Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Luna Dwelling Races Might Get Better Odds in Mercury

I close the book while chanting the last few words aloud (spoilers!) for me and for the ghosts of reading past: “races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.” I let the words leap back and forth from page to tongue to brain, and I wonder if the pronouncement is only true for earthly fictions; or, if maybe, plots about Luna dwelling races get better odds in Mercury.

One Hundred Years of Solitude
is a time machine.
When I was thirteen, this book (my favorite of all books) took me to prose full of floating fishes and blind leeches (that mistook a wrinkled back for a wall). On this day, decades after fishes and leeches, we went on our umptieth trip and ended up on a page where “Human beings are not born once and for all... life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” No wonder humanity is always screaming and pushing, pushing, pushing… for better (one hopes).


- as suggested in the piece, the quotations are bits from Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, a book that always transports me to interesting pages.

- for Poets and Storytellers United (Weekly Scribblings #30: Writing as a Metaphor for Living). Write new poetry or prose which includes 3 or more of the following words: allusion, conflict, edit, fiction, grammar, mood, pace, plot, poetry, prose, punctuation, rhythm, and stanza. I went with fiction, plot, and prose.

 the beginning of a reading journal project (which did not quite survive *cough*)

63 comments:

  1. Beautifully evocative! Hopefully humanity won't need to push so much as time goes on. 💝

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  2. I've loved 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' for many years myself. It certainly inspired you to some interesting reflections here! (And OMG you must have read it first in the original!)

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    1. I was all wide grins and silly giggles when I noticed that the prompt took you and me both to strange places. And yes, I read in Spanish the first time (and a few times after that), so don't get me started on the horrors of mistranslations.

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  3. Books are the best time machines, Magaly, powered by the imagination and able to travel across time, space, and every dimension! I love the idea of ‘ghosts of reading past’.

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    1. I completely agree, Kim!

      By the way, your latest book took me to all kinds of places. Not to war, thank goodness, but to being a child in the middle of scarcity (particularly of sugar). I shall write about it soon.

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    1. It always does, and when we are very unlucky it leaves the lessons of history behind.

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  5. Sadly humans don't learn much from the experience of their ancestors, they prefer to make mistakes themselves just to be sure!

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  6. I know when I re-read my favorites I also get that same time-machine feeling, where I remember the impact certain words had on younger me, while still experiencing something new as an adult. Some stories didn't have very good odds lasting the test of time with me (for instance, while the Narnia stories were my gateway drug to fantasy and some lines will always have a place in my heart, there are too many parts that that just don't sing along with who I am now). But some, like Jane Eyre, still shine for me, through all the pushing and recreating of myself.

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    1. I'm right there with you, when it comes to Narnia. It was a lovely fantasy to read as a child, and there are so many good lessons that the adult me appreciates, but others... make me cringe a bit.

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  7. Nice one Happy Wednesday

    Much💖love

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  8. “Human beings are not born once and for all... life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” each time hoping to "get it right"! I think I flunked patience in my last life and I'm sent here to practice it yet again! (My mother always said I was behind the door when they passed out patience1)

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    1. We can attend remedial patience classes together, lol!

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  9. i remember the fact that i read it, but as it was under duress in school, i demanded to be unimpressed in that teenage way...

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    1. That's exactly how I felt when I was forced to take poetry classes as a teenager. The experiences left me hating poetry for years and years. I am so glad I gave it another go though... *wink, wink*

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  10. A book can take you just about anywhere; outside your head or miles within your soul. When will humans ever learn...no matter how many times we are re-born? A thought provoking piece.

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  11. I've been reading One Hundred Years of Solitude off and on for the last five years. It really doesn't matter that I haven't finished it yet, because whenever I pick it up, it's like reading an epic poem that keeps spinning itself into being before my eyes. It's a weird but enchanting tale. I mean, who else starts out a book with a guy facing imminent death by firing squad, who indulges himself in a childhood memory of discovering ice?

    I stumble through the novel as though I'm in a never-ending dream. Thanks for reminding me that I need to pick it up again!

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    1. I think that the idea of One Hundred Years of Solitude feeling like some kind of circular dream is very accurate. The same goes for your suggestion about reading it like an epic poem (especially the first time around).

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  12. Magaly, this book sounds interesting,i had not known of it before. I may read it sometime and will remember your discussion here.
    Thank you. Thank you too for the nice prompt and for hosting.
    ..
    ..

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  13. I've not heard of this book so I think of what rock I may have been under. That is the beauty of reading of another person's experience and their love of words. Maybe understand someone's "time machine."
    Thank you for the introduction.

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    1. One of the things I love most about blogging is how easy is to find out what (and why) others love a particular book. In my reader's heart, that is usually the best recommendation.

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  14. I've not read that book but I think I might have to based on the 2nd quote alone. “Human beings are not born once and for all... life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” Wow...that is a powerful thought.

    blessings
    ~*~

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    1. When I have been in a lot of pain, I have found myself remembering (and repeating) that quote. The pain seems to kick less hard when one think of it as a path towards rebirth. Whatever works, right?

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  15. Honestly, books are such a comfort and one of the first things I get to when moving is to organize my bookcases - it makes me feel at home. Lovely writing!

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    1. Me too! Few things relax me more than organizing my books. Or, "playing with" my books, as my Piano Man often describes it. 😁

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  16. (Coming back for another look.) I first read One Hundred Years and Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits at around the same time. I love and adore both books – and because they are not all that dissimilar in their themes, I was able to discern that while The House of the Spirits is a very good, indeed brilliant and wonderful book, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a great work of literature. I couldn't put the reasons into words, but it was very apparent in the reading.

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    1. I love both books, too. I feel that The House of the Spirits reads like a very good romance, and One Hundred Years of Solitude is an admirable work of historical fiction.

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  17. I didn't finish the book...but I absolutely love the idea of a reading journal..!!!

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    1. You aren't alone in the one. I have more than one friend who gives me funny looks when they learn that I read the book every year. Oh, well.

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  18. "...life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves." This quote makes one think. Life has a way of obliging us to evolve to our better selves, I hope. Because if we don't, the same life will send the same lessons to learn over and over again. A very profound reflection!

    I must also admit, One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of those important books I haven't had the opportunity to read yet. So, thank you for sharing your reads.

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    1. You know, I lived in the country (way deep in the woods) when I first read One Hundred Years of Solitude. I had no idea that it was "an important book". I was very pleased with myself when I learn that so many other readers thought it was great.

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  19. Happy Sunday. I fancied 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by Baroness Orczy, in my teen years

    Much📖love

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  20. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a profound writer! i read a book of his in university. what a storyteller, such talent. great write.

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    1. I am so happy you enjoy the writings of my beloved Gabo! I mean, what's not to love? *hehehe*

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  21. This book was opaque to me when I first tried it. These quotes, though, make me want to go back and find what a better way in. :)

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    1. I've found (in my interrogations of friends who can't get into the book *cough*) that One Hundred Years of Solitude might not be the best first book to get into Gabriel García Márquez’s writings. The short stories "A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings" and "The Incredible and Sad Tale of Innocent Eréndira and Her Heartless Grandmother" are often a good start. Also, rereading some of the history and culture of Latin America might help explaining why the book has such an impact.

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  22. This is a book I have never read, but books are some of my best friends--and they come back to whisper new stories in my ear from time to time--I so enjoyed this!

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  23. I join the ranks of those who've not read the book, admitting I'm a pragmatic soul and rarely, if ever, read what I deem fantasy, with the exception of books that have to do with time travel, which fascinate me. I enjoyed your thoughts on the book, however, and you've piqued my interest.

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    1. I suspect that Gabriel García Márquez's bones might start cracking in his grave if he learns that his magical realism is being called fantasy *cough*.

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  24. Books comfort us...our companions..I love the idea of ghosts of reading past.

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  25. This made me think about Richard Brautigan's Watermelon Sugar, which was also mind bending. Love the collage. It made me think about a quote on reincarnation that I can't find now about how amazing it is that we were born once. Puts more than once in perspective.

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    1. I just added In Watermelon Sugar to my reading list. I read a bit about it, after seeing your comment, and "mind bending" sounds just about right! Thank you for mentioning it.

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    2. Oh, I am soooo crazy in love with In Watermelon Sugar! Have been for many years and treasure my copy.

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    3. @Rosemary, It's now next on my reading list. I can't wait!

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  26. Have you read All the Bright Places (by Jennifer Niven) yet? You must. Then Delirium (by Lauren Oliver). You will love both.

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    1. I grabbed a copy of All the Bright Places right after I read your comment (a few days go). I needed a book to read right after surgery (when sleeping--at least, not comfortably--is not really an option). And, oh my goodness! I sobbed while smiling.

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    2. I fell in love with Finch—truly, madly, deeply—and will never recover. Never.

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  27. Sometimes the process of giving birth to myself over and over gets a bit wearisome.

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    1. "a bit wearisome"? Just a bit!? You have more patience than I do.

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  28. I haven't read the book, but I can relate to the humanity screaming and pushing. Always. Forever. Today, tomorrow, last week and month and year, from birth yet. It never stops. Sometimes I just hide in my blanket cave. Its easier.

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    1. We all have (or should have) our hiding spaces. I think I hide in the process of writing. Not in the words, but in the work. It's easier. 😉

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  29. Push, push, push. Where is our destination? This is wonderful, Magaly. I haven’t read that book in along time. The time might be ripe for re-reading it.

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I love your insightful remarks. So, go ahead, let them fly…