Monday, November 25, 2013

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and The 1001 Nights

Melquiades the Gypsy and The Metal Ingots by Lozano Mary (for sale (with other Cien Anos inspired paintings) at: -

Just finished teaching One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A remarkable book and most surprising, perhaps, for its secret resilience to the outside world which, for the most part, has chosen to either vilify it as an unsurpassable hegemony or adore it in romantically annoying ways.

In any event, of course the Nights infuse themselves (in shadows) into the carpet of Solitude. They are everywhere after all. Here we have Aureliano Segundo discovering them wilting in his grandfather's forgotten workshop, having been brought to Macondo long ago (many years before?) by Melquiades:

"On the shelves were the books bound in a cardboard-like material, pale, like tanned human skin, and the manuscripts were intact. In spite of the room's having been shut up for many years, the air seemed fresher than in the rest of the house. Everything was so recent that several weeks later, when Ursula went into the room with a pail of water and a brush to wash the floor, there was nothing for her to do. Aureliano Segundo was deep in the reading of a book. Although it had no cover and the title did not appear anywhere, the boy enjoyed the story of a woman who sat at a table and ate nothing but kernels of rice, which she picked up with a pin, and the story of the fisherman who borrowed a weight for his net from a neighbor and when he gave him a fish in payment later it had a diamond in its stomach, and the one about the lamp that fulfilled wishes and about flying carpets. Surprised, he asked Ursula if all that was true and she answered him that it was, that many years ago the gypsies had brought magic lamps and flying mats to Macondo" (183).

This is from the 1970 translation by Gregory Rabassa, Harperperennial's 2006 update & etc.

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