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Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude Essay

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Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude       


By far, Garcia Marquez's most acclaimed work is Cien Anos de Soledad or One Hundred Years of Solitude. As Regina Janes asserts, "his fellow novelists recognized in the novel a brilliant evocation of many of their own concerns: a 'total novel' that treated Latin America socially, historically, politically, mythically, and epically, that was at once accessible and intricate, lifelike and self-consciously, self-referentially fictive." <4> In it, the totality of Latin American society and history is expressed. Upon first reading, the novel appears to relate a regional history of the town of Macondo and the many generations of Buendias that inhabit it. This local chronicle, however, is representative of the history of Colombia and of Latin America in general, passing from the mythical pre-conquest time to that of history marked by "interminable civil wars, dictators, coups d'etat. brief resurgences of democratic rule, social revolutions promising much and betrayed by the makers of revolution or aborted by the prompt arrival of the U.S. Marines or of CIA funds to finance the counterrevolution." <5> The Spanish Conquest is represented by the fifteenth century Spanish copper locket and the shipwrecked galleon. Next comes a series of contacts with native Indians and black slaves, and soon begin the civil wars characteristic of post-independence Latin America. The Americans soon come in, representing the modern Western imperialism of the twentieth century. Some of the events which take place in the plot of the novel are drawn straight from actual happenings, such as the arrival of the banana company and the massacre of its workers.

Yet while the history of ...


... middle of paper ...


...istory and the Novel," Latin American Perspectives 11.3 (1975): 100.

7 Fanny Carrion de Fierro, "Cien Anos de Soledad, Historia y Mito de lo Americano," Lectura de Garcia Marquez (Doce Estudios), ed. Manuel Corrales Pascual (Quito: Centro de Publicaciones de la Pontifica Universidad Catolica de Ecuador, 1975) 185.

8 Taylor, 104.

9 Janes, 56.

10 Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude, trans. Gregory Rabassa (New York: Avon Books, 1970) 227.

11 Carrion de Fierro, 187.

12 Minta, 164.

13 Ibid, 169.

14 Taylor, 107.

15 Minta, 170.

16 Ibid, 171.

17 Ibid, 172

18 Carrion de Fierro, 189.

19 Janes, 53.

20 Marquez, 276.

21 Janes, 65.

22 Lois Parkinson Zamora, Writing the Apocalypse: Historical Vision in Contemporary U.S. and Latin Americana Fiction, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) 25-51.


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