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Picture of zmježd
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On last Saturday's chat, I mentioned that I was re-reading Garcia Marquez' Hundred Years of Solitude. It turned out that JT was re-reading it also, but he in Spanish and I in English translation. We chatted a bit about it, but I thought I'd start a thread and invite anybody else who's read the book to join in. Here's the opening in the original and translation:
quote:
Muchos años después, frente al pelotón de fusilamiento, el coronel Aureliano Buendía había de recordar aquella tarde remota en que su padre lo llevó a conocer el hielo. Macondo era entonces una aldea de 20 casas de barro y cañabrava construidas a la orilla de un río de aguas diáfanas que se precipitaban por un lecho de piedras pulidas, blancas y enormes como huevos prehistóricos. El mundo era tan reciente, que muchas cosas carecían de nombre, y para mencionarlas había que señalarlas con el dedo.

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. As the time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Excellent idea, James.

I hope to contribute something to the discussion when i get around to it (at the completion of various higher-priority tasks).

Eek

I'm still trying to convert my list of Things To Do ...... to my list of Things I've Done.
 
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Jerry, you're reading it in Spanish? That's impressive. I'll have to see if we have it around here. I don't think I've read it before, but I can't remember for sure.
 
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A great novel in English, I've often thought of reading it in Spanish, but it has been 8 years since my last Spanish class, so I'm afraid it would be tough going. I have 100 years and Collected Stories translated by Gregory Rabassa, and Love in the Time of Cholera translated by Edith Grossman, who is a fabulous translator.

My favorite line by Garcia Marquez is
quote:
it was awful living in that hell full of angels
 
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Some miscellaneous links:

Here is Garcia Marquez' Nobel Lecture on receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.

Here are two family trees for the Buendia family to help keep things straight. One is from the English, and the other from the Spanish Wikipedia.
quote:
Is it true, I wondered, that Garcia Marquez once said he liked Rabassa's translation better than the original? "I'm told he did, but I don't think he was complimenting me so much as the English language."

[Stephen Smith "Piecing together an elusive legend"]


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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It's on my list and I am planning to read it in Spanish.
 
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Talk about hitting gold! I went with CW and her family to a used bookstore (in a delightful old church) and found both books I've been looking for, and they were cheap. I found Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat" and the sequel, "Three Men on the Bummel." I also found (unfortunately in English) "One Hundred Years of Solitude." So...I'd better get going!

[On second thought, I am pleased to have found the English verson of Marquez's book. Wink]
 
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Wow to the Nobel speech. Kalleh, you will love the book, even though it is in English. The power of his thoughts, I'm sure, transcends language.

Wordmatic
 
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I have started it, and I do love it. Interestingly, I was in line to get off a plane, and the lady in back of me said, "Oh, I see you are reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. Do you like it? It's on my list to read." I should have invited her to Wordcraft!
 
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If it weren't for aeroplanes and trains I doubt I'd get any reading done these days ;-(


Richard English
 
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I'm, only on page 10, but I love it! I think ZMJ or Shu recommended it a week ago. thanks.
 
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It was Zmj, and I am pleased with the recommendation, too.
 
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quote:
I'm, only on page 10, but I love it! I think ZMJ or Shu recommended it a week ago. thanks.

I would like to read this book because you all praise it so highly, but at page 61, I got bogged down. I agree the language and imagery are wonderful, and I am prepared to accept fantastic events. But where is it going? Please help me to understand.
 
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But where is it going?

It's pretty much a hundred year history of the Buendia family in the villiage/town of Macondo. Beyond that, it is a rumination on solitude and the seemingly cyclic nature of time. I consider it one of the best books of 20th century literature, but admit that it may not be for all tastes. Some may be put off by its seemingly rambling and episodic style. Others by its lack of realism or, perhaps, naturalism. I suggest that if you're not having fun, you might as well stop reading it rather than trying to force the fun that will never arrive. I, myself, rey to only read for fun these days, but then my idea of fun is not to everybody's taste.

[Corrected misspelled town name.]

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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That's exactly how I see it, Zmj, and I am having fun. My problem, though, is time...I am terribly busy with work and then with the Wordcraft Gathering so I've not had significant time periods to read it. I hate reading in dribs and drabs, especially when I like a book.
 
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This is such a great book. I first read it a couple years ago on the recommendation of my sister and then I just re-read it this past winter break.
 
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In 1967, The New York Times hailed One Hundred Years of Solitude as "the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race."
 
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I wonder, is anyone still reading this? I just came upon this thread. It's always been on my guilt-laden 'should-have-read' list (as a long-ago romance lit major, & currently teaching French & Spanish to tiny tykes). I usually read a novel in Spanish every fall but this yr things didn't go my way. It would be fun to take this up if some of you are still making your way through it.
 
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I finished shortly after starting the thread, and missann told me recently that she had finished it. I think the convention in Chicago slowed down talk on it. I'd be willing to discuss it with you here or in PM.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I sent a PM to ZMJ thanking him for his encouragement. I finished it by skimming a lot in the second half of the book. Then I read some reviews and a list of suggested book club questions.

ZMJ said Aureliano meant gold and Arcadia was a mythical, idyllic place. I knew Ursula meant a little bear. She was like a mother bear, very affectionate to her cubs, but ready to defend them to the death.

One book club discussion question asked, "What is the significance of the gypsy's gifts and of the order in which they were given?"
 
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I guess I should've said Aureliano means golden and is the name of a Roman Emperor. I thought of this because after Colonel Aureliano fights his umpteen wars, all of which he loses, he retires to Melquiades' room to work on the tiny golden fishes. Here's the skinny on Arcadia. There's a Latin phrase Et ego in Arcadia and a set of associated paintings that may figure into José Arcadio's name. (This was a prominent theme in the precursor to The Da Vinci Code, Holy Blood, Holy Grail.

What are the gypsys' gifts? Ice, magnets, and a camera.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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I enjoyed the scene where Jose Arcadio Buendia used the daguerrotype camera in an attempt to photograph the Player of the pianola, assuming that it was God.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
I finished shortly after starting the thread, and missann told me recently that she had finished it. I think the convention in Chicago slowed down talk on it. I'd be willing to discuss it with you here or in PM.


Thanks for the offer. I'll be lagging a bit, as I won't receive the Span. ed. until late next wk. Looking forward to it.
 
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I would prefer you discussed it here, ZMJ, instead of in a PM, so I can enjoy your comments and those of others.
Wasn't there another gift? Didn't he have something that made him realize the earth was round? Unfortunately, my copy was a library book.

Am I correct that the "100" years is a vague piece of time, going from the time of Francis Drake to the eartly 19th century?
 
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I can't think of the other gift. Though, Melquiades did have false teeth, which were a kind of rejuvenating trick. Didn't a magnifying glass or glasses figure in somewhere? Maybe the alchemist's laboratory was a gift, too.

As for a hundred years, I think the story may encompass a century, but, yes, it is all a bit vague and metaphorical. I think one of the clues as to when and where things take place, is one of the friends of Aureliano II (Babilonia) at the end of the book (and Macondo) is a Gabriel, who is descended from Colonel Garcia who is one of the followers of Colonel Aureliano Buendia. I would assume that this Gabriel (who leaves for Europe at some point) is the author of the book. Ursula is older than 100 years, and she starts to see her great-great-grandmother at one point. I'd say that because time is cyclical (cf. James Joyce and Giambattista Vico), it just might be the same one hundred years being recycled over and over again, just like the names that the family keeps using. Other clues as to when would be the airplane and velocipede of Gaston and the banana company.

The Thousand Day War, which Colonel Aureliano Buendia fights in is a real war that took place from 1899 to 1902, and it ended with a real Treaty of Neerlandia.

[Fixed a day for a year ...]

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Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez likes to include himself in semi-biographical roles in many of his novels. He is a character in "A Chronicle of a Death Foretold", which has him meeting his wife. He left Columbia to go work in Paris.

I highly recommend his autobiography, "Living to tell the Tale". It is actually the first in a planned trilogy, taking the events of his life through the time he leaves for Paris. It came out in 2003, so you may wish to wait several years until all the volumes have been published. I've been waiting over a year and I haven't heard anything new about the second volume, and I hate waiting for books, because it means I have to buy the hardcover for full price when they come out.
 
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Sheesh, now I'm waiting for Amazon to send me another copy (Cien Años de Soledad) because the USPS lost the first one! Roll Eyes This is starting to look like a summer selection for yours truly!
 
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Well, the book must be jinxed. I was about half finished and lost my copy. I must have left it on a plane. Darn! I liked it, too. I think I will read the rest of it in the library.
 
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Well, I'm joining the fun! My free replacement copy (thank you Amazon!) arrived yesterday. Wordcrafters may appreciate this quote I came across while refreshing my memory about the life & works of the author:

"There is a short but telling portrait of the novelist Gabriel García Márquez, who every morning reads a couple of pages of a dictionary (any dictionary except the pompous Diccionario de la Real Academia Española) - a habit our author compares to that of Stendhal, who perused the Napoleonic Code so as to learn to write in a terse and exact style." (from A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel, 1996)
 
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This reminds me of Jorge Luis Borges who, as a youth, used to read the Encyclopedia Britannica as though it were a novel.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Oh, I think I will start reading a couple of pages of a dictionary every day. That sounds fun! Big Grin
 
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quote:
... The Thousand Year War ...


How's that again?

Well, yeah, give or take a few decades. ( 1000 days = 2.74 years .... more or less.)
 
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How's that again?

What's a millennium amongst pedants? Don't know what I was thinking while I was writing that. In fact, I probably wasn't much thinking at all. It must be fun to be lucid all the time ...


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Gabriel Garcia Marquez comes home to Macondo .. er ... Aracataca.
 
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Enjoyed the article, thanks for posting that, Jerry. I am in the midst of the bustle of the book-- have a copy in English & a copy in Spanish, going back & forth in chunks. I'm finding it, like so many of the best works of literature, stimulating, aesthetically lush, thought-provoking, and a great read.
 
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Wow...you're reading it in English and Spanish? You are good! I enjoyed it a lot, too, until I lost it of course.
 
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Thanks, Kalleh. I find I actually need to read regularly in French & Spanish as part of my effort to maintain sufficient fluency to teach them well. I also do conversational CD's (Pimsleur, Berlitz etc) in the car on the way to classes, to keep the accents spic & span (oops very bad puns). I find at my age, going back & forth between the 2 languages-- or just a bad night of sleep-- can cause me to draw a blank on words I've known for decades...
 
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