Friday, January 28, 2011

Aimless Reading: The M's, Part 20.1 (Gabriel García Márquez)

García Márquez, García Márquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude


Not sure when or where I bought this. I have owned it for a long time, but whether I bought after college living in NYC or while I was still in college, I have no idea.

I liked this novel better than the other one I read by García Márquez. I weirdly remember the name of a character -- Colonel Aureliano Buendía. I say 'weirdly' I almost never remember the names of characters in books. I guess the fact that this one's surname was "Good Day" stayed with me, both because it made me laugh and because the book opens with him facing a firing squad. O irony.

And something about a United Fruit.

And something about a band of gypsies bringing ice cubes to a village in the jungle.

But that's about it. I guess if I ever do return to reading him in Spanish, I'd probably read this.

Weird, I have a memory of purchasing a copy in Spanish at the Yale foreign book store (which is incredible, BTW, if you ever happen to be in New Haven). If I did, I must have given it away. Or maybe I just saw it on the shelf at the store and thought to myself, I really should read that in the original language someday. I have said that many times before.

Looking at my excerpt, it seems all I remember is the first page. La la.

from One Hundred Years of Solitude

Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point. Every year during the month of March a family of ragged gypsies would set up their tents near the village, and with a great uproar of pipes and kettledrums they would display new inventions. First they brought the magnet. A heavy gypsy with an untamed beard and sparrow hands, who introduced himself as Melquíades, put on a bold public demonstration of what he himself called the eighth wonder of the learned alchemists of Macedonia. He went from house to house dragging two metal ingots and everybody was amazed to see pots, pans, tongs, and braziers tumble down from their places and beams creak from the desperation of nails and screws trying to emerge, and even objects that had been lost for a long time appeared from where they had been searched for most and went dragging along in turbulent confusion behind Melquíades' magical irons. "Things have a life of their own," the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. "It's simply a matter of waking up their souls."

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