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One Hundred Years of Solitude - The Inspiration of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

If a part of your life includes reading books, especially stories and novels, as a vicarious adventure, then you may already be familiar with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. If you are not an avid reader or have lost interest for one reason or another, I invite you to explore and share the adventure of experiencing the magic of words and stories. 

You don't even need to buy a book to start enjoying reading. There are many resources including free books being promoted on Amazon, or the Gutenberg Project, which has the full copy of classics that are past the copyright time limit.

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  Life as we know it can be enhanced with stories about other's lives and experiences much different than our own. Reading a great novel, or a good story can take you on a journey. By taking many journeys, we can increase the depth of appreciation of imagination, creativity, and the wide varieties of life's challenges and mysteries, joys and suffering, surprises, and eccentric routines. 

If there is any inspiration to be found in a compelling story it is in the reader's experience of the magic of the flow of words. With the books of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I have experienced that magic, and he has become one of my favorite authors. Although he passed away in April 2014, his books have inspired millions of readers.

One Hundred Years of Solitude 

I have read this epic novel twice, and it has left a lasting impression on me because of the magical and mystical elements of the story that happen in everyday life. 

A summary from Amazon: 

"Since its publication in 1967, One Hundred Years of Solitude has sold more than 20 million copies and earned its author, Gabriel García Márquez, a host of awards, including the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. The novel has prompted comparisons to Miguel de Cervantes, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, and even the Bible."

"The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the omen--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house." 

Marquez approached a literary style of writing from the story's perspective. He had said that the story defines the type of style that is used in writing. The style used in One Hundred Year of Solitude is magical realism, a form that is also used by Isabel Allende, who
was inspired by Garcia's books. 

Magical realism is described as "painting a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements." It is the manner and imaginative ways in which this is used in 100 Years of Solitude that inspires the adventurous reader. 

The Autumn of the Patriarch

 This is another book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez that has been called "hypnotic and brilliant", "a book of incredible depth, breadth, richness, vitality, intelligence, humor, wisdom, all great fiction it contains an endless layer of experience and meaning." 

This book is amazing in that there are sentences that go on for pages before ending. The descriptions are vivid and chock full of unusual details and unexpected twists and turns relating to the world of an old man who was a president and tyrant of a Caribbean country. It is one of a few books that I brought with me when I moved to Mexico permanently, and lately, I have been reading a few pages at a time for the stream-of-consciousness type of writing and reading experience. 


I highly recommend One Hundred Years of Solitude for an escape into an adventure of reading and vicariously experiencing a different world of life, love, loss, and humor. Be prepared for a challenging read. 

"To paraphrase critic Harold Bloom, there is not a single line that does not flood with detail: “It is all story, where everything conceivable and inconceivable is happening at once.” (Why is One Hundred Years of Solitude Eternally Beloved? 

“Both described at the same time how it was always March there and always Monday, and then they understood that José Arcadio Buendía was not as crazy as the family said, but that he was the only one who had enough lucidity to sense the truth of the fact that time also stumbled and had accidents and could therefore splinter and leave an eternalized fragment in a room.” 

 ― Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

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