Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Synopsis

-- Brings together the best criticism on the most widely read poets, novelists, and playwrights

-- Presents complex critical portraits of the most influential writers in the English-speaking world -- from the English medievalists to contemporary writers

Excerpt

Macondo, according to Carlos Fuentes, "begins to proliferate with the richness of a Columbian Yoknapatawpha." Faulkner, crossed by Kafka, is at the literary origins of Gabriel García Márquez.So pervasive is the Faulknerian influence that at times one hears Joyce and Conrad, Faulkner's masters, echoed in García Márquez, yet almost always as mediated by Faulkner. The Autumn of the Patriarch may be too pervaded by Faulkner, but One Hundred Years of Solitude absorbsFaulkner, as it does all other influences, into a phantasmagoria so powerful and self-consistent that the reader never questions the authority of García Márquez.Perhaps, as Reinold Arenas suggested,Faulkner is replaced by Carpentier and Kafka by Borges in One Hundred Years of Solitude, so that the imagination of García Márquez domesticates itself within its own language. Macondo, visionary realm, is an Indian and Hispanic act of consciousness, very remote from Oxford, Mississippi, and from the Jewish cemetery in Prague.In his subsequent work, García Márquez went back to Faulkner and Kafka, but then One Hundred Years of Solitude is a miracle and could happen only once, if only because it is less a novel than it is a Scripture, the Bible of Macondo.Melquíades the Magus, who writes in Sanskrit, may be more a mask for Borges than for the author himself, and yet the Gypsy storyteller also connects García Márquez to the archaic Hebrew storyteller, the Yahwist, at once the greatest of realists and the greatest of fantasists but above all the only true rival of Homer and Tolstoy as a storyteller.

My primary impression, in the act of rereading One Hundred Years of Solitude, is a kind of aesthetic battle fatigue, since every page is rammed full of life beyond the capacity of any single reader to absorb. Whether the impacted quality of this novel's texture is finally a virtue I am not sure, since sometimes I feel like a man invited to dinner who has been served . . .

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