Magic Realism of Marquez : A priceless loss

The style of magic realism uses realistic details alongside magical details. Thus the ordinary is joined with fantasy in way that invites the reader to accept both in trying to make sense of the text. It becomes difficult to distinguish between reality and fantasy in this style since neither is valued.  Gabo invented this.

Gabriel García Márquez’s, Chronicle of a Death Foretold is an adventure into the world of magical realism and is sure to captivate those who have already traveled to the world of Macondo. It is a brief read, but despite the size, is quite impactful and profound. Chronicle of a Death Foretold is ultimately a reflection on the power of words, the structure of Latin American society, and the inefficiency of broken regimes. It will leave you in introspection and is worth several reads in order to take in all of the layers.

‘Life is so complicated to understand at the same time the working mind of every people, how they think, they act or develop in their entire life. When I was walking nearby a bar, I saw an old man wearing his new clothes bought from the department store while guided by his nurse and stick, and entered a bar. I cannot imagine such scene in my mind especially the sexual interaction between an old man and a very young lady’. In Memories of my Melancholy Whores , Gabriel García Márquez, put you into deepest imagination while reading a very interesting and lonely letter of a 90-year-old man searching for a girl. An old bachelor man is searching for a young virgin on his 90th birthday to enjoy his old  mind. Until he met a 14-year-old girl, searching for money to help her family, through Rosa Cabarcas, the owner of the illicit house.

When I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude, finishing it at 4:00 in the morning, aged twenty one, I lay the book on my chest and said aloud to myself, “That was the best book I’ve ever read.” I had fared badly in my graduation results which had come out the day before. Looking back, it seems to have prepared me for many things that were to come, but at the time it felt like a totality, a final culmination of everything that a book could ever do or contain. It erased my depression.

As with any other truly great experience, One Hundred Years of Solitude evolves and grows with you, encompassing more and more of what the universe has to show and teach you over the years. The novel chronicles several generations of the Buendía family through the evolutions and revolutions and metamorphoses of the fictional/mythical town Macondo, One Hundred Years of Solitude sets up its own internal rules, following truths and logics exclusive to itself as its Genesis-like overture creates the book’s world and then carries the reader through its Bible-like begats that follow in dizzying succession and repetition. The universe of Macondo is peopled by patriarchs and matriarchs and prophets and magicians who seem to circle through a fluid time and morph into each other, some characters even living to an age much longer than the novel’s ostensible one hundred years.

In Autumn of the Patriarch, the General deteriorates from a deformed, charismatic stud into a mindless blood beast imprisoned on the “throne of illusions” that his power creates, unable to say what is true now, or what was true in the beginning. He comes to think of himself as God and names his son Emanuel. A reader grows somewhat weary at times over the excesses, the repetition and predictability of certain sections–that old man walking endlessly through the palace corridors, kicking lepers and beggars in the courtyard, tending the resident cows on the stairs and taking the concubines by surprise, and there is a yearning for some pithy understatement. But García Márquez  believes not only that excess is good for you, but that it is essential, that a book must have an immensity about it in the same way life is enormous–and dense and mysterious and as repetitiously predictable as the General’s vengeance for an affront. How else, his novel implicitly asks, could the story of interminable dictatorship be told?

Garcia Marquez, Mario Llosa and Julio Cortazar – the three musketeers of Latin American literature wrote out of a cornucopia of imagery, an outpouring and a richness of language that has formed the signature of my mind’s substance and language. From today, I will go through 100 years of solitude again to rediscover the magic realism of one of the greatest writers of our time.



2 thoughts on “Magic Realism of Marquez : A priceless loss

  1. Pingback: Magic Realism of Marquez : A priceless loss | Alekhya Talapatra

  2. Pingback: Magic Realism of Marquez : A priceless loss – Alekhya Talapatra

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