One Hundred Years of Solitude is a novel, published in 1967 by the Colombian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez. This novel follows the background of an isolated town and the family who founded it, and is set in Macondo, which appears to be a personalized view of Marquez’ Columbia. The family, the Buendias, consists of several generations, the first being Ursula Iguaran and Jose Arcadio Buendia, a wife and husband. This novel has been stated to be a prominent representation of the Latin American Boom, which occurred between the 1960s and 1970s.
This novel is one of Marquez’s more complex pieces of written work and immediately holds recognizable elements to the reader. The novel is consisting of chapters which are not numbered, and the first chapter narrates the Buendia family. There are numerous themes and elements put to play in Marquez’s novel, and many describe it to be one of his most intricate works, being that it is difficult to read as far as its aim and point overall. Regardless of this fact, it’s nearly impossible to argue that Solitude is not worthy of its high praise. In fact, the novel won several awards from Italy, France, and Venezuela.
There are countless themes and motifs in Marquez’s book, primarily that of solitude, reality, cyclical time, and fantasy. Gabriel mixes a fascinating juxtaposition of differing elements to create his work and relay the story of the Buendia. Marquez combines reality with fantasy and machismo and heroism, prompting the reader to question what is real and what is not, as well as giving them an awareness of the family’s fate. The book covers over a century of history of the family and follows each relationship or situation a member is involved with, whether it is birth, death, affairs, or marriages. Both devotion and solitude seem to be prominent themes and states in the work, with characters expressing and experiencing both states of being.
It is difficult to argue that this written work should not be immediately consumed by eyes still blind to it. Marquez’s novel is of great and prominent distinction, and to this day is still considered to be one of the top novels which have shaped world literature in the past two decades. In a New York Times book review, William Kennedy expresses that the novel should be “required reading for the entire human race”, as he states that Marquez relays a significant message or sense to the reader which is “profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life”.