#Solitude in the midst of turmoil : Reflection on Marquez Gabriel Garcia, One Hundred Years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude Book Cover One Hundred Years of Solitude
Marquez Gabriel Garcia
Fiction
Penguin
1967
422

Writing this while on air somewhere in the Atlantic between America and Europe, I could not help but starting by citing…“the world must be all fucked up …when men travel first class and literature goes as freight” (406). Indeed the world is f***** up! But, in this very situation of a f***** up solitude exists… Marquez could not be better. I haven’t stopped been in awe while reading every sentence of this mastery creative fictional piece! It’s all of what Kyeku is recently groupie (ing) on…a #Package…in a #Frameless fantansy. Kyeku is in love with the #Package although….taken…yet a writer, imaginary, admirable, epic, and in his own mars of creative writer….the master and ‘founder’ of ‘storifying’ …Oxford dictionary may better include the term in its next edition!

Disclaimer: forgive me and when you read this please understand Kyeku has completely taken over writing while listening to a self made play list including T.I, Ja Rule, J.Lopez, Alicia Keys (my frameless doll), TLC, and Aretha Franklin…it’s the power of solitude in insomnia.

Well, Marquez in this classic fiction unfolds a tapestry – not so beautiful yet a real description of the mess that is happening in the world. My gosh…I cant even dare mention G-d here, as this world is full of drama that we often try not to remember. Hundred Years of Solitude is a story of a family across generations bringing in characters acting in a world full of drama embroiled in science, wars, politics, love, sex, infidelity, history, mystery, faith, religion, superstition, international relations, etc. The genius of Marquez is how he could put all these together…As one of the characters, Aurelino said “everything is known” (388) but I think the question is, how do we put what is known into a coherent story? That is why the world is indeed f***** up because literature has been going as freight…while it is the only means through which we can make sense of the messy world often ‘led’ by people traveling on first class…or they think they lead it…

Anyways, as a wannabe creative writer, I have been impressed by Marquez’ imaginary capacity, formulation of characters, and description of solitude amidst turmoil and lots of chaos. In the last chapters (particularly the two last chapters), Marquez gives an almost personal and emotional tribute to literature as he concludes an amazing story of a chaotic family drama. It is almost a ‘eulogy’…uugh! Am hanging…! Salman Rushdie said it’s “the greatest novel in any language of the last fifty years”…what about that?

This novel is classic! It is an artwork that has captured so many different bitter and untold mysteries and realities going on the world but within a single family. What happen in the wider world is often sad realities in everyday lives of many families.

Marquez is definitely deep in his understanding of the world. I realized my mouth’s wide open when I came across Tanganyika and Makonde mentioned as it was mistook for by Macondo – the fictional country that the novel is set. Marquez also brings in Congo Léopoldville, which is of much interest to me…just last week in an undergraduate class at Emory University Aikande had a discussion on King Leopold Congo with the students in trying to understand resource curse and historical accumulation of material from Africa.

Anyways, since I can’t really reflect on this book (if you know me well, you must have realized that am now rumbling) as I might need to either sit back and give it a serious thought or re-read it before I can have the audacity of saying I’ve understood the fathomless Marquez’ mastery piece. (Aikande will have to help Kyeku here). But let me speak of power of women as expressed throughout the book…where Marquez did it consciously or unconsciously, the book is an implicit account of the power of women in domestic and national affairs – see character Ursula for example…she, for me, was a hidden leader of Macondo. The men of the town, however strong they may have looked, they had their lives messed up and cheered up by the women. My fellow ladies, don’t mind so much about ‘feminism’, I repeat, our very weaknesses are our strength…play cool and win!

Anyways, in the very beginning Marquez writes on the conversation between the Malquiades, and Jose Arcadio Buendia…where this sentence came up “science has eliminated distance” (3), and indeed it has…But in thinking over this sentence I could not stop thinking of the roundtable discussion by key IR scholars/authorities including Joseph Nye and Barry Buzan on Technology and IR at ISA 2015 this week …Prof. Buzan spoke about the difference between ‘distribution of power’ – which has been the focus of IR since its inception – and ‘mode of power’ and the shifting mode of power- of which the world is currently experiencing and IR is probably not so ready in explaining it….SO, I am experiencing this shifting as am at the moment in an ‘hegemony’ owned airline (Delta) where there’s a wi-fi but too expensive (US $ 11.9 per hour) and so I cant afford it…while three weeks ago I was in an Arab owned airline (Emirates) and I could access internet for a 15 hours flight for only US $ 1…and it is a perfect encounter of the ‘shifting mode of power’….and relating it to Marquez’s addiction on solitude…am thinking amidst all the turmoil in the shifting mode of power process…am ‘forced’ to be in solitude….may be, I conclude…solitude is most powerful of all…

Lord Jesus took a solitary walk.

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  1. Hemingway Ernest (1927). Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises. London. Arrow Books | Aikande Kwayu

    […] boldly highlighted this implicit power of women hidden in their perceived weaknesses -examples here and here… and it’s impressive to again see this so vivid in Hemingway’s novel. Brett, who was […]

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