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One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

To:                ALL                   Date:    06/03
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     2:00 PM

     I am going to risk a few comments on ONE HUNDRED YEARS 
OF SOLITUDE even though I have not finished the book.  This 
is admittedly rash, and I have regretted such on every      
other occasion that I have undertaken to do so.  But here   
goes anyway.                                                
     I admit to a good deal of ambivalence concerning the   
Latin American novel although I am certainly not holding    
myself out as an expert in that area.  This one is the      
quintessential example of what I mean.                      
     On the one hand I love the archetypal Latin            
characters, and this book is full of them.  Jose Arcadio    
Buendia, the dreamer.  Colonel Aureliano Buendia, the       
caudillo corrupted by power.  Jose Arcadio, the Latin stud. 
 And my goodness--the women.  Ursula, the earth mother      
saint.  Pilar Ternera, . . . I think the word is "puta."    
Amaranta, the haughty virgin.  I mean is there any other    
culture where the female populace is more clearly divided   
into sluts and saints?  But "saints" of a very strong,      
unique variety.  There is something very appealing to me    
about a society where the men are supposed to be men and    
the women are all supposed to be happier for it, and no     
apologies offered for this.  The culture of machismo has    
its allure, whether we are comfortable admitting that or    
     "They're all alike,"  Ursula lamented.  "At first      
they behave very well, they're obedient and prompt and they 
don't seem capable of killing a fly, but as soon as their   
beards appear they go to ruin."  The fact is, however, that 
I don't think that Ursula "laments" all the sincerely about 
this state of affairs.  I think she is smiling when she     
says this.                                                  
     And this brings me to another aspect of this           
literature.  Passion, pure passion, moves the characters.   
The hot blood, if you will.  Part of the upshot of this is  
that we move from the world of reason seamlessly into what  
I call "la fantastique."  This I am less comfortable with,  
     "A short time later, when the carpenter was taking     
measurements for the coffin, through the window they saw a  
light rain of tiny yellow flowers falling.  They fell on    
the town all through the night in a silent storm, and they  
covered the roofs and blocked the doors and smothered the   
animals who slept outdoors.  So many flowers fell from the  
sky that in the morning the streets were carpeted with a    
compact cushion and they had to clear them away with        
shovels and rakes so that the funeral procession could pass 
     Now what am I to make of this?  It is clear that       
this is not someone's dream.  This did indeed happen.  And  
it could only happen in the Latin American world.  (Now     
don't cite WINTER'S TALE by that WASP, Helprin, to me!  I   
confess to some exceptions to my gross generalizations.     
Conversely, one finds much less of this in Julio            
Cortazar's work, for example.)                              
     My only conclusion thus far is that we Scandinavians   
are always tourists in the Latin world, whether a bikini    
clad female Swede on the pilgrimage to the Costa del Sol;   
a Viking raping, pillaging, and burning on the coast near   
San Sebastian;  or a myopic Dane, transplanted to Iowa,     
reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez with some puzzlement.   None 
of us will ever truly understand it all.  It is obviously   
something in the blood.                                     
                               Steve 6/3/95 12:50PM CT      

===============   Reply    1 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/03
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     2:09 PM

     Permit me to add a postscript in the hope of           
clarifying my point a bit.  Let me just conclude by saying  
that I am a bit disoriented in a world where cards (Tarot,  
I presume) can direct the course of a bullet.               
                              Steve  6/3/95 1:11PM CT       

===============   Reply    2 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/03
From:   FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Time:     6:43 PM

Steve -- Have you ever seen a picture of the brain with a   
homunculus-like character stretched across the strip of     
motor cortex, with each body part sized to represent, not   
its true-to-life size, but the size it would be if size were
proportional to the number of nerve endings in that part? So
that the tongue, finger-tips, etc. etc. are huge, while     
other larger parts are shown as smaller?                    
  Anyway, magical realism seems to show life not as it      
appears by some objective system of measurement but rather  
how it feels, emotionally and psychologically. Some writers 
may use this technique to show how life feels at a personal 
level, others at a more cultural/societal level -- so that  
you get GGM, in One Hundred Years of Solitude, depicting the
life of an entire culture.                                  
  It's hard to know, out of context, what the falling yellow
flowers mean -- and it's been years since I read the book.  
But doesn't it feel like a sort of grace to you? Maybe you  
can say more about who died, how the community responded to 
his/her death, and so on -- but at this point the flowers   
would seem to represent some outpouring of emotion in       
response to this person's death, with the logistics of      
getting the flowers cleaned up so that the funeral can      
proceed a rather earthy reminder that, outpouring or no,    
life does go on, and the dead cannot accompany us. Lynn     

===============   Reply    3 of Note    1 =================

To:     FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Date:    06/04
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     1:12 AM

     Lynn, this note of yours is why I hang around this     
Constant Reader all the time.  This is a classic.  Although 
I must say I think you cheated a bit with the "etc. etc."   
     Certainly, the flowers were an outpouring of emotion.  
     Now, the fact is that I have just returned from what I 
can only characterize as a truly, truly Latin wedding.  And 
it resulted in an epiphany for me--right in the middle of   
High Mass and all.  Our Scandinavian statues don't bleed,   
our paintings don't weep, and our furniture does not have a 
lot of curly-cues.  And the fact is that we feel as         
outsiders as a result at times.                             
     FURTHERMORE, I am now convinced that my youthful       
education was lacking in the fact that I never wooed a      
Latin lady, the Gypsy woman of my dreams.  But who can be   
blamed for this?  It is one thing to deal with a weeping,   
wailing Anglo lady and quite another to deal with some dark 
virago intent on carving out one's heart (or other          
essential parts--witnesseth Lorena) with the bread          
     Well, it's off to bed with me now.  I am sure that     
there will be even more profound epiphanies in the morning. 
                                Steve  6/4/95 12:03AM CT    

===============   Reply    4 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/04
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     1:45 AM

     On the other hand they are such fun to dance with!     

===============   Reply    5 of Note    1 =================

To:     FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Date:    06/04
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:    10:19 AM

Lynn: Beautiful analogy, I think, of the way magical realism
works. The first half of my life I was an inveterate reader 
of fantasy and science fiction, but ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF    
SOLITUDE was my first encounter with magical realism, and my
brain has never been the same since.                        
  To me, there's something about the form that's at once    
profound and very childlike. When we're children, we have a 
very clear vision of the way the world "should" work--the   
physical universe responding to our emotional needs; events 
(for better or worse) happening purposefully rather than at 
random. It's ironic, I think, that a measure of our         
emotional maturity is how completely we're disabused of     
these notions as we grow older. In magical realism, the     
world works the way our "inner child" has always known it   
should, and there's something wonderfully exciting, even    
healing, about that.                                        
  Example: When I was 10 years old, we heard at church one  
Sunday morning that there'd been a terrible head-on         
collision the night before, on the highway near my          
elementary school. Six people (no one we knew personally)   
had been killed instantly.                                  
  All that day and night, I dreaded the next morning because
I knew that when my mother took me to school we'd have to   
pass the spot in the road where that awful carnage had      
happened. But when we got there, there was nothing. No sign 
of it. No blood, no broken glass, no twisted pieces of      
metal. Even the weeds on the roadside looked undisturbed.   
  For some reason, this "nothing" seemed to me a far worse  
desecration of the order of things than the deaths          
themselves had been. That six people could vanish from      
consciousness without a trace was unspeakably obscene to me,
another rung in the mounting evidence that our pastor was   
blowing smoke when he assured us that God was in control and
everything was part of some glorious plan.                  
  Contrast this with one of my favorite scenes in 100 YEARS,
where Jose Arcadio shoots himself in his bedroom and the    
trickle of blood goes under the door, through the house, out
in the street, and winds its way across town to the Buendia 
house where it seeks out the kitchen where Ursula is about  
to make bread. She looks down at the blood and screams:     
"Holy Mother of God!" and runs to trace it back to its      
  When I read this for the first time, fireworks went off in
my head and I had a sudden vision of the bare spot in the   
school road where the wreck had happened. Yes, I thought.   
Holy Mother of God, YES. This is the way death should be.   
This is more like it.                                       
  It's no coincidence, I think, that some of Marquez's best 
short stories are subtitled (somewhat tongue in cheek, I    
think) "A Tale for Children." My favorites are "The         
Handsomest Drowned Man in the World" and "A Very Old Man    
with Enormous Wings." More about which, later. What a       
wonderful, wonderful writer.                                
   >>Dale in Ala.                                           
  (BTW, my edition of 100 YEARS features a cover blurb from 
John Leonard of the NY Times that I've always coveted for a 
work of my own: "One arises from this marvelous novel as    
from a dream, the mind on fire..." Amen, John.)             

===============   Reply    6 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/04
From:   ETJY35A    A KENDRICK            Time:    11:01 AM

Beautifully said, Dale!                                     
             Ann (looking forward to rereading 100 Yrs      
             in the next couple of weeks)                   

===============   Reply    7 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/04
From:   CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Time:     6:55 PM

Dale, Steve, Lynn:                                          
  I'm back from my whirlwind trip, and managed to devour    
100 Years in between festivities.  An interesting contrast  
to the German/Scandinavian celebration that was going on in 
my external world, now that you mention it, Steve.  I       
couldn't do better than Dale and Lynn's replies, but I do   
want to add that not only do the Latin writers (and GGM in  
particular) seem to be able to explore and describe the     
world in terms of childlike wonder, emotions disguised as   
flowers, and trails of blood, but they also tend to include 
all of our senses in the experiences of the characters and  
ourselves.  I'm thinking offhand of the incredible          
utilization of smells and odors in 100 Years; the smoky     
smell of Pilar, the rose water Ursula places on one of the  
grandchildren's head to find him in the house; I have many  
other examples but have still not unpacked my book.  The    
spiritual side of life is embraced as strongly and as       
realistically as the "factual" side, and I'm not just       
referring to the ghosts.  I loved this book, and am looking 
forward to more discussion.                                 
Princess Sarah  6/4/95 3:56PM MT                            

===============   Reply    8 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/04
From:   FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Time:     7:28 PM

Steve -- What, no more ephiphanies?! I wonder if your       
equation of things Latina with the loss of various body     
parts isn't holding you back in some way, interfering with  
your capacity to appreciate magical realism in all its,     
shall we say, fullness. I'm just here to help. Lynn         

===============   Reply    9 of Note    1 =================

To:     FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Date:    06/05
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     7:16 AM

     Yes, well, Lynn, I am fresh out of epiphanies for the  
time being.  I am sitting up and taking nourishment again   
after the truly, truly Latin wedding, however.  The rascals 
over served me a bit.  I am still plugging away at magical  
realism, however.  Aureliano Centeno has just invented      
sherbet, and Aureliano Triste just brought the railroad to  
Macondo.  So you see I really am trying to put aside        
thoughts of body part losses and get into the swing of      
things here.                                                
     As ever, so grateful to you and the government for     
just being there to help. . . . . . . .Steve                

===============   Reply   10 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/06
From:   NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Time:     1:56 PM

Haven't read the book in question yet (only Love in the Time
of Cholera so far) but can speak to the question of the     
hotter v. the colder blood.                                 
If you ask me, the so-called hotter blood is just hot all   
the time, simmering at a fair clip and boiling over gently  
now and again, like an honest pot of soup.  The white devils
tend to maintain a cooler temperature, but they know not the
technique of boiling over.  They only know exploding, either
inwardly or outwardly.                                      

===============   Reply   11 of Note    1 =================

To:     NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Date:    06/06
From:   FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Time:     8:34 PM

Maria -- Your observation reminds me of when I was in Europe
some years ago, working in Germany and visiting a friend in 
Italy -- and I remember the Italians being much bemused by  
the Germans. While the Italians enjoyed a little wine with  
their meals and had bars everywhere (in movie theaters      
even!), the Germans plodded soberly through the year --     
until Fasching or Oktoberfest when the entire country went  
berserk and seemed not to remember any of it after!         
  I'm generalizing, of course, but still I was impressed by 
how much this generalization seemed to hold. Lynn           

===============   Reply   12 of Note    1 =================

To:     NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Date:    06/06
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:    10:52 PM


===============   Reply   13 of Note    1 =================

To:     NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Date:    06/06
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:    10:52 PM

     Okay!  Okay!  I wrote those posts with the conscious   
intention to incite you.  I admit it.  But "white devils?"  
And what, pray tell, is the technique of "boiling over?"    
This I did not expect.  See, I don't understand anything!   
I am at your mercy.  You need not reply to this.  Perhaps   
you should read this book and reply in context.  Perhaps.   
                                Steve  6/6/95 9:52PM CT     

===============   Reply   14 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/06
From:   YHJK89A    CATHERINE HILL        Time:    11:59 PM

I knew an engineer once who explained it all in terms of    
religion.  Roman Catholics, he insisted, raised cain all    
week, got forgiven on Sunday, and generally were laid back  
people.  Protestants, especially Southern protestants, won't
even let you know they're a little irritated until they're  
ready to do grievous bodily harm.                           
  Then of course there's Kipling's "Beware of the Englishman
when he becomes polite".  Repressed people with stiff upper 
lips do tend to explode.  Lawrence Durrell refers to "those 
fits of insanity that occasionally seize Nordics".          

===============   Reply   15 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/07
From:   CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Time:     0:06 AM

Steve and all,                                              
   As another comment on the places Latin literature takes  
us...I was fascinated by all the references to circularity, 
repetition of history, starting over.  For example, the     
town rebuilds after the rains, and the gypsies teach the    
people old tricks that they have learned before but have    
forgotten.  Names are used over and over again, although    
Ursula is determined not to give way to nostalgia. Pilar    
has no problem telling futures because "a century of cards  
and experience had taught her that the history of the       
family was a machine with unavoidable repetitions, a        
turning wheel that would have gone on spilling into         
eternity were it not for the progressive and irremediable   
wearing of the axle." (p. 402).  In addition, I was struck  
by the fact that when Aureliano Segundo asked the Arabs why 
they had not been washed away by the storm, they answered   
"swimming," indicating that they had learned to change, to  
adapt to the prevailing climate.  Therein lies survival.    
Princess Sarah  6/6/95 9:09PM MT                            

===============   Reply   16 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/07
From:   NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Time:    12:13 PM

Dear wild man, "white devils" is what the Chinese call      
Europeans, or at least they used to in the days when there  
were a lot of corrupt Mandarins around.  I think I learned  
this term from James Clavell, and I like to use it in a     
fonder way than I believe the Chinese meant it to be used.  
Boiling over, yes, I did it myself about two days ago, so   
the memory is still fresh.  When one is going around with   
the emotional turmoil gauge turned up to "Medium" most of   
the time in the approved Latin manner, it is but the work of
a moment, a mere tap of the accelerator is required to send 
the subject into paroxysms of rage, bliss, ennui, agony     
or what have you.  But since the average temperature is so  
high to begin with, it only takes a brief time for the rage,
bliss etc. to flare up and spend itself, leaving the subject
in his ordinary turbulent state soon after the cataclysm.   
Now you white boys (I mean I KNOW this) are cool, cool,     
cool, and sort of storing it up inside, where it accrues    
interest, and you can't really tell from looking, or then   
again you might see the jaw clench ever so slightly, but all
the time it is mounting just very gently until someone says 
the wrong thing, or the right one, and WHAM all hell breaks 
loose, leaving the shocked Latin female standing recklessly 
nearby to think, Dios mio pero que este hombre es imposible.

===============   Reply   17 of Note    1 =================

To:     NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Date:    06/07
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:     8:05 PM

Dearest Sheman: Your wonderfully cogent description of      
emotional types reminds me of a favorite quote of mine from 
Garrison Keillor. He says his mother and father were        
diametrically opposed in the arena of temperament...        
  "My mother's family responded to anger like small         
firecrackers. My father's temperament, which I inherited,   
was more like a radiation leak..."                          
  >>Dale in Ala.                                            

===============   Reply   18 of Note    1 =================

To:     ETJY35A    A KENDRICK            Date:    06/07
From:   DHGK37A    ERNEST BELDEN         Time:     8:22 PM

Hi Dale,                                                    
Do you remember me from SF CR get together?  Also, in the   
past you have suggested some excellent books to me, one of  
them was Stone's Outerbridge Reach.  This last book was of  
special interest to me since it is based on a true incident 
that happened during a circumnavigation race in the sixties.
 I did read this earlier book about the incident which was  
mainly factual and descriptive.  I do like Stone.. But what 
I wanted to write you about is Marquez's a Hundred Years.  I
found a copy of this book on the floor on a corridor when I 
worked in a hospital, picked it up and could not get over   
the style, quality, whatever.  I called all my literary     
friends asking them about the book and the author.  Nobody  
had heard of either the book or the author at that time and 
from than on tried to read everything that Marquez had      
written.  I am glad that Steve and you liked the book as    
much as I did.  I may have enjoyed Love at the Tine of      
Cholera even more.  Have you read it?                       
   I am looking forward to reading the forthcoming book     
written by D.S.                                             

===============   Reply   19 of Note    1 =================

To:     DHGK37A    ERNEST BELDEN         Date:    06/08
From:   CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Time:     9:01 PM

   Your picture (from the SF get-together) is placed above  
my computer and I've heard wild stories about you and the   
Mrs.  Seriously though, I loved 'Love in the Time of        
Cholera' more than 100 Years, although they were close.     
What an astounding, persistent, lengthy courtship! I fell   
in love with Marquez then. Have you read 'Chronicles of a   
Death Foretold?'  In a slightly different vein; I've also   
heard that 'General in his Labyrinth' was not very good.    
Sarah  6/8/95 6:04PM MT                                     

===============   Reply   20 of Note    1 =================

To:     DHGK37A    ERNEST BELDEN         Date:    06/09
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:    10:22 AM

Ernie: "Remember" you, indeed! That CR weekend on the Bay is
forever engraved on the pleasure centers of my brain, and   
your and Pat's faces are in the group snapshot that looks   
out upon my daily keyboard toil as a reminder of the        
wonderful readers here online.                              
  I recall you mentioning that you liked ONE HUNDRED YEARS  
OF SOLITUDE, but I never got to ask my follow-up question:  
What with your professional background in the workings of   
the mind, would you agree that the images in so-called      
"magical realism" are not at all arbitrary or random, but in
some hard-to-define way are amazingly visceral and          
intuitive, bearing a strong resemblance to the stories that 
the brain creates when dreaming?                            
  LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA is my second-favorite Marquez,
next to 100 YEARS, but I agree with Sarah that CHRONICLE is 
a gem, as well. I also enjoyed NO ONE WRITES TO THE COLONEL,
though its stylistic experiment takes a little adjustment.  
  My best to Patricia,                                      
  >>Dale in Ala. (about to head beach-ward for a few days)  
  (PS: The release date for my novel is Oct. 1; I'll post   
ISBN number, etc., here when the time is nigh. I'll be eager
for your response, especially since much of the book is an  
attempt at Southern North American--as opposed to Northern  
South American--magical realism.)                        

===============   Reply   21 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/09
From:   YHJK89A    CATHERINE HILL        Time:    11:57 PM

A Colombian school acquaintance of my son's once nearly blew
me away by saying casually, "I'm from the South.  We like to
siesta a lot."  That's just not what the South means to me. 
  I also got a little shook up when our friendly taiji      
master talked about teaching "Northern Style".  I thought   
that was taiji as practiced in Chicago and Detroit.... Turns
out it's Northern CHINA.  Oh, well.                         

===============   Reply   22 of Note    1 =================

To:     YHJK89A    CATHERINE HILL        Date:    06/10
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     7:19 PM

     Interesting comments all, Catherine.  I think perhaps  
your Engineer friend's point is valid to some extent.  Your 
other observations from Kipling and Durrell echo those of   
Maria's to a great extent, interestingly enough.            
     I know that I have shamelessly engaged in cultural     
stereotyping here, but it was all in good fun, I assure     
     The journey through ONE HUNDRED YEARS continues here   
in eastern Iowa, where I have found it interesting for a    
time to consider myself in the deep South in relation to    
Alaska.  At this point I am just becoming acquainted with   
Meme, the young mistress of the clavichord.  Amaranta is    
painstakingly constructing her own shroud, and I have run   
across the following:                                       
"It was then that she understood the vicious circle of      
Colonel Aureliano Buendia's little gold fishes.  The world  
was reduced to the surface of her skin and her inner self   
was safe from all bitterness. It pained her not to have had 
that revelation many years before when it had still been    
possible to purify memories and reconstruct the universe    
under a new light and evoke without trembling Pietro        
Crespi's smell of lavender at dusk and rescue Rebeca from   
her slough of misery, not out of hatred or out of love but  
because of the measureless understanding of solitude."      
Now it seems to me that this touches to some extent on the  
same thought to which Sarah Hart was alluding.  Certainly,  
the text surrounding this passage talks of the              
inevitability and circularity of life.  But the phrase      
"measureless understanding of solitude" brought me up       
short, admittedly because I have been curious about the     
title of this book ever since beginning it.  I continue to  
ponder this, but the thought apparently being advanced here 
is that an understanding of life and of others depends upon 
our grasp of the essential solitude of each of us in this   
world.  The world ends at the surface of our skin and       
inside we are alone.                                        
     In short I am getting into the swing of this magical   
realism stuff as I turn into the home stretch with this     
book this weekend.  And I shall return.                     
                            Steve  6/10/95 6:16PM CT        

===============   Reply   23 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/11
From:   NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Time:     1:15 PM

Wild man, beautiful note.  What do you guys think about     
that, anyway?  Is it true?  (I mean the idea that one is    
ineluctably alone within the confines of one's own skin.)   
Certainly a suspicion to that effect arises now and again,  
but just as often one is utterly shocked by the realization 
of the thinness of that unreliable membrane.                

===============   Reply   24 of Note    1 =================

To:     NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Date:    06/11
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     2:21 PM

     While we are on the subject, Maria, here is another    
passage concerning same that I really enjoyed.  (Getting    
along in years myself, you know.)                           
"Actually, ever since she had found it in Aureliano         
Segundo's trunks, Fernanda had put on the moth-eaten        
queen's dress many times.  Anyone who could have seen her   
in front of the mirror, in ecstasy over her own regal       
gestures, would have had reason to think that she was       
mad.  But she was not.  She had simply turned the royal     
regalia into a device for her memory.  The first time that  
she put it on she could not help a knot from forming in her 
heart and her eyes filling with tears because at that       
moment she smelled once more the odor of shoe polish on the 
boots of the officer who came to get her at her house to    
make her a queen, and her soul brightened with the          
nostalgia of her lost dreams.  She felt so old, so worn     
out, so far away from the best moments of her life that she 
even yearned for those that she remembered as the worst,    
and only then did she discover how much she missed the      
whiff of oregano on the porch and the smell of the roses at 
dusk, and even the bestial nature of the parvenus.  Her     
heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most        
telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart   
with the first waves of nostalgia.  The need to feel sad    
was becoming a vice as the years eroded her.  She became    
human in her solitude."                                     
     I must say that I find that to be an affecting little  
snippet.  And it serves to illustrate that of all the       
emotions, the sadness of nostalgia partakes the most of     
solitude.  It is the most solitary, and therefore           
the most human emotion of them all.  Certainly, our pal     
Proust would not argue with me.                             
                          Steve  6/11/95 1:19PM CT          

===============   Reply   25 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/12
From:   NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Time:     7:33 PM

Dear wild man, very sad and sweet.  Nostalgia in my         
experience is most often an affliction of men, though.      
Women generally are looking into the future, men into the   
past, as the years progress.  Or so it seems to me now.     

===============   Reply   26 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/14
From:   VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Time:     0:16 AM

   Steve, as soon as I saw your note on 100 Y.O.S., I       
decided I'd better get down to reading it, so I dropped     
everything to do so. Unfortunately I was unaviodably dis-   
tracted by the affairs of the mundane world, and am only    
now attending to my neglected responsibilities here on the  
board. Anyway, thank you for saving me the trouble of       
starting this book's thread. (At the moment I'm so far      
behind that these are the only notes I've read of the more  
than 200 KB in my last download.)                           
   I had quite a different reaction to the fantastical      
elements of the novel than you; perhaps this is because I   
cut my fictional teeth on SF and fantasy, and enjoy         
strangeness for its own sake. So, when I read, "The world   
was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order   
to indicate them it was necessary to point." on the the     
novel's first page, I took it as a signal to relax and go   
along for the ride. As far as the Latin novel and world     
view are concerned, I'm a stranger here myself, and can     
hardly begin to guess what Marquez is driving at with       
images like the butterflies that follow Mauricio Babilonia  
everywhere, but I'm not going to let it bother me.          
    It seems to me that what Marquez is attempting here is  
the creation of a work with the power and timelessness of   
mythology. Throughout the book we never learn where         
Macondo is, nor is there any reference to a particular      
time. We can surmise that we're some place south of the     
Rio Grande in an era that evidently begins early in the 19th
century and ends early in the 20th, but we're otherwise     
pretty much adrift. Such specifics are irrelevant in a      
novel that is a vision of life itself. (Marquez isn't       
content to write a mere "slice of life," but to try to set  
down on paper a solid, tangible chunk of it.)               
   I agree with Dale and the critic he quoted that finish-  
ing this book is like awakening from a dream, but must add  
that my experience of that dream would have been a night-   
mare without the magical elements keeping things one        
remove distant. The madness and death that pervade the book 
would be much harder to take in a purely realistic mode.    
    I don't know if fatalism is a typical Latin trait, but  
one theme that i noted in particular is that the characters 
are trapped in the grip of forces beyond their control.     
Note the many times that Marquez begins a chapter by an-    
nouncing someone's immenent death. He essentially laid out  
the character's destinies in the family tree that begins    
the book, and of course (STOP HERE if you haven't finished  
reading it yet!) at the end we discover that their futures  
were written all along in the cryptic writings of the       
semi-immortal Melquiades. As I approached the end, I        
couldn't help hoping that at least one character would      
survive, but I knew deep down that no one was going to get  
out of this story alive. It would hardly have been true to  
Marquez' vision to have it otherwise: the Buendias are      
doomed to solitude and oblivion, as are we all.             
   Though I'm sure that in my single reading I've hardly    
mined a tenth of the meaning from it pages, still I can     
mark ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE as a singular exper-     
ience, and one that most likely would have missed were it   
not for the forum of C.R.  Thanks also to Sarah Hart for    
putting it on the reading list!                             

===============   Reply   27 of Note    1 =================

To:     VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Date:    06/14
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     9:33 PM

     I had started to wonder, Allen, whether you were       
actually going to get to this one after indicating it was   
you next move after. . . . SOPHIE'S WORLD, was it?  In any  
event you have caught up with a vengeance!  Very            
interesting note.  I enjoy your take on this book from the  
point of view of an old SF and Fantasy fan.  Truly, as I    
indicated in any earlier note, I did get into the swing of  
the thing, albeit a bit more slowly than you perhaps.       
Finished the book last Sunday.                              
     I am glad you mentioned the yellow butterflies.  And   
did you notice that it was not just two or three            
butterflies?  Rather, the darned things were thick around   
that guy constantly.  By that point I had entirely adopted  
your approach.  I didn't worry about it.                    
     The book is populated with a score of unique,          
interesting characters, male and female--as you say, a big  
chunk of life.  And I don't know about Latins generally,    
but this gentleman is a fatalist to the core.  EVERYTHING   
is in the cards long before it happens.                     
     I no longer have the library's copy of this book so I  
cannot set out any quotations (to everyone's great relief), 
but there was a passage consisting of one paragraph three   
pages long describing the relationship of Aureliano Segundo 
and Petra, the red hot Latin lovers as they aged and the    
red hot cooled off a bit.  The paragraph ended by           
describing their relationship in old age as that of two     
playful old dogs with each other.  It was a very touching   
paragraph, I thought.                                       
       The book is indeed an experience, and I echo         
your thanks to Sarah.  I simply never would have wandered   
into this without her addition of it to the list.           
                             Steve  6/14/95 8:34PM CT       

===============   Reply   28 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/14
From:   FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Time:    10:50 PM

Steve and Allen -- I think you guys probably know more about
the image of the butterflies than you realize! I mean,      
surely you have a different set of feelings about this image
than you would if the guy in question were surrounded by,   
say, June bugs. Or slugs. Or earthworms.                    
  An analogy: a friend of mine from Vietnam was telling me  
how, in Vietnamese, the same word is used for (I think this 
is right) sky, heaven, blue, and ceiling. And he was        
marvelling at how unrelated these words were. I was shocked!
'How can you say that?' I exclaimed. 'Now, if you'd told me 
the same word was used for sky, heaven, blue, and hemorrhoid
medication, I'd agree with you! But in this case...' etc.   
  Anyway, you see what I'm getting at here. We all have all 
kinds of feelings about many words and images, feelings that
are conjured up when we read that word or chance upon that  
image -- even if we can't articulate what those feelings are
at the time. Lynn                                           

===============   Reply   29 of Note    1 =================

To:     VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Date:    06/14
From:   UPDQ58A    PEGGY RAMSEY          Time:    11:06 PM

Allen (and all)                                             
   First off, thank you for leading me to this wonderful    
book.  I reacted much the same way you did - I'm a long     
time fantasy/SF reader, so I just rolled with it,           
butterflies and all.  I've been hanging around the edges of 
this discussion with a little trepidation - afraid          
too much analysis would spoil the magic.  Like I said in my 
note on symbolism - sometimes I don't want to know how the  
rabbit got into the magician's hat.                         
   That said, I couldn't let this thread die without        
mentioning my favorite run-on sentence dealing with         
Fernanda's indignation. I won't repeat it, but it began     
like this:  "Aureliano Segundo was not aware of the         
singsong until the following day after breakfast when he    
felt himself bothered by a buzzing that was by more than    
fluid and louder than the sound of the rain, and it was     
Fernanda, who was walking throughout the house complaining  
that they had raised her to be a queen only to have her     
end up as a servant in a madhouse...."                      
   Fernanda goes on for two and a half pages, railing about 
the injustice in her life;  and it's all one sentence! As   
someone who's been know to snivel (often at length), I      
couldn't help but smile at this poor, put-upon woman, whose 
miseries were mostly of her own making - what a splendid    
characterization.  From now on, everytime I'm tempted to    
feel sorry for myself, I shall think of Fernanda...Peggy    

===============   Reply   30 of Note    1 =================

To:     VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Date:    06/15
From:   ZRPD32A    RICHARD HAGGART       Time:     0:37 AM

I haven't read this book yet, although this discussion got  
me to the bookstore earlier this week (sunburned bald-spot  
and all -- yes, we're having Alaska's famous week long      
summer, as I write) looking for it. They were out. At any   
rate, this discussion of butterflies intrigues me: does     
anyone recall the beautiful and lyrical useage of           
butterflies in the movie "El Norte"? It seems to me that the
early portion of that movie -- indeed most of it -- draws   
heavily on or is at least reminescent of Marquez' work as   
described in these notes. Question: do these butterflies    
have some sort of cultural significance from the Latin      
American/Indios perspective that we may be missing?  Dick   
in Alaska, where he hasn't been reading a blessed thing but 
law drivel and golf cards, due to the unprecedent arrival of
some decent weather.                                        

===============   Reply   31 of Note    1 =================

To:     FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Date:    06/15
From:   BUYS59A    BARBARA HILL          Time:     1:59 AM

I saw the butterflies as a sign of spring when butterflies  
appear and thoughts of love arise.  Mauricio was the object 
of her love and the butterflies surrounded him, just as it  
rained flowers when Jose Arcadio the dreamer died and as it 
rained for years after 3000 people were shot.  Objects      
signifying emotions.                                        
                       B. Hill                              

===============   Reply   32 of Note    1 =================

To:     ZRPD32A    RICHARD HAGGART       Date:    06/15
From:   NDKB53A    THERESA SIMPSON       Time:     3:34 AM

Hi Richard.  I thought of El Norte also, when reading the   
post concerning butterflies in the book.  The butterflies in
El Norte do have symbolic significance - not as signs of    
spring, etc. - I can't remember exactly, but it is something
to do with death, and the spirit or soul leaving its earthly
habitation (remember, they appear after the parents are     
dead, and the children are packing up to leave their home). 
Makes sense, if one thinks of the transformation butterflies
undergo - and the fact they are so much more mobile         
afterwards.  But I don't know that this would apply in the  
book, since it is in a different part of the continent -    
like maybe something that would be true for Swedes would    
not apply to Italians.                                      
Theresa - preparing to take the bar, so what am I doing here
on Prodigy, hmmm?                                           

===============   Reply   33 of Note    1 =================

To:     FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Date:    06/15
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     5:55 AM

     I'm not so sure that the butterflies indicate anything 
other than Babilonia had the blessing of mother nature, at  
least in the eyes of the woman who adored him.              
     It is the little GOLD FISHES that I would really like  
to talk about, Lynn.  Amaranta may have come to understand  
the vicious circle of Colonel Aureliano Buendia's little    
gold fishes, but I'm still struggling a bit with the little 
guys.  (See quote above.)  I would certainly be interested  
in anything anyone has to say about the little GOLD FISHES. 
 I have the feeling that the little GOLD FISHES are the     
key to this whole thing.                                    
                             Steve  6/15/95 4:57AM CT       

===============   Reply   34 of Note    1 =================

To:     ZRPD32A    RICHARD HAGGART       Date:    06/15
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     6:45 AM

     Richard, you immediately wormed your way into my heart 
with your mention of one of my favorite furrin' films, EL   
NORTE.  Well, . . . . . .did you order the book while you   
were at the bookstore?  If not get that done pronto.  You   
will have plenty of time to acquire it and get it read.  We 
will be kicking this one around for some time to come, I'm  
sure.  Lot's of sex and death in this one.  Good stuff.     
You owe it to yourself.  With all those daylight hours, you 
should be able to get in sufficient golf, slog through      
hundreds of WHEREAS clauses, and still have all the time    
necessary to get through this dandy book in short order.    
(Get some sunscreen for that bald spot, by the way.)        
                           Steve  6/15/95 5:12AM CT         

===============   Reply   35 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/15
From:   FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Time:    10:47 AM

One and all -- Mario Vargas Llosa, in his wonderful         
collection of essays entitled A Writer's Reality, describes 
the role history, journalism, and so on came to play in     
South America after the Spanish censored fiction (in an     
effort to calm the natives because fiction is so            
subversive!) Specifically, these other fields took over the 
role of fiction in everyday life, causing a blurring of the 
lines between these fields, and resulting eventually in what
has been called magical realism.                            
  Anyway, I've been thinking that fiction infused so with   
history, as certainly GGM's fiction is, would also of       
necessity be fatalistic, since it's "already happened".     
Historical events, once they've gone by, have a way of      
seeming inevitable -- why, the very phrase "historical      
event" fairly shouts this sense of inevitability!           
  I've read very little science fiction but have the sense  
that SF is generally not fatalistic. (Allen, can you speak  
to this?) This makes sense too -- when talking about        
something that hasn't yet happened, something that only     
"might" happen, we can hold on better to the full realm of  
possible outcomes and keep in perspective the fact that     
anything that eventually does happen is simply a "zig"      
rather than a "zag" -- either of which is a far cry from a  
"historical event". Lynn                                    

===============   Reply   36 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/15
From:   ACCR69A    JOSEPH BARREIRO       Time:     4:45 PM

This book made a strong impression on me.  I, like Allen,   
found it captivating from the first page.  The simple       
village "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 ragged gypsies with   
their marvelous distractions, the bold picture of Melquiades
with his "untamed beard and sparrow hands", these images led
me slyly and easily into Macondo and the Buendia family     
circle to witness the evolution of their world.  The way    
this evolution is accomplished makes me think of the type of
nature documentary in which a low-speed camera is used to   
film the germination and flowering of a plant; the film is  
then shown at normal speed to present a  time-collapsed     
essay that reveals the changes in a way impossible to see   
with normal perception.  At a particular point the director 
may freeze the frame, and for the captured subject, if it   
has a consciousness within its defined universe, time would 
seem to stand still;  Jose Arcadio Buendia, on the threshold
of his decline, finds himself unable to discern anything in 
his environment that verifies the passage of time.  His     
consuming insularity places him in a psychic position where 
his perspective is alien to those outside of it, and        
vice-versa.  This relativistic (perhaps solipsistic?) way of
looking at life is even more unashamedly advanced in        
SOPHIE'S WORLD where the conjunction and exclusion of of    
different points of view created confusion and apprehension 
in the understanding of one's actual position within the    
space-time-fictional continuum (even for the reader!).      
Despite the lack of a conventional plot, the story moved    
smoothly and quickly; the author imbued the characters with 
unique and sympathetic personalities which stand out among  
the repetiveness of the names and the circularity of the    
situations, a remarkable ability which many authors using a 
large cast might envy.  As Dale remarked, many of the       
characters are childlike, at times I would even say         
infantile (e.g. Rebeca's earth-eating, Amaranta's egocentric
jealousy, even the sexuality is infantile at times), but    
this quality lends itself neatly to the fulfillment of      
archetypes.  Garcia-Marquez' imagery is remarkably clear and
arresting.  I don't usually dwell on symbolism, but I       
believe that  the images a writer chooses can connect with  
some preconscious or nonverbal part of our minds that can   
only be reached that way.  He invokes vision, hearing,      
smelling, all of them usually involved in some kind of      
motion or flow (like the sounding of the Arab's clocks or   
the grease flowing down Melquiades' temples). One other item
I wanted to comment on is the question of whether we can    
ever hope to understand anything written by anybody,        
especially books written by people far removed from us by   
time, culture, in this case even language.  One obvious     
barrier is the writer's intent.  Whether  the writer        
addresses a particular audience or no audience but self,it's
up to the reader to decide if it's worth the effort to place
one's self in the only moderately vulnerable position of    
vicariously participating in an alien culture with an open  
mind.  They may deliberately conceal meaning, directing it  
only to the elect or initiated,  or, of course, they may    
have nothing to say or be too unskilled to be able to       
express it intelligibly.  But I believe most writers write  
because they have something they need to share with others; 
otherwise, why go through all the pain?  I read to          
participate in another life to whatever degree my prejudices
and the writer's abilities allow me.  Beyond that, I read to
expand my knowledge of myself and the universe.   We read   
regional and cultural iconic writers to enjoy both our      
differences and our samenesses.  I think that, despite the  
huge gap in culture, language, social position and/or       
temporal placement, I get the gist of DON QUIXOTE and THE   
TRIAL equally well.  But, hedonist that I am, the pleasure  
of escape into a dimension where anything is possible is    
what I treasure most about reading.                  Joe B  

===============   Reply   37 of Note    1 =================

To:     ACCR69A    JOSEPH BARREIRO       Date:    06/15
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     6:24 PM

     Joseph, I had intended to keep my mouth shut for a     
time here and just read the postings of others, but I had   
to reply and tell you how much I enjoyed this note of       
yours.  Very, very apropos commentary on ONE HUNDRED YEARS. 
     I sense that you and I are in basic agreement on this  
whole subject of symbolism.  It is a subject that Bruce,    
Marty, and I hashed over some months ago in connection with 
some of the bizarre scenes painted by Cormac McCarthy in    
SUTTREE.  Now I know that in certain Renaissance paintings, 
this little cherub stood for this virtue, and in some of    
the Dutch paintings, this little prop stood for marital     
bliss.  Likewise, there certainly is literature with this   
heavy handed one on one correlation between a concrete      
symbol and an idea. And I could care less about that stuff. 
      For me the mood of a book is everything.  (This is    
offered at the risk of sounding like a broken record.  I    
know some of these folks have heard this before from me.)   
And the mood of a book, or a passage in a book, is created  
by the images.  Deriving a mood from images is altogether   
different than deriving some "meaning" from the images.     
The problem is that this concept does not lend itself well  
to the academic approach to literature.  For one thing a    
particular image may create one mood in one person and      
quite another in another person.  The reader himself brings 
something to these books that are heavy on imagery.         
     That line you quoted about the stones like prehistoric 
eggs is a prime example.  I remember well my first reading  
of that line.  It started to bring me into the mood of this 
thing.  It was impressive.  And certainly I was puzzled by  
the yellow butterflies, but I could certainly see this guy  
walking around with them fluttering about his head.  It was 
a marvelous reproduction within my head of how he appeared  
to his lover--a mood.                                       
     Well, enough.  I did thoroughly enjoy your note.       
                             Steve  6/15/95 5:25PM CT       

===============   Reply   38 of Note    1 =================

To:     ACCR69A    JOSEPH BARREIRO       Date:    06/15
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     6:28 PM

     But Joseph, do you have any ideas about what those     
little gold fishes mean?                                    
                                   Steve  6/15/95 5:30PM CT 

===============   Reply   39 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/15
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:    11:14 PM

Steve: Good point...the idea of passion cooling (or at least
being transformed) with age is definitely a recurring       
subject in Latin American writing--presumably because       
they're so overburdened with it to begin with. I had     
forgotten most of the details of 100 YEARS OF SOLITUDE since
first reading it, but the image of the couple being like    
playful old dogs stayed in my memory.                       
  The theme is everywhere--Marquez's own novels LOVE IN THE 
just eroticism transformed in the latter, but political     
passion too); Carlos Fuentes' THE OLD GRINGO; and Maria's   
countryman Oscar Hijuelos, who won a well-deserved Pulitzer 
for his novel THE MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE.           
  THE MAMBO KINGS begins with Cesar Castillos, native of    
Havana and once the leader of a popular band of the book's  
name--living alone, smoking and drinking through his slow   
decline in New York City as his young nephew rouses him to  
see the band in its heyday, their one guest appearance in a 
black-and-white re-run of "I Love Lucy" on TV. Cesar, a     
once-rabid ladies' man renowned for his extremely large, er,
talent in that regard, is contrasted throughout the novel   
with his quieter and more withdrawn brother Nestor.         
  I've seen a female reviewer or two point out huffily that 
Cesar is awfully chauvinistic here (hey, hold Page One). 
But as politically incorrect as the old pagan is, the novel 
is one of the most exquisitely drawn portraits of a culture 
and a time period I've ever come across.                    
  This brief section describes the "I Love Lucy" appearance:
  The brothers walked out in white suits and with a guitar  
and trumpet, bowed to the audience, and nodded when Ricky   
Ricardo faced the orchestra and, holding his conductor's    
wand, prepared to begin, asked them, "Are you ready?"       
  The older brother strummed the A-minor chord, the key of  
the song; a harp swirled in as if from the clouds of heaven;
then the bassist began to play a habanera, and then the     
piano and horns played a four-chord vamp. Standing beside   
the microphone, brows creased in concentration, expressions 
sincere, the brothers began to sing that romantic bolero    
"Beautiful Maria of My Soul." A song about love so far away 
it hurts; a song about lost pleasures, a song about youth, a
song about love so elusive a man can never know where he    
stands; a song about wanting a woman so much death does not 
frighten you, a song about wanting that woman even when she 
has abandoned you.                                          
  As Cesar sang, his vocal cords trembling, he seemed to be 
watching something profoundly beautiful and painful         
happening in the distance, eyes passionate, imploring, his  
earnest expression asking, "Can you see who I am?" But the  
younger brother's eyes were closed and his head was tilted  
back. He looked like a man on the verge of falling through  
an eternal abyss of longing and solitude...                 
  Solitude. Ah. This is where we came in. Alone inside our  
skin, indeed.                                               
  I haven't seen the movie version of MAMBO KINGS, but I    
highly recommend the book. Much, much insight into the joys 
of being a performer onstage. Absolutely transcendent. And  
the women! Ah, the women. Hijuelos is a genius.             
  >>Dale in Ala.                                            

===============   Reply   40 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/16
From:   NCSH82B    BARBARA MOORS         Time:     6:24 AM

Dale--I "read" both MAMBO KINGS and THE 14 SISTERS          
OF...(can't remember his name) on tape.  Loved them both.   
I thought Mambo Kings was the best of the two, but liked    
Sisters as well.  Couldn't figure out why it got such       
negative reviews.  Have you read it?  And, if so, what did  
you think?                                                  
  Re: the politically correct views of Cesar, it was simply 
such an accurate portrait of almost a cultural icon and     
the fruits of his life are certainly not a golden old age.  
And, the contrast with sensitive Nestor on the opposite end 
of the spectrum and his pain were brilliant, I thought.     
  Do you have any info on Hijuelos?  Have always been       
a bit curious about him.                        Barbara     

===============   Reply   41 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/16
From:   CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Time:    12:30 PM

   I, too, was curious about the title and how it fit into  
the myriad stories of the Buendias; it took me until well   
into the last fourth of the novel to gain some small        
understanding, and I think you put it well.  I was walking  
down the street yesterday in the hot Arizona sun and        
realizing that I could never understand how it felt to be   
any of the people walking beside me.  Even more arresting   
is the thought that we really don't know the people we are  
closest to, our own Ursula's and Aureliano's and Jose's.    
We cheat them of uniqueness and complexity if we assume     
that we completely know and understand them; we can't even  
say that about ourselves.  And, at the end, it is really    
ourselves with whom (?) we are locked inextricably.  What   
the Buendias had such a hard time understanding, I think,   
is that understanding the solitary aspect of life is        
important, but equally so is the necessity of the           
connections with other solitary human beings.  We have in   
common our solitude, if nothing else.  The Buendias did not 
know how to balance these connections and the solitude very 
well, to their eventual detriment.                          
Princess Sarah  6/14/95 9:53AM MT                           

===============   Reply   42 of Note    1 =================

To:     CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Date:    06/16
From:   KGXC73A    GAIL SINGER GROSS     Time:     4:27 PM

greetings BARBARA....                                       
           THE TITLE OF ...the fourteen sisters of emilo    
    still awaiting my copy....                              
    gail..a passionate reader ...enjoying the discussion of 
ONE YEARS OF SOLITUDE...                                    

===============   Reply   43 of Note    1 =================

To:     NCSH82B    BARBARA MOORS         Date:    06/16
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:     6:46 PM

Barbara: Hello...I haven't read Hijuelos' 14 SISTERS, but I 
distinctly remember the tepid reviews when it came out. The 
only other one of his books I've read is his first novel,   
OUR HOUSE IN THE LAST WORLD, about a family's move from Cuba
to New York.                                                
  I thought OUR HOUSE was a very worthwhile book--NYTBR     
called it "virtuoso writing about immigrant life...great    
warmth and tenderness." I especially remember the lush,     
vivid, almost dreamlike images of life in Cuba. Overall,    
though, I didn't feel it had the unity and confidence of    
voice that made MAMBO KINGS so compelling--not surprising   
for a first novel, no matter how talented the author.       
  BTW, enjoyed your note about aloneness inside one's skin  
and the Buendias trying to find the balance between         
connection and solitude. One of the ultimate human          
struggles, I think, and one that Latin American writers have
a special gift for.                                         
  >>Dale in Ala.                                            

===============   Reply   44 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/16
From:   NCSH82B    BARBARA MOORS         Time:     7:38 PM

Dale--I would love to take credit, but that was Sarah's     
thoughtful note.  Am glad you thought I might have such     
insight though.                                 Barbara     

===============   Reply   45 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/17
From:   WSRF10B    SHERRY KELLER         Time:    11:44 AM

It occurs to me that no one has attempted any discussion on 
your little fishes question.  I like your idea that mood    
seems to be a more relevant issue than trying to pick apart 
all the symbolism and assign a meaning to it.  I think mood 
is our human reaction TO symbolism, whether it be in music, 
movies, dreams or literature. I also think symbolism happens
(like the bumper sticker, but more literate) whether the    
intention is there or not.  To me the fishes were where the 
colonel placed his obsession.  It was such intricate and    
time-consuming work that it allowed him to divert his       
attention from his obsession with pride.  The circle of the 
fishes gets smaller and smaller.  First he makes them, sells
them.  Then he makes them, sells them, uses the gold coins  
he gets as material to make them.  Then he makes them and   
uses the fishes themselves to make fishes.  His life seems  
to be getting smaller and smaller, the circle getting       
smaller and smaller, the obsessions getting more intense.   
But why fish?  I think about real fish and their element,   
the sea.  The sea is often the symbol for life, the origin  
of life, of being in life.  And this may seem trite, but the
phrase "a fish out of water" came to me. (I also thought of 
Pepperidge Farms, but I doubt GGM had that in mind).   MY   
question was about Melquiades room.  What did you get out of
this time displacement thing?                               
BTW, I'm really enjoying everyone's posts on this work. In  
Milwaukee, where it's nice and hot.                         

===============   Reply   46 of Note    1 =================

To:     VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Date:    06/17
From:   CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Time:     1:39 PM

   A thought about your comments on 'a chunk of life;'      
perhaps GGM chose 100 years as his time period because in a 
sense, we start over at the century mark, and years begin   
at 00.  It seems to me that he uses many events and pieces  
to demonstrate this 'starting over' or circularity.         
Princess Sarah  6/17/95 9:58AM MT                           

===============   Reply   47 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/17
From:   CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Time:     1:39 PM

  Thanks for the rec on Mambo Kings; I had heard of it but  
not much about it.  It goes on my list.                     
  As far as the gold fishes, Steve, I offer these thoughts. 
My guess is that there are several meanings to be extracted 
from these little pisces.  For instance, when the officers  
are searching the house for Jose Arcadio Segundo, the head  
officer comes upon the fishes and asks for one, saying "At  
one time they were a mark of subversion, but now they're    
relics."  What things represent at one point and time may   
be very different from what they represent at another.  In  
addition, the way Aureliano Buendia treated those fishes    
contributes to the overall theme of circularity and         
beginning again.  During the rains, Aureliano Segundo       
begins fixing everything in the house, and Fernanda         
"wondered whether or not he too might be falling into the   
vice of building so that he could take apart like Colonel   
Aureliano Buendia and his little gold fishes, Amaranta and  
her shroud and her buttons, Jose Arcadio and his            
parchments, and Ursula and her memories."  I can't find the 
passage, but someone opens up the workshop after awhile and 
rediscovers the peacefulness and fulfillment of making the  
little gold fishes.  Was it Ursula?                         
   Two people were born and died with their eyes            
open--Colonel Aureliano Buendia and Jose Arcadio Segundo.   
Is there a connection here?  I can't find it.               
   One last aside--I liked the image of Jose Arcadio        
Segundo when 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     
externalized fragment in a room."                           
Princess Sarah  6/17/95 10:35AM MT                          

===============   Reply   48 of Note    1 =================

To:     NCSH82B    BARBARA MOORS         Date:    06/17
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:     4:04 PM

Barbara & All: Here's a fragment on Hijuelos I dug up from a
1993 LA Times Magazine article:                             
  It was the summer of 1987 and Oscar Hijuelos, a young,    
struggling writer, had been stuck in front of his word      
processor for days fiddling with the opening of his second  
novel. Money was short, the Internal Revenue Service was    
after him, and his mood was bleak.                          
  He picked up the first 50 pages and walked over to the    
apartment of Philip Graham, a fiction writer and friend from
their days as graduate students at the City University of   
New York.                                                   
  "He handed it to me," says Graham. "Then he sat across    
from me with a jug of wine and started to drink. He insisted
on staying in the room, watching me read." Graham remembers 
getting lost in the text, forgetting the noise wafting up   
from 112th Street. "It was clear that it was very powerful, 
and when I told him so, he was incredibly relieved. He sent 
it to his agent and she sold it."                           
  "I often wonder," Graham says now, "if for some reason I  
hadn't liked it, how much longer he would have waited." THE 
MAMBO KINGS PLAY SONGS OF LOVE, a raw riff of lust, sex and 
soulful music, won the 1990 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and  
was nominated for the National Book Award and the National  
Book Critics Circle Award.                                  
  Such accolades would elate most writers. But to Hijuelos, 
they only raised the stakes. Could he do it again? Nearly   
six years after his trip to Graham's apartment, the         
American-born son of Cuban immigrants has a new case of     
nerves. He's sweating the reception of THE 14 SISTERS OF    
EMILIO MONTEZ O'BRIEN, a novel he's come to view as a       
measure of his literary endurance.                          
  "I wanted to get another book out, to get beyond MAMBO    
KINGS," he says. "I needed a sense of accomplishment. I'm   
very aware that youth is passing, fleeting." The 41-year-old
writer appears to have little to worry about. Reviewing 14  
SISTERS in the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani called it   
"one of those commodious, emotionally generous books that   
immerse us in a well-upholstered fictional world."          
  The reader finishes the novel, she writes, "reluctantly,  
the way one finishes a long letter from a beloved family    
member, eager for all the news not to end." Farrar, Straus &
Giroux is running a first printing of 75,000 copies--the    
first printing for MAMBO KINGS was 30,000--and the bidding  
for paperback rights started at $400,000.                   
  While MAMBO KINGS is infused with a masculine perspective 
of sex, 14 SISTERS is bathed in the feminine. The allure of 
the Montez O'Brien household envelops men and then takes    
care of them as completely as a mother attends to a child.  
And while love in MAMBO KINGS goes unrequited, love for the 
characters in 14 SISTERS is deliciously pleasant--even for  
the plump sister Irene, who lives for food and has one of   
the happiest marriages. As a girl, Hijuelos writes, Irene   
"daydreams about love, not so much for the sweet kisses and 
embraces of a man, or the roses that romance was said to    
bring, but for the boxes of dome-shaped, swirl-topped       
Belgian chocolates with maraschino-cherry centers." When she
finds a like-minded man, their courtship consists of "long  
bouts of succulent, tongue-swallowing kisses, tongues       
tasting of sweets and nut breads."                          
  If life for Hijuelos' characters has become less          
angst-ridden since MAMBO KINGS, it remains difficult        
territory for their creator. No matter his fame--he is      
probably the country's most prominent Latino voice--he is   
always reminded of the differences between him and the      
literary stars who now embrace him...                       
  I love the "tongues tasting of sweets and nutbreads"!     
Passion of yet another kind, I guess.                       
  More on Hijuelos later,                                   
  >>Dale in Ala.                                            

===============   Reply   49 of Note    1 =================

To:     WSRF10B    SHERRY KELLER         Date:    06/17
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     6:17 PM

     Great, Sherry!  You and Sarah have both taken a        
serious shot at the gold fishes.  Thank you.  I can't say   
that I feel like a fish in the water with this              
symbol yet, but I'm closer.  (Yuk.  Yuk.)                   
     I am going to have the retrieve the book from the      
library again, I can see.  I really need to recheck a few   
things before taking a crack at the time displacement       
thing.  Right now I am having the same difficulties with it 
as George Herbert Walker Bush had with the vision thing.    
So. . . . . . .I will have to get back to you.              
                               Steve  6/17/95 5:14PM CT     

===============   Reply   50 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/17
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:     6:46 PM

Steve: What a great place this CR is! I had wracked my brain
over the fishes to no avail, when I signed on to discover   
Sherry's note. And now, when I was beginning a note to tell 
you I think her creature-out-of-its-element interpretation  
was right on the mark, I find Sarah's note and the stuff she
postulates seems right on the mark as well. Maybe there are 
more marks in this literature business than I can conceive  
of, Horatio.                             
  BTW, can somebody with a grasp of the Spanish language    
tell me if there's a literal translation of "Macondo," or if
the word is chosen for its lyrical value alone?       memory is so terrible; can anybody tell me what 
portion of the book, roughly, has the amazing sequence that 
describes the village's reproductive and regenerative       
capacity kicking into enormously high gear?                 
  After a long, soaring description of how people, animals, 
and plants conjugate and flower and heal with great         
enthusiasm, there comes my favorite line in all of Marquez: 
  "...and the old blind toothless beggar who sat at the     
gate, while he did not regain his sight, did grow three new 
  Probably the best one-sentence description of reality I've
ever seen.                                                  
  >>Dale in Macondo north, aka Ala.                         

===============   Reply    1 of Note    1 =================

To:     NCSH82B    BARBARA MOORS         Date:    06/17
From:   MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Time:     7:43 PM

A few more bio tidbits (including a reference to Marquez!)  
about Oscar Hijuelos, from the 4-18-93 LA Times article by  
Lydia Chavez:                                               
  As stocky and ruddy-faced as a longshoreman, Hijuelos--   
like his characters--grew up in a New York City neighborhood
where many of the men, his father included, were drunks, and
limousines pulled up at the door only for funerals.         
  "We had the sense we were looked down on," he says. It was
an environment bound to produce street-smart kids with giant
chips on their shoulders, and Hijuelos was no exception.    
"Basically, the working class hates everybody else," he     
  A reluctant literary lion, the power of Hijuelos' writing 
has given him entree into a different world, but it hasn't  
told him how to fit in. Given the option of hanging out with
the New York Review of Books crowd or with his girlfriend   
Lori Carlson, an editor and translator, and his brother     
Joseph, a painter who lives nearby on the Upper West Side,  
he's likely to go for the familiar...                       
  The Upper West Side of Manhattan--specifically 118th      
Street between Amsterdam and Morningside--is the landscape  
that has shaped Hijuelos' life and his fiction. It's a short
block with five- and six-story apartment buildings adorned  
mainly by fire escapes. It's also the transition between two
  To the west, the block ends at the campus of Columbia     
University, a temporary home to the children of the         
affluent. To the east, the block trails off in stairs that  
descend into Morningside Park, frequented primarily by      
junkies and muggers. Hijuelos' world lies somewhere between.
In his books, as in his youth, fathers are often drunk but  
report faithfully to work; mothers cook and cope, perhaps   
escaping by writing poetry that's never published. Their    
children are trapped in the family's dramas, their          
allegiances continually contested by the fierce love of both
  It's no surprise that Hijuelos' confidence has yet to     
catch up with his literary accomplishments. He won the      
Pulitzer when he was only 38, but he was no overnight       
success--he'd been writing for more than 15 years. For most 
of that time he supported himself working as a gofer at an  
advertising agency.                                         
  For years he'd ride the subway to that job, haunted by    
visions of his father riding the same train to the dead-end 
job [a cook at the Biltmore Hotel] he had held until he     
  These are painful memories and Hijuelos can still become  
melancholy recalling them. Describing his relationship with 
his hated and beloved father, a theme that runs through his 
fiction, Hijuelos rambles on and then, only half-laughing at
his seriousness, says, "Life is a very difficult proposition
  Although [a former writing teacher at CUNY] says that     
Hijuelos is "more grounded in American social realism" and  
the psychology of his characters than are Latin American    
novelists, it's predictable that readers will think of      
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for instance, when they first       
encounter the magical realism in FOURTEEN SISTERS--         
particularly the butterflies that flit through it, and other
Hijuelos books.                                             
  It's true that Marquez's books sit on Hijuelos'           
bookshelves. But so do those of Federico Garcia Lorca, Gore 
Vidal, and Antonia Fraser. Hijuelos laughs when a reporter  
brings up the butterflies. "What, I can't write about       
butterflies?" he asks.                                      
  >>Dale in Ala.                                            

===============   Reply    2 of Note    1 =================

To:     CUFZ01B    SARAH HART            Date:    06/17
From:   BUYS59A    BARBARA HILL          Time:    10:02 PM

In a book on interpreting dreams I found this,"Fish: The    
contents of the deeper layers of the unconscious mind.  It  
refers to the remote past and comes from a profoundly alien 
underworld.  Renewal and rebirth may be symbolized."  Could 
that be relevant here regarding the gold fish?              
B. Hill                                                     

===============   Reply    3 of Note    1 =================

To:     MXDD10A    DALE SHORT            Date:    06/18
From:   VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Time:     1:05 AM

   Here's a scene from ONE HUNDRED YEARS that I particu-    
larly enjoyed, where, in what is undoubtably the most       
benign death scene I've ever read, Jose Arcadio Buendia     
is released from his purgatory on earth (this is just a     
snippet from one of Marquez' immense paragraphs), and       
steps into eternity:                                        
    When he was alone, Jose Arcadio Buendia consoled him-   
  self with the dream of the infinite rooms. He dreamed     
  that he was getting out of bed, opening the door and      
  going into an identical room with the same bed with       
  the wrought-iron head, the same wicker chair, and the     
  same picture of the Virgin of Help on the back wall.      
  From that room he would go into another that was just     
  the same, the door of which would open into another       
  that was just the same, the door of which would open      
  into another one just the same, and then into another     
  exactly the same, and so on to infinity. He liked to      
  go from room to room, as in a gallery of parallel         
  mirrors, until Prudencio Aguilar would touch him on       
  the shoulder. The he would go back from room to room,     
  walking in reverse, going back over his trail, and he     
  would find Prudencio Aguilar in the room of reality.      
  But one night, two weeks after they took him to his       
  bed, Prudencio Aguilar touched his shoulder in an         
  intermediate room and he stayed there forever, thinking   
  it was the real room.                                     
  Another favorite part was the very end of the novel,      
where in one page Marquez bring to an end Aureliano         
Babilonia, Macondo itself, and the story, and also reveals  
the secret of Melquiades' manuscripts. Very deftly done,    
I thought.                                                  

===============   Reply    4 of Note    1 =================

To:     FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Date:    06/18
From:   VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Time:     1:07 AM

   Lynn, I would have to say that science fiction is the    
genre where you're least likely to find fatalistic themes.  
The unstated premise underlying all SF books, I think, is   
"There are an infinite number of possible worlds and        
futures -- here is one of them." Even the author of a       
most pessimistic view of the future must at least partly    
intend his book as a warning, so there's an assumption      
there that we can redirect the future by seeing where we    
could be headed. To my mind, the antithesis of a fatalistic 
point of view.                                              

===============   Reply    5 of Note    1 =================

To:     NPVX84A    MARIA BUSTILLOS       Date:    06/18
From:   VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Time:     1:08 AM

   Maria, I've so far refrained from making any remarks     
about the writing of 100 YEARS because I was acutely aware  
while reading that the words weren't Marquez' own. Over and 
over I wondered what might have been lost in the trans-     
lation. Can you recall from your reading of LOVE IN THE     
TIME OF CHOLERA that there was any quality that marked it   
as a story that originated in Spanish? Does something of    
the "Spanishness" sort of "seep through" into the English   
version? I've been meaning to start a thread on the subject 
of translation for ages, and this seemed like an opportune  
moment to broach the matter. There are a number of points   
that interest me, such as to what extent a translation      
must be a rewrite into another language, whether some       
languages might be particularly compatible, or the reverse, 
and how much of great literature's greatness is accessible  
only in the original. I'd be interested to hear your        
thoughts on the question, as well as those of our other CRs 
who can read in more than one language.                     

===============   Reply    6 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/18
From:   SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Time:     6:36 AM

     HEY!  Is there anybody who can give Sherry and I a     
hand with this time displacement thing?  (Don't anyone      
clap.  I hate that joke.)                                   
                             Steve  6/18/95 5:38AM CT       

===============   Reply    7 of Note    1 =================

To:     BUYS59A    BARBARA HILL          Date:    06/18
From:   WSRF10B    SHERRY KELLER         Time:     9:16 AM

That interpretation seems completely compatible to me. It   
also seems to reinforce the "creature-out-of-it's-element"  
interpretation that occurred to me.  Could the process of   
remaking the same fish over and over have something to do   
with trying to capture the essence of the unknowable?       
And how about the time displacement thing?                  

===============   Reply    8 of Note    1 =================

To:     SEZG73A    STEVE WARBASSE        Date:    06/18
From:   ACCR69A    JOSEPH BARREIRO       Time:    11:15 AM

Steve- All I can say about symbolism is that I don't ever   
read a book consciously searching for it.  So many times in 
high school we had symbols explicated and regurgitated,     
especially in poetry, that it almost made the stuff         
unreadable for me.  I caught on well enough and I could     
easily go on for 500 words or so when required expounding on
the importance of this or that symbol in Milton or          
Hawthorne, but it never seemed more than academic pedantry  
to me.  To me a symbol should be pretty clear-cut, else why 
use it?  If it doesn't explain itself by its nature, it's   
not very effective.  I am                                   
a fine one for picking up meaning in context; of course, you
need to have a basic knowledge of literature and the forms  
it has used over the years, but that's just what you should 
have learned before you got to upper level high school      
anyhow; the mastery of  reading and writing should have been
accomplished by junior high (or at least it was expected to 
have been when I was in high school way back in the early   
seventies).  I shudder sometimes when I see what mediocrity 
is expected of students in many schools these days.   Joe B 
P.S.  No, I couldn't really say for sure what the goldfishes
meant, but I think they had something to do with wealth and 
expressions of one's individuality.                         

===============   Reply    9 of Note    1 =================

To:     VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Date:    06/18
From:   FNMN56E    LYNN EVANS            Time:     5:09 PM

Allen -- Ha, just as I suspected! Fatalism, to the extent   
that it exists in SF, would be a glommed-on, infused-at-the-
last-plot-twist kind of thing, rather than intrinsic to the 
very storyline, as it is in GGM's historical fiction. One   
Hundred Years of Solitude, of course, is not only the story 
of Macondo and its founders, but the history of GGM's       
Colombia as well. Or part of its history anyway. I looked in
the encyclopedia and found no less than two(!) 100-year     
periods in Colombia's history that might well qualify for   
times of solitude... 1740-1840 (i.e., the end of colonialism
to Colombia's entry into the modern political arena), and   
1840-1940 (i.e., Colombia's aforementioned entry (which     
followed approx. 30 years of civil war, from 1810-1840) to  
1948, when internal hostilities again broke out).           
  Anybody have any thoughts on which 100 year period GGM    
might have had in mind? I seem to recall some fairly modern 
inventions toward the end of the book, but I don't remember 
anymore if they were meant to be part of the 100 year period
in question, or some epilogue-like further looking ahead... 

===============   Reply   10 of Note    1 =================

To:     VRCH78A    ALLEN CROCKER         Date:    06/18
From:   YHJK89A    CATHERINE HILL        Time:    11:42 PM

Okay, I'll take a mild whang at your translation thing,     
since you'd asked about that Hungarian novel.  I don't have 
the original typescript I worked from (where would I store  
it?!?!), but I can tell you a little about what I found in  
what was apparently a literal, word for word translation    
into English.  (1)  Hungarians have a WILDLY different idea 
of what a paragraph is.  To that particular writer, at      
least, it was about two sentences.  (2)  I was assured the  
language is "flowery", and there were certainly too many    
words for any good purpose in English.  I cut about 96 pages
in typescript without omitting one line of dialogue.  My    
son, who bought a Hungarian grammar once, tells me there is 
no gender in Hungarian, certainly no inflected speech like  
Italian/Spanish/French.  They certainly manage beaucoup     
words anyway, and this particular author had a habit of     
letting sentences trail off into infinity...........  I     
suppose she meant something, but it drove me crazy, and I   
didn't think it would go down well with American readers.   
The bits that must have been poetry (typeset that way, and  
why else would anybody say something in such a manner) I    
managed in King James cum Kipling to produce a sort of      
noble, grand rhythm that I gathered from the subject matter 
must have been intended.  Ms. Orsi read my revision (she    
reads English but does not speak it) and liked it, which    
was most gratifying; I'd hate to have somebody cutting on my
  I know something of the translation thing from the world  
of opera.  For instance, the Macbeth dagger soliloquy as    
handled by the reverent Verdi and the librettist who revered
HIM comes out roughly thus:                                 
Me you flee, and yet I see you/To me you proceed along      
confused path that in my mind to follow I designed.         
Horrible image!  Gouts of blood the your blade irrigate.    
But nothing exists any longer.  It only my thoughts they    
formed it, and like truth presented to my vision a chimera. 
Over half the world now dead is nature, now the assassin    
like a phantom through the shadows himself strides, now     
consumate the witches their mysteries.  Immobile Earth!  To 
my footsteps stand mute.                                    
    This gives you the idea of translation difficulties.    

===============   Reply   11 of Note    1 =================

To: BUYS59A BARBARA HILL Date: 06/19 From: CUFZ01B SARAH HART Time: 0:14 AM Barbara, Renewal and rebirth are definitely relevant to the themes of this novel (at least, how the literary analysts here see the themes). The unconscious, as well, fits in here, as Marquez' characters exist on several different planes of consciousness. Good find. Princess Sarah 6/18/95 9:00PM MT =============== Reply 12 of Note 1 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 06/19 From: CUFZ01B SARAH HART Time: 0:14 AM Dear @, Give me some time and I will work on the time displacement thing. No hands. Sarah 6/18/95 9:03PM MT =============== Reply 13 of Note 1 =================  
To: CUFZ01B SARAH HART Date: 06/19 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 9:00 AM Okay. I'm counting on you, Hart. By the way, happy to oblige with the definition. A few hard facts from the artist formerly know as Steve and some astute analysis from Maria. You just can't find that combination anywhere but here. Now known as "@" =============== Reply 14 of Note 1 =================  
To: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Date: 06/19 From: CUFZ01B SARAH HART Time: 10:16 PM @, I thought you were formerly known as Harv? (Allen, you missed this silliness) Sarah 6/19/95 6:35PM MT =============== Reply 15 of Note 1 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 06/20 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 0:38 AM I'm only 100 pages in, so far, but I wanted to mention a couple of things. First, I think 'time' is emerging as a major theme in this book, particularly the relative and subjective nature of time. The "world time line" of the story waxes and wanes depending on the subject and the point of view. Thus, the phrase, "The world was so recent that many things lacked names" surely reflects the youth of Aureliano Buendia who was perceiving those things, more than it does any literal reflection on the age of world. Yet, as the story progresses, technological change (fantastical or otherwise) occurs by fits and starts -- and in an order and at a pace that clearly is ahistorical. Similarly, geography appears to be plastic in Diego Marquez' hands. The only Macondo I know about is far up the Zambezi River, in the remotest eastern parts of Angola. Fanciful? Maybe, but where did the Arabs come from, if the village exists solely in Central America? Like the time imagery, I think the geographic and cultural overlays are designed to be deliberately opaque and suggestive of many sources. In short, I think we need to look for clues on MANY levels. Another, small point as to the meaning of the title: "Whiel Macondo was celebrating the recovery of its memory, Jose Arcadio Buendia and Melquiades dusted off their old friendship. The gypsy was inclined to stay in the town. He really had been through death, but he had returned because he could not bear the solitude." Is death merely solitude or lack of connection to our fellow humans? What is the significance of Jose Arcadio Buendia the man who is a genius at leading people and laying out simple egalitarian villages where no person need walk farther to the community well than any other, but is a helpless addict to the drugs of alchemy and technology. Isn't his obsession with these things -- which waxes and wanes like so many other things in this story--the functional equivalent of the most pathetic crack-addict in one of our modern cities? And speaking of layered contrasts: the peasant simplicity of Ursula in the running of the family, her disdain for techno-gabble, and yet she finds the route out of the swamp that connects Macondo to the world on the first try -- after her husband's heroic if ever so well equipped failures. Primordial images of women as the sources of fecundity (the richness of the outside world) overtop women as those who taste of forbidden fruit and bring evil into the garden. Meanwhile, of course, midst all this symbolism the kids are growing up, getting horny and moving on. Whew. As you can see, I'm enthused and confused. Some book, so far. Dick in Alaska where the sun is still shining and he waits vainly for magnificent gypsies to appear =============== Reply 16 of Note 1 =================  
To: CUFZ01B SARAH HART Date: 06/20 From: SEZG73A STEVE WARBASSE Time: 8:08 AM Well of course, Sarah, I was just joking around then, but upon further reflection, I have become quite serious about this project now. Sincerely, @ =============== Reply 17 of Note 1 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 06/20 From: LEFB63A BARBARA FUHRMAN Time: 8:27 AM Hi Lynn, I never thought of actually looking for a hundred year period in Columbia's history, but I'd always thought that the book contains some kind of play on the history of Latin America from colonization on. I haven't read the book in years but I do remember that besides it being full of Latin American archetypes like the caudillo,the stud, the mother figure and the puta, it has some descriptions of events that are clearly taken from Latin American history. Wasn't there a moment when they are parading around the body of Eva Peron? -- I'll have to find a copy of the novel. Hope I haven't embarrassed myself. Barbara 6/20?/95 =============== Reply 18 of Note 1 =================  
To: LEFB63A BARBARA FUHRMAN Date: 06/20 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 9:53 AM Barbara -- Truth to tell, I hadn't expected a one-hundred- year interval to leap out at me quite the way it did, what with the dates of such events as "the end of colonization" or "entry into the modern political world" being so difficult to fix. But I did rather expect to find some period of time in which the country was turned in on itself, responding more to internal pressures than anything from the outside. And I don't remember the book all that well either! Maybe we should start a separate thread for those who read it years ago and think they know how it went but aren't really sure anymore! Lynn =============== Reply 19 of Note 1 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 06/24 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 1:47 PM Dick -- Whew. It took me three buses, a cab, and a Greyhound on some sort of milk run to get back to this note, but I was intrigued by some of your thoughts on time in One Hundred Years. It seemed to me that time (as well as any number of other themes in this book) works simultaneously on several levels: the history of Colombia, the history of Latin America, the history of cultures in general, the story of an individual man's life... In fact, magical realism seems to be especially well suited to capturing the particular frequencies at which life resonates most exquisitely... and that the writers drawn to this style are perhaps especially aware of this resonance, even (especially?) in the every- day-ness of life. Or maybe they're just more interested than others in bringing this awareness to their writing. Anyway, I thought the quote you mentioned "The world was so recent that many things lacked names" could apply to any of these levels, from the generically cultural to the individual, and would describe a time in the youth of either when the culture/individual was alive to many more possibilities than it/he was later, after certain choices had been made and after the succession of events both internal and external supported the exploration of certain possibilities at the expense of others. There's something about naming things, necessary as it is, that closes off certain possibilities, sometimes forever. I was thinking too how when I first read this book I was working with stroke patients and how this "without names" thing (and isn't there also a character in the book who realizes he's losing the names of things and attempts to hold onto those names by labelling the objects?) sets up an interesting symmetry with a kind of aphasia called anomia, in which the patient loses the names of things, can't even describe how to use various objects... but when allowed to hold the object in question (e.g., a comb, a fork, a pencil), automatically makes whatever motion is typically made when using the object -- and then is able to name the object! So, with these patients we have a phenomenon in which the use of an object, as recalled via "muscle memory", is used to call up the object's name, while in One Hundred Years we have a character who seeks to hold on to the names of things as a way of holding on to their uses as well. I had no idea what this symmetry signifies (other than a lovely commentary on living in a physical world -- or this particular one anyway, and on the oddly intimate relationship between the name of an object and its availability to being used as designed -- the organization of learned information, perhaps?), but I found this symmetry absolutely fascinating! Lynn =============== Reply 20 of Note 1 =================  
To: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Date: 06/24 From: EUCR61A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 4:55 PM Lynn: I'm at the office, supposedly turning out legal gibberish, but I just had to get online and peek.... Since I started on this board, and particularly since I started reading this thread on OHYOS, and MOST especially since I read the book and have started rereading it again, I find myself walking around muttering to myself about the density and complexity of it all. This is a truly imaginative work in the largest sense. I agree with you completely about the multi-level aspects of the story as well: previous notes on the golden fish discussed their role as symbol, and as foil for the Colonel's obsessive behavior (frankly, all those Buendia boys seem a little tightly wound to me). It also seemed to me the fish had links to Christian symbolism -- the rebels using the tiny golden fish to identify each other is certainly reminiscent of early Christians (believers?) scratching out the shape of a fish in the dust to silently signal each other. Of course, if that's at all accurate, there is irony here as well: the Liberal/anti-clerical party using Christian symbols for their own perpetration. This is similar to the irony of the Conservative cannon knocking down the church, so that the Colonel could order it rebuilt. As the priest said, "Silly...." Overarching all this detail, is the greater trend: that as the revolutionaries pursue their ends, they become ever more the hated conservatives, right up to the point of replacing the oppressive morality of the church with their own rigid, secular morality. That is a recurring theme throughout the book: intended results (by the men, especially) tend to produce the exact opposite of what is desired. For example, the entire concept of "progress" becomes absurd as the book resolves: the very earliest version of the village, was happier and more productive (Edenic, except I wasn't quite sure about who the snake was supposed to be) than at almost any later time; and every effort at modernity seemed to end in ever greater levels of disaster for the individuals and for the village as a whole. In that sense, the Colonel's little fish are a metaphor for that entire theme: the Colonel was a happier and more complete man when he exercised the homely skills of the artisan, than he ever was as a conqueror, warrior and modern man. And of course, golden fish are PURE fish.... and on and on and on. I also agree with you on the breadth of the historical bases for the book. Clearly, now that I've had a chance to check out Colombian history a bit this is very historical stuff, to a point. There are so many curious lapses and you wonder how seriously to take them: as I posted someplace else, the only Macondo in my atlases is in the remote backcountry of Angola, up the Zambezi. When I first posted that note, I thought I was probably overreaching; but what do I find at the end of the book, but Marquez coyly mentioning a misdirected letter that goes to the Makounde (spelling?) people of Tanganyika. So, his far-reaching eye did get as far as Africa, in his search for wordplay. Is the remoteness of the real village a passing metaphor for the pyschological distance from the fictional one? Gosh, I don't know, but as I said, I've been talking to myself about this stuff for days. And, how about the seasons? Have you noticed they're backwards? At one point, August is mentioned as a winter month; this simply makes the geographic local ANYWHERE in Spanish America (since only a fragment of Colombia is below the equator, and that fragment is very far removed from the northeastern peninsular area that appears to be the "historic" area for the books's location -- near Riohaco). As with everything else in this book, all is soft and out-of-focus on the edges; you picked the absolutely correct words when you said the work was resonant with life's exquisite frequencies. There is no clarity and absoluteness in real life, and certainly not in matters of human relations. And, as for the time stuff, I'm running out of it on this end; boy, I haven't had this much fun in a long time. Dick in Alaska where the gentle rains are ending =============== Reply 21 of Note 1 =================  
To: EUCR61A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 06/24 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:11 PM Just a note to let you all know that I am reading OHYOS along with you (about 80 pages to go) and these notes have certainly expanded it for me, as usual. Was curious as to how many English translations there are. The one I have is done by Gregory Rabassa. Is that one fairly universal or do the rest of you have different translations? I loved reading this. I've enjoyed all the examples of "magical realism" that I've read thus far, but this book goes beyond any of them in complexity and depth. So many of the images (butterflys, gold fishes, etc.) often seemed to me to be indefinable in objective verbal terms, but more an expression of a non-verbal quality. Richard's note on the translations thread re: an underlying universality in languages would seem to fit here. Also, regarding OHYOS's complexity, it was interesting to me that this book seems to be so embraced here when TO THE LIGHTHOUSE seemed to almost irritate some people. I know that they are incredibly different styles. However, I found myself doing the same thing with both of them--going back and reading a sentence or section over and over again to try and fully appreciate it's language, meaning, etc (and being very glad that I had.) Also, this Latin exaggeration of the male and female traditional roles was fascinating to me. Most of the women seemed to trudge along keeping life going, often much more adept at the work of doing what must be done. And, the men are off on various intellectual and/or pride-fulfilling quests. This is perhaps an oversimplification on my part as well, but it conveys the general sense that I perceived. And, I loved Ursula! Barbara =============== Reply 22 of Note 1 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 06/24 From: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Time: 11:59 PM Barb: The last 80 pages are the BEST! I have read that section at least 4 times so far, and the last 15 pages, many more than that. In a way it's disappointing: sort of a deux ex machina deal (I won't go into details in this note, until you're done). While we learn a great deal of the "how" and "what" underlying the story at this point, we still are left with the fundamental mystery of "why". This is were the discussion of the time issue should probably start -- the one @ fka Steve was interested in before incipient stardom turned his head away from literature and towards mammon and the silver screen, but who's noticing. I agree with your thoughts on the male/female roles -- aren't the women so immensely more successful in this book than the men? I know absolutely nothing about Latin American literature, so I've been taking everyone's word about the use of archetypes in the story. My only thought was, for archetypes, there sure seem to be a bundle of them. In short, I actually thought many of the characters were quite interesting on an individual level, which doesn't square with my preconception of 'archetype.' Anyway. I've got the same translation as you; no clue as to how many there are. When you finish the last 80 pages, tell me: just who the devil was Melquiades? What does his role do to and for the story? I'd sure like to read more about this. Dick in Alaska, where he is mere hours away from setting sail on ice green seas, filled with chortling whales, the insouciant otter and a multitude of broken-down ex-dinosaurs trying to pass as seabirds. =============== Reply 23 of Note 1 =================  
To: ZRPD32A RICHARD HAGGART Date: 06/25 From: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Time: 10:35 AM Richard--The notes after your signature usually intrigue me, but I cannot resist today's! Tell me more about "setting sail on ice green seas, filled with chortling whales, the incouciant otter and a multitude of broken-down ex-dinosaurs trying to pass as seabirds." Interesting to find all these attorneys with a poetic bent. Barb =============== Reply 24 of Note 1 =================  
To: NCSH82B BARBARA MOORS Date: 06/25 From: FNMN56E LYNN EVANS Time: 1:00 PM Barbara -- A short note on translations: As far as I know, the only English translation of One Hundred Years is by Gregory Rabassa. In fact, I think Rabassa did most of GGM's earlier books, while Edith Grossman did his later books. I vaguely remember reading somewhere why the switch in translators (I don't think it was GGM's choice but something to do with Rabassa wanting to do something else?) -- but I can't remember the specifics! Lynn =============== Reply 25 of Note 1 =================  
To: VRCH78A ALLEN CROCKER Date: 06/27 From: MXDD10A DALE SHORT Time: 11:01 AM Allen: Beautiful, beautiful scene you quote from ONE HUNDRED YEARS, i.e.: "He stayed there forever, thinking it was the real room." The last few pages of the book are like a whirlwind, indeed. Put my brain in a daze for a long time, afterward. >>Dale in Ala.


Gabriel Garcia Marquez

I do want to add that not only do the Latin writers (and GGM in particular) seem to be able to explore and describe the world in terms of childlike wonder, emotions disguised as flowers, and trails of blood, but they also tend to include all of our senses in the experiences of the characters and ourselves.
The book is indeed an experience, and I echo your thanks to Sarah. I simply never would have wandered into this without her addition of it to the list.
This book made a strong impression on me. I, like Allen, found it captivating from the first page. The simple village "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 ragged gypsies with their marvelous distractions, the bold picture of Melquiades with his "untamed beard and sparrow hands", these images led me slyly and easily into Macondo and the Buendia family circle to witness the evolution of their world.
Joe B.
This is a truly imaginative work in the largest sense.

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