How about like this?
|What I Saw in the Water or What the Water Gave Me, 1938|
|Without Hope, 1954|
|On the Borderline Between Mexico and the United States, 1932|
These are Mexican artist Frida Khalo's paintings, and while they have nothing to do with One Hundred Years of Solitude, I found that I could not stop thinking about her paintings. Why? Because if One Hundred Years of Solitude was a painting, it would have the exact same qualities: full of symbolism, abstractions, and eccentricities.
Frida Khalo had a difficult life. If you know it, then you understand why she painted as she did.
|Frida Khalo, 1907-1954|
But I digress. This is about One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Gabriel García Márquez, born in Colombia in 1928, is still living. He was influenced by authors Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka and Virginia Woolf; and having read those authors previously, I immediately sensed their inspiration. Many of his personal life experiences are incorporated into One Hundred Years of Solitude; it could almost be his memoir.
Since this novel is on The Well-Educated Mind list, I usually answer the logic and rhetoric questions provided, but I do not know what to do with this story. There are people who LOVE it, and it has been called " one of the most influential literary works of our time." But in my literary world, it did not have that effect on me.
Five chapters in, it began to grab my attention; but it did not sustain my interest. The story is a narrative, with very little dialogue. It covers the founding, rise, and fall of a town and the origins, relationships, and death of a family. There are biblical qualities woven throughout, plenty of adultery, incest, fornication, pedophilia, war, murder, and religious mysticism, and the author is not shy about being raw in his descriptions about natural human behaviors and human anatomy.
The author's writing has been described as beautiful, and in some cases, I found that to be true. Here is an example:
Her heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart with the first waves of nostalgia. The need to feel sad was becoming a vice as the years eroded her. She became human in her solitude.Also, if you love symbolism and determining what certain objects and ideas mean throughout a story, then you will absolutely love One Hundred Years of Solitude.
As for me, I am glad to be done with it, but I am struggling with calling it a classic and even considering pulling it from my Classic Club list. I did see that several members had already added it to the Classics Club review list, but, truly, I do not know what to do.