Sunday, March 7, 2010

Cien años de soledad (1)

My mind is a whirlwind with all that has happened so far in the book. But has anything really happened? Really being the key word. Marquez weaves stories together with such speed and finesse that one can begin and end in a paragraph. Some of his sentences are large enough to make Proust jealous. And in them, a blizzard of activity and comas. One such sentence describes the sex act between Jose Arcadio and Pilar. In a run on sentence nearly a page in length, he captures the breathlessness and frenetic pace of the act.

Every sexual encounter is out of the ordinary. Aureliano is a very broken man when he approaches Pilar for sex. He is delusional from his rejection by Remedios, has mud and puke all over him and it is in this moment that he asks for sex. Marquez paints the picture of a man down further than on his knees and what better way to do that than with mud and vomit. Brilliant!

The sex scene between Jose Arcadio and the prepubescent gypsy girl is disturbing. The contrast of her age and fragility with his massive member is just wrong. I get the feeling that Marquez is deliberately provoking the reader by showing what is possible in the twisted world of Macondo where incest and sexual acts of questionable morality are the norm. And then... it was “Jueves”. Out of the red, the sex scene is interrupted by an arbitrary time marker.

Now is a good moment to talk about randomness and its effects on the mind of a student trained to read stories that follow a linear direction. It's dizzying, confusing and exciting. I'm enjoying spending time in this world where anything can happen at any moment. That said, it's also exhausting keeping track of what's going on. If this book with the quilt, it would have infinite squares from of the number of the stories woven together.

I find it interesting that the town changed more from the changes that came with the spike in population than from the new arrivals than from the exciting imports of the Gypsies. I'm interested to see how Macondo will change as the book goes on. The clocks that J.A.B. installed in every house is telling of things to come. Progress is in the air. Or is it? The only thing certain is that nothing in this book is predictable.

1 comment:

  1. I agree completely, that this book is so different than other books we are used to studying in school, and it feels like a nice breath of fresh air. I to am interested in what changes are in store for Macondo, it is definitely not a book one can predict, and I find it interesting how Marquez continuously finds new ways to find solitude.