Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Spanish: Cien años de soledad, 1967), by Gabriel García Márquez, is a novel that tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founds the town of Macondo, the metaphoric Colombia. The non-linear story is narrated via different time frames, a technique derived from the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (as in The Garden of Forking Paths).
The widely acclaimed book, considered by many to be the author’s masterpiece, was first published in Spanish in 1967, and subsequently has been translated into thirty-seven languages and has sold more than 20 million copies. The magical realist style and thematic substance of One Hundred Years of Solitude established it as an important, representative novel of the literary Latin American Boom of the 1960s and 1970s, that was stylistically influenced by Modernism (European and North American), and the Cuban Vanguardia (Vanguard) literary movement.
One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) is the story of seven generations of the Buendía Family in the town of Macondo. The founding patriarch of Macondo, José Arcadio Buendía, and Úrsula, his wife (and first cousin), leave Riohacha, Colombia, to find a better life and a new home. One night of their emigration journey, whilst camping on a riverbank, José Arcadio Buendía dreams of “Macondo”, a city of mirrors that reflected the world in and about it. Upon awakening, he decides to found Macondo at the river side; after days of wandering the jungle, José Arcadio Buendía’s founding of Macondo is utopic.
Founding patriarch José Arcadio Buendía believes Macondo to be surrounded by water, and from that island, he invents the world according to his perceptions. Soon after its foundation, Macondo becomes a town frequented by unusual and extraordinary events that involve the generations of the Buendía family, who are unable or unwilling to escape their periodic (mostly) self-inflicted misfortunes. Ultimately, a hurricane destroys Macondo, the city of mirrors; just the cyclical turmoil inherent to Macondo. At the end of the story, a Buendía man deciphers an encrypted cipher that generations of Buendía family men had failed to decipher. The secret message informed the recipient of every fortune and misfortune lived by the Buendía Family generations.