Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cien años de soledad (2)

The comic images are sublime. One that sticks out in particular is J.A.B. putting together the player piano. Like everything he does, he does it with great enthusiasm and disregard for detail. The moment when the piano starts playing all out of tune because the strings are out of order is truly hilarious. And does it stop the people of Macondo from having a party? No. They dance until dawn to music void of any key or rhythm. I love this image. A celebration of the spirit of celebration. The party goes on even though the music is all wrong.

On page 74 (of my copy) we find out that Aureliano remembered something else as he faced the firing squad: Melquiades' disjointed writing. Writing that he didn't even understand. This is an even more unlikely scenario than him remembering the day his father took him to discover ice. I think Marquez is again playing with the reader's faith in the narrator.

The moment when the insomnia virus hits the townspeople of Macondo and they work day and night without noticing the need for sleep, echoes Genesis. God had a lot to do in those first six days and nights and the townspeople of Macondo have a lot to do to catch up with the outside world. I'm not sure about the rest of the townspeople, but J.A.B. is hell-bent on progress. The gypsies keep on introducing new objects into the town and pitch them as objects of entertainment (the flying carpet for example), he sees them as possibilities for progress. I'm interested to see how Marquez will explore the impact of progress. Will it bring happiness or misery to the people of Macondo? Or will they remain unchanged and continue to be just as absorbed in family affairs.

Melquiades didn't die! More evidence that we can't trust the narrator. Certain mysteries carry their thread through the myriad of stories that Marquez throws at the reader.
The questions I have are...
-What will Macondo transform into?
-What happened to Jose Arcadio after he left with the gypsies.
-And when and why will Aureliano face a firing squad?


  1. Just one detail... we will see that Melquíades's disjointed writing proves rather important by the end of the book...

  2. Thats one of the big themes in this book progress.
    Theres various different forms of progress that where shown: the towns progress into the more modern world, progress of time, the buendia family, etc.