It is impossible to talk about Latin American literature without referring to One Hundred Years of Solitude and the writer Gabriel García Márquez who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.
This novel is not only considered a masterpiece of universal literature, but it is also one of the most widely read works in Spanish being one of the most translated works into other languages.
The Royal Spanish Academy and the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language have considered it part of the great Hispanic classics of all time.
CPI Spanish immersion school gives you the opportunity to discover One Hundred Years of Solitude and the work of Gabriel García Márquez from the comfort of your home through our online Spanish classes.
Gabriel García Márquez was multifaceted and prolific as a writer, scriptwriter and journalist, and among his numerous works are short stories, novels, chronicles, journalistic writing and short novels. He was born in Aracataca, Magdalena, Colombia on March 6, 1927.
When the Swedish Academy awarded him the Nobel Prize, it noted: “Like most major writers in the Latin American world, García Marquez is deeply committed politically to the poor and weak and against national oppression and foreign economic exploitation”. It also highlighted his journalistic work “in which he does not just deal with political issues, but also touches on a wide variety of topics in an ingenious and often provocative way."
No one doubts García Márquez’s ability to introduce the reader to the Latin American reality and the ins-and-outs of the human condition through imagination.
One Hundred Years of Solitude is his best-known novel and a true reflection of the literary movement known as magical realism which attempts to show the unreal or strange as something ordinary or common, a movement which had its peak in Latin America in the 60s and 70s of the 20th century.
The first edition was published in Buenos Aires in 1967 with 8,000 copies and great reception from critics and the public. To date, the novel has been translated into 35 languages and more than 50 million copies have been sold.
The novel tells the story of the Buendía family over six generations, from José Arcadio Buendía and his wife Ursula, belonging to one of the founding families of the village, where the plot takes place to the sixth, Aureliano Babilonia.
Set in the 20th century the story shows the war between liberals and conservatives, a struggle which Colonel Aureliano Buendía, belonging to the second generation, is involved.
Macondo is the famous village invented by the writer; the magical realism that permeates his works was characterized by the Swedish Academy in the following manner, “since the late 1940s, his novels and stories drag us to that strange place where the miraculous and the most purely real meet - the splendid flight of one’s own fantasy, excessive fabulations and concrete facts that emerge from the depths of the village, literary allusions, graphic descriptions, palpable and sometimes oppressive, carried out with the precision of a report. ”
In One Hundred Years of Solitude, magical realism is reflected in unrealistic elements, such as Ursula’s fear of having a child born with a pig's tail since she and her husband are cousins, or a long-lasting flood in which Macondo has been immersed for years.
At the beginning of the novel the presence of the gypsies is of great importance, bringing new inventions to the town and awakening in José Arcadio Buendía the desire for alchemy, which ends up driving him to madness. Among the gypsies, Melquiades stands out, living with the family until his death, and leaving behind some manuscripts that could only be deciphered after a hundred years.
Loneliness is also ever-present throughout the work and inevitably permeates its characters, “...because lineages condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not stand a second chance on earth.”
Learn more about Gabriel García Márquez’s fascinating work online through the specialized CPI Spanish workshops; CPI Spanish institute in https://www.cpi-edu.com/. And for more tips on learning Spanish online, we invite you to follow our blog The Pura Vida Experience.