My photo
Berlin, Frankfurt, Paris, Chapel Hill, Boston, Istanbul, Calgary, Washington DC, Austin, Tunis, Warszawa and counting

Saturday, December 29, 2007

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel Garcia Márquez was one of the many unknown known writers, that I had heard mentioned a lot, but had never been interested enough to pick up a book by. The most impressive person I ever met gave me One Hundred Years of Solitude then, after she had read it, even if her review, if I remember correctly, wasn't exactly glowing.

I personally very much enjoyed it. Márquez writes in a very distinctive manner, even if I am sure that due to the translation much has been lost, also I am not certain in how far what I consider to be specific to Márquez is just a Latin American or Spanish trait. He tells the story of a family through six generations (and 100 years), making the premise strikingly similar to the Buddenbrooks, even if the two seem to offer no other possible link, making the comparison all the more intriguing to some extent.

I find it hard to really develop anykind of thoughts on this book. I did enjoy it. I found the usage of witch craft and other aspects of superstitous nature in a 20th century serious novel interesting (and comparable to Kenan in that regard). The negative outlook on human beings and what they really are capable of achieving in their lives, their failings in interhuman relationships, humans being too human for their own (and others') good in the end resounded with me. This always has been the case (Faulkner!), but I feel like recent experiences have allowed me a better understanding of these failings, of these imperfections, of the utter hopelessness of living a life in any pre-conceived manner.

Yet, in the end, I read the book and had a good time doing so, I feel like there is not a lot I will draw out of it though. It didn't touch me the way Quentin Thomas, Holden Caulfield or Lucas Beauchamp did. Maybe there are too many characters, whose characterization remains too flat. Maybe it is a question of pre-identification with a region, an author, a certain kind of character.

Ok, where was this going? Nowhere apparently. Sorry, my last post was confusing enough in his lack of lucidity. Read One Hundred Years of Solitude in any case. It is a good book.

No comments: