García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude Is Published (Great Events from History II: Arts and Culture Series)
Article abstract: One Hundred Years of Solitude brought Magical Realism and the “Boom” period of Latin-American literature to the attention of an international audience.
Summary of Event
After years of writing fiction without attaining significant notice, Colombian novelist and journalist Gabriel García Márquez achieved enormous popular and critical acclaim with the publication of Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1970). The novel traces the rise and fall of the Buendía family from its harmonious beginnings (under founder José Arcadio Buendía) in a mythical Latin-American town called Macondo to its increasingly chaotic decline through six generations of descendants.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, however, is not merely the story of the Buendía family and the town of Macondo. Critics have pointed out that the book is also a microcosm of Latin America: local autonomy yielding to state authority; anticlericalism; party politics; the coming of the United Fruit Company; aborted revolutions; the rape of innocence by history. The Buendías (inventors, artisans, soldiers, lovers, mystics) seem doomed to a biological tragedy from solitude to poetry to science to politics to violence back to solitude.
García Márquez himself describes the work as an apotheosis of the theme of solitude. The story of Colonel Aureliano Buendía--the wars he...
(The entire section is 2345 words.)
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