review: one hundred years of solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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What can I say which has not already been said? There are two things which impress me greatly about this novel:

1. The novel is about a family. Four or five generations of family, actually. It is unique in that it does not have a single protagonist, and the point of view is third person omniscient. It is so challenging to pull off this point of view that I was constantly amazed by the fluidity that we would flow from Jose Arcardio to Ursula to Colonel Aureliano, and the multitudes of characters which had the same (or similar) name. It is a masterpiece of construction which should be studied by any aspiring novelist.

2. The novel is beautifully written — with imagery so vivid and beautiful that my love of Swamplandia! pales in comparison. And more amazingly, it was translated from Spanish. Anyone who has taken a foreign language will tell you how challenging translating is — sentences become blocky and cumbersome, and  imagery is never the same. Yet this novel is incredible– and while that is partially a credit to the translators, I think it is more precisely a credit to Marquez, who writes so beautifully that it carries the same poignancy across languages. I only wish I had greater fluency in Spanish, because I am sure that the novel is even more astounding in its native language.

In short, if you have not read this novel for a high school or college assignment, you should amend that oversight as quickly as possible.

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Miscellaneous Thoughts:

Speaking of great book covers versus bad. Here are some examples:

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Some updates, in brief:

  • I move back to Decatur in two weeks. I am immensely happy for my imminent wireless internet, proximity to work, and general free time.
  • I have discovered Sally Hanson nail applications. They’re amazing, and my nails look manicured, but it only cost $5 and I did it in ten minutes.
  • That catches me up in book reviews! I have just started reading Pride and Predjudice, and I like it so far! (Note: I’m surprised by that). I actually bought 25 novels for $.99 on my nook – and of those 25, seven are on my reading list, and I could easily be persuaded to read many of the rest. A good purchase, if I do say so myself.
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