Magic or Real
“At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point”
I was awestruck at the last line. That explains it all —– time and space on which we assign sacredness became trivialised.
Towards the concluding part of the novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude“, Aurelianofinds epigraph of parchments in which history of his ancestors were recorded, almost 100 years ahead of the time. The one who recorded the same have not had any obeisance towards the logical flow of conventional time and almost presented it as if the sequence of events happened in so many years co-existed simultaneously. Is this Magic?Yeah, this is challenging our commonsense. But still, the narration is so realistic! This is Magical Realismin literature for you from Marquez.
Jose and Ursula
The history of Buendias who settled in the town of Macondo was isolated from the rest of world. The patriarch of the family, Jose Arcadio Buendia loved his own company. The choice of enjoying the bliss of solitude made him engage in some mysterious investigations but he remained as the leader.
Jose’s wife Ursula is the epitome of will power and pragmatic fortitude. She continues to raise kids of the family even after her own off springs became adults.
The future generation of Jose and Ursula represent the strength and weakness of both of them that makes them the central characters of the novel. But to establish this connection, you have to sail through the rough waves of magical realism.
Jose always wanted to conquer the unknown facts of life and became eccentric. The other males of the family started exploring fortunes outside the town, got involved with gypsies, fell in love with women of other clans and got dispersed in the larger world.
Is that confined to Buendias only
The mundane aspects of life like birth, death, relations manifest in a magnanimous manner reflecting the metamorphic change of Macondo. Political influence (as explained through the imperialist capitalism, strike in banana plantations followed by massacre of laborers), natural calamity (ceaseless rain and flood) etc. left Macondo totally different from what it was. All this reflect the realistic picture of the Latin American socio – political – geographic challenges. As the city, beaten down by years of violence and false progress, begins to slip away, the Buendía family, too, begins its process of final erasure, overcome by nostalgia for bygone days. The book ends almost as it began: the village is once again solitary, isolated.
Atlast, when all doors are closed and all appeals are gone vain – relying on the absolute might give some solace. In the concluding chapter of the book, the last surviving Buendia arrives at a conclusion that everything was pre-decided and his forefathers, and his successors are destined to live a preordained cycle. This feeling that majority of human being nurtures out of religious conditioning.
In the last scene of the book, the last surviving Buendía translates a set of ancient prophecies and finds that all has been predicted: that the village and its inhabitants have merely been living out a preordained cycle, incorporating great beauty and great, tragic sadness.
To sum up —
Marquez opined that he spent his full life to complete this novel. His words speak volume – might be he put his heart and soul for his magnum opus which he consider worth as his moments of existence.
This is not a boring piece of literary work full of strained images. The free flowing, lucid style of writing engages the readers to the fullest sense. Would you like to experience a bit? Here it goes.
”Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude” – A direct punching and assertive way of describing relation and passion!
”The only difference between Liberals and Conservatives is that the Liberals go to mass at 5 O’ Clock and Conservatives at 8” – Trivialising or expressing the futility of ideologies
Though concocted of idiosyncrasies, myths, elaborate family history and obvious contradictions, the story engages and invoke sense and make you feel elated in myriad fashions.