More fun with Shimelle’s Color Challenge… and therefore more about the wonderful color green… I would imagine that by now you can tell that it is simply my favorite. It has been my favorite for the longest time and there is no sign of that chaning any time soon.
I now consider it quite unfortunate that I have not read any other novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez up until this point. This is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for quite some time, but some how had never managed to do so. Fortunately, I have now corrected that and plan to read much more of his work in the future.
This magical novel, set in the mythical town of Macondo, follows the rise and fall of the Buendia family. Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran are the heads of the Buendia clan and founders of Macondo. They inhabit this book and the town of Macondo with a fierce tenacity set on the survival and success of their clan. But while the Buendia clan does seem set on survival its members somehow always end up striving for this on their own. In life, love, war and death this is a family of individuals fighting their own very personal battles.
Each Buendia lives in a world that is self created. Amaranta looses her one true love and lives in a world of bitter jealously and resentment, never allowing another into her heart. She never finds peace even when she eventually accepts that she will die before her rival and sister, Rebbecca. Colonel Aureliano Beundia who fought 37 battles and won none retreats into his own world saying “I am sorry, but the war has done away with everything.” Melquiades, a traveling magic man of sorts, haunts the novel even after his death. But that is not so unusual for death in this world is never the end of things– it is merely a different way of being.
Too vast to pin down to any one place this novel takes over and envelopes you into its world. Taking much care that you enter alone- for it is the only way to truly grasp the heart-wrenching beauty of One Hundred Years of Solitude.
In this work Asne Seierstad managed to lift me out of my own reality and into Afghanistan and a reality so very different from what I know. A world where many different ruling factions have made selling books a crime and yet a man, Sultan, persists in doing so- because he feels strongly the need for books and history in his society. He is a free thinker and a modern man, but in his home he rules with an intensity that makes me shudder. It is so hard for me to grasp a place where as a woman you have no options, as I think of them now, no freedom to follow your heart or to walk your own path. A place where it is tantamount to adultery to accept letters from a boy and where a woman is most honorable if she expresses no will of her own.
Don’t misunderstand me- this is a slice of life from Kabul and does not represent the whole, a whole that I have very little understanding of… but this slice is mesmerizing. Seierstad artfully creates a space for you to sit with her as she observes this Afghani family trying to survive and thrive in the impossible seeming world that they live in.
Simply put this work is amazing.
oh sweet little place to write and dream- i have quite forgotten you, well not forgotten- just not done anything here in so very long… but now it is summer break and i feel like once again visiting and playing here and i am hoping that i make this space part of my day again. for what- i know not just yet, but it will come to me.
the air is warm and summer is all around me. as a teacher person this is the first proper summer break i have ever had (read proper as going back to the same school, not moving across oceans, not spending the entire time in classes, and generally getting to do whatever i fancy until the end of july– read wonderful).
i am quite pleased on the whole- though i feel like this will also be a good time to pay attention to a lot of the things that i want to pay attention to, but have managed, quite brilliantly to ignore. so it goes and we shall see what becomes of it.