Last week one of my favourite authors died. The incredible and incredibly talented Gabriel Garcia Marguez . I was very saddened because at the time I was re-reading his most loved novel One Hundred Years of Solitude for the millionth time.
My love for Mr. Garcia Marguez began when I was 11, when my step-brother, in an attempt to wean us off television, began to read One Hundred Years of Solitude to us. Of course at the time it mostly went over our heads and was lost on us . But the place where it takes place , Macondo, stayed with me for the longest time and when I was about 16 I tentatively began to read Marguez’s work. I picked up Leaf Storm; a collection of short stories . I was immediately transported into this wonderfully magical place where flowers grow on leppers’ wounds, where it can rain for a decade and a giant’s funeral brings a whole community together. The book that started it all.
I was steeped into this world of Magical Realism that Garcia Marguez mastered. I was still intimidated by One Hundred Years even though at the time I didn’t know how beloved the book was and that it was a classic, I still felt that apprehention I always feel when I read anything “classic”. I need not have worried because I immediately fell in love with this book . I fell in love with Macondo. I fell in love with Aureliano ! Mr. Garcia Marguez created a magical world that I escape to whenever I want to feel inspired . His prose is straight forward yet lyrical at the same time.
The Buendias are part of pionnering group of people who break through the jungle and start the town of Macondo. The book chronicles the lives of the Buendias in a century . The formidable ,strong and passionate Jose Arcadio Buendia and his tennesious wife Ursula . Their children ; Aureliano, Jose Arcardio and Amaranta .
In that century we see the Buendias discover ice , photography, cars ,trains and so much more . They love , bear children, have affairs , rage and hate and even start a revolution and wars . You fall in love with the solitary and moody Aureliano , your heart thumps as you imagine the thunderous sound of the feet of the enormous Jose Arcadio coming back from years at sea with his tattoos , smell the flesh of the foolish and stubborn Amaranta’s hand after she burns it because of a guilty heart and hear the cloc-cloc of Rebecca’s dead parents’ bones. You are amazed at the tennacity of Ursula who watches ; sometimes with shame, sometimes with anger at her family even when she’s old and blind .
DO YOU KNOW THE WAY TO MACONDO?
I’ll go with you with just the clothes on my back and love in my heart !
Macondo. I want to live there. I want to live in a place where innocent girls ascend to heaven, where flowers fall from the sky, where butterflies follow lovers around. where priests levitate ,corpses don’t decompose and ghost come back to life because they are lonely in death . I want to go on a flying carpet . It truly is a surreal , wonderful place .
If you only read one fiction book in your life , let One Hundred Years Of Solitude be it.
Of course this is not the only book I love . There’s also The Autumn of the Patriarch which is about a dictator who has been in charge for so long no one remembers when he began his ruling. Love in the time of Cholera . I think is one of the most romantic stories I’ve ever read.
I am grateful to Mr.Garcia Marguez for this world and I’m glad I can visit Macondo anytime I want to go there whenever I read his books
Thank You , Mr. Garcia Marguez