light, was an enormous Spanish galleon. Tilted slightly to the starboard, it had hanging from its intact masts the dirty rags of its sails in the midst of its rigging, which was adorned with orchids. The hull, covered with an armor of petrified barnacles and soft moss, was firmly fastened into a surface of stones. The whole structure seemed to occupy its own space, one of solitude and oblivion, protected from the vices of time and habits of the birds. Inside, where the expeditionaries explored with careful intent, there was nothing but a thick forest of flowers." p. 11-12
  • "Aureliano, the first human being to be born in Macondo, would be six years old in March." p. 14

  • "It was as if God had decided to put to the test every capacity for surprise and was keeping the inhabitants of Macondo in a permanent alternation between excitement and disappointment, doubt and revelation, to such an extreme that no one knew for certain where the limits of reality lay." p.224