Sunday, March 21, 2010

Y después de un 'Buendía' de tarea.......

First, may I point out that this book extends it's solitude to it's readers....or maybe just to our Spanish class. I have been sitting here for hours trying to finish off the novel while my roommates are out at the Kingshead drinking Winter favorite....this solitude is crushing me. But now that it's over, do I mourn the characters as I'm stricken by solitude? Or do I now look for tiny yellow butterflies?

Okay, enough crazy-talk (I've been doing general homework for a good 12 hours apologies), but as I had expressed, within this story I find that I can relate to many of the going-ons in the Buendía family. The parties that Aureliano Segundo throws where "nadie lamentó los percances, porque la casa se estremeció con un terremoto de buena salud" (p. 327) remind me of the Whitlam family gatherings where we all get good and sloshed while at least 20 children under the age of 6 run wild. No one has tried to climb una cunaña, but I wouldn't write that off just yet ;) Also, when the people of Macondo reject the cinema as an optical illusion it reminded me of my grade 9 Humanities teacher who was convinced that her television was actually little people in a box in her living joke. She called it 'Witchcraft'. As a Humanities teacher, you'd think she'd have known the term Magical Realism :P

My point here (as I get further and further off track) is that GGM invites us into the magic of our own lives in Cien años de soledad. The Buendías are afflicted both with great passion and great solitude; two defining, but not definitive, features of life. This life goes in a circle, as Úrsula has exclaimed countless times throught the novel, and the progress and development around Maconda brings both the good and the bad. Which is why my favorite plot within the book is that of Remedios the Beauty. I find her naïve and care-free view on life analogical to how life really is beautiful when we find moments of clarity in our hearts and listen only to our basic needs, instead of what we 'should' do or how we 'need' to advance in society. The fact that she couldn't stay on this Earth gives us a hint as to how that analogy ends....

And finally, who else is fed up with everyone being named the same f***ing names over and over!!? But then I started to think about this, and came to the conclusion that these repetitive names just add to the feeling of monotony....the feeling of solitude. And the fact that the passing of names from generation to generation allows you to see that same solitude hitching a ride with each condemned soul, time and again. Perhaps this is why Úrsula never wanted her name passed on. What happens when it does? The pig tail curse finds its way back into the family! But this family isn't really cursed by a pig's tail. Such a curse may be shameful, but it doesn't leave a feeling such as this mind-numbing, aching, emotion-draining, all-encompassing solitude; something all of the Buendía's evenutally succumb to.

Hmmm. The 'Buendías'. Ironic.


  1. Me gustó lo que has puesto sobre Remedios, la bella. Y es interesante el papel que García Márquez le ha dado. Sí, cuesta mucho recordar cada uno de los Aurelianos y estoy de acuerdo contigo en que tiene una función literaria aquí. Cuando leí lo de la cola de cerdo, fue algo gracioso y horrible a la vez. Simboliza el destino finalmente cumplido por la línea de los Buendía.

  2. Yeah dude, I totally second your feeling of being utterly ***king fed up with the fact that everyone has the same bloody name. Even with the diagram given in the novel it's still nearly impossible to track and organize who did what, who's having sex with who, who's betraying who etc.. I highly doubt GGM wanted things to be easy to follow though, given the way that the novel is structured and how the story seems to jump back and fourth in time.