Latin American Literature and Magical Realism discussion

Favorite Gabriel Garcia Marquez book?

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message 1: by Meredith (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:02PM) (new)

Meredith (mereditas) | 3 comments Mod
What is your favorite work by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and why?

(This will probably be more interesting when we have more members, but thought I'd open the opportunity for discussion)

message 2: by Joseph (new)

Joseph (letsgothrow) I'm glad I found this group. I have just started my love affair with Latin American literature.

So far my favorite GGM read would have to be 100 Years of Solitude . The book is so rich in storytelling, characterization, and theme, and is a completely different way of looking at the world as opposed to most other traditional Western plotting and plot devices.

Is it a book about love, industrialization, imperialism, or loss? Or some mysterious amalgamation of all those?

Oh! and the ending. Amazing!

message 3: by David (new)

David Olivas (do0048) | 6 comments My favorite book from Gabo, is "Love In The Time Of Cholera". I truly enjoy the way he describes the bliss of adoration and how insane it can make those blessed with such emotion.

message 4: by Doug (last edited May 06, 2009 07:03AM) (new)

Doug | 8 comments I've got to go with "El otoño del patriarca" (The Autumn of the Patriarch). This novel is highly experimental and, I believe, is even more fun than "Cien años de soledad" (One Hundred Years of Solitude). It's one of Latin America's best critical (and mythic) approaches to the dictator theme. Good stuff.

message 5: by David (new)

David Olivas (do0048) | 6 comments Once again, I agree with Doug. Yet, "Love In The Time Of Cholera" is my favorite, because of the joy Gabo exudes when telling a story of unrequited love.

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited May 18, 2009 05:02PM) (new)

One "Hundred Years Of Solitude" is a tour de force for anyone who enjoys Latin American Literature, and my favorite book from Gabo. I wouldn't dare to criticize this book in any shape, way, or form, since to me, it would be like a simple mortal criticizing the work of the creator. I also have to say that I really liked "The General in His Labyrinth". This is a very objective and realistic story about the last days of Simon Bolivar, a Latin American hero. Probably this book appeals more to a Latin American audience, but you never know, some of you may enjoy it as much as I did.

message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindarkv) | 8 comments I first read "One Hundred Years of Soliltude" in high school translated into English and appreciated the innovation in style. It was not until I reread it recently in the original Spanish that I fully appreciated his genius. GGM may translate well, but nothing comes close to his magic in his native tongue. For anyone starting to read in Spanish, I heartily recommend trying some of his short stories. You will be amazed at how easy he is to read and understand.

message 8: by Nataly (new)

Nataly (nar00) | 1 comments One Hundred Years of Solicitude is a classic and will never undermine its brilliance but i have to say that my favorite is Eyes of a Blue Dog.

message 9: by Julia (new)

Julia (jujulia) i did love One Hundred Years of Solitude, of course, and i quite liked Love in times of the Colera and Of Love and other Demons, but i just couldn't finish The General in his Labyrinth - it was so PLAIN boring and unwinding.....but maybe you're right and it's also because here Simón Bolívar is much less known and the whole idea of a unified Latin America leaves us more unaffected.....still, maybe it's just me, as i usually have problems with books which include lots of military strategy and descriptions of fights and stuff, i suppose that's just not for me........Anyone has read Memories of my Melancholy Whores? I'm thinking about reading it, but there's so much other stuff on my to-read-list at the moment that probably it'll take some while (except some of you tell me it's the best book ever...)

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Julia wrote: "i did love One Hundred Years of Solitude, of course, and i quite liked Love in times of the Colera and Of Love and other Demons, but i just couldn't finish The General in his Labyrinth - it was so ..."

Hello Julia,

I can understand exactly why you did not enjoy The General in His Labyrinth. In order to appreciate this book, one has to be exposed to Latin American history, and to Simon Bolivar's "cause" in particular. I just loved it. Growing up reading and listening to all types of stories about Bolivar, it was very refreshing to get to know Bolivar the man, and not the hero.

Memories of my Melancholy Whores is a book that you can read in a day or two. I have to confess that through half of the book I was a bit disgusted by the main character, and I couldn't avoid feeling a bit angry at him, but eventually, all that anger turned into an enormous compassion and tenderness. I think that a great book has the ability to change hearts, minds and appeals to different emotions, and this book certainly does it.

This is a great book. I would read it again, in a heart beat. Enjoy it!

message 11: by Julia (last edited Nov 11, 2009 07:02AM) (new)

Julia (jujulia) muchas gracias, Polyana.......i'll give it a try, especially as you say it's such a fast read, and it'd be good to read some gabo again - i've been neglecting him for a while....

and really interesting to hear your opinion on The General in his Labyrinth , maybe i'll give it another chance now that i've learned more about Latin American history......i read it when i was still in high school, and had virtually no notion at all, and i think i never finished it.....

message 12: by Linda (new)

Linda (lindarkv) | 8 comments I would like to recommend Arrancame La Vida by Angeles Mastrata. Read it in Spanish if you can since I cannot vouch for the translatlion. Mastrata is a contemporary Mexican writer whose style is not magical realism, but is unique unto itself. I suggest this particular book because of its historical context. Your conversation about General brought it to mind. She also writes wonderful short stories.

message 13: by Julia (new)

Julia (jujulia) Hey Linda, that sounds really interesting, i'll see if your uni library has it - i have to admit i've never heard of Mastrata, but she sounds like an author worthwhile checking out.....

message 14: by apursansar (last edited Jan 28, 2010 05:38PM) (new)

apursansar | 1 comments 1. Cien años de soledad (1967)
His most famous and complex novel is a unique allegorical microcosm, it seems to be influenced by Faulkner, but is nevertheless deeply rooted in South America, and brilliantly sums up its history. One of my favorite novels of the 20th century.

2. El otoño del patriarca (1975)
This novel is arguably his greatest stylistic experiment, and also a great description of the archetypical Latin American dictator.

3. El amor en los tiempos de cólera (1985)
A beautiful and at times heartbreaking love story which culminates in a wonderful final sequence, a book that didn't deserve its Hollywood adaptation.

4. Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981)
The meticulous descriptions and tenseness make this an extraordinary little work that had the fortune to get a more accurate adaptation by Francesco Rosi.

5. El general en su laberinto (1989)
García Márquez's historical novel that narrates the final journey of Simón Bolívar is sad and captivating, but not a masterpiece.

message 15: by Steve (new)

Steve (wilbur32557) | 1 comments I probably haven't read enough of Marquez to really judge, but of the 3 I remember reading (100 Years..., Of Love..., ...Cholera), I would have to say 100 Years of Solitude is my favourite GGM novel. As a matter of fact, it is one of my favourite works by any author. Most Western authors, especially American, measure their writing temporally, this hour leads to the next hour, this year to the next, but Solitude is measured by events and lives; the passage of time being almost irrelevant. I suppose this is appealing to me because I am personally very bad with times and dates; I have a tendency to remember important persons and events in my life, but would be hard pressed to tell you exactly when I was involved with a particular person or event. I was also captivated by how seemingly impossible, or at least improbable, occurrences are accepted as facts of life. This was the first book to show me that a good story, or life for that matter, does not have to be analytically sensible to make sense. 100 Years... opened my eyes to a new way of seeing and of living. Perhaps unfortunately, I now judge most books by how they compare to this one, and, I'm sorry to say, most fall quite short. However, I will withhold final judgment until I've read all of Marquez's works, which I hope someday to do.

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