One Hundred Years of Solitude and ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’…Whenever the name of the Columbian author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, comes up in a book club or in a random conversation, these two novels are always the highlight of the subject.
Where for the former, Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982; most of the people would consider the latter as his most romantic novel. ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ is considered the masterpiece of Marquez. His usual style of writing is inspired from the fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape and this is particularly visible in this one novel. Coming to the latter, ‘Love In The Time of Cholera’ is the story of the resumption of a passionate relationship between a widow and the lover she had broken with more than 50 years before.
While the subject seems to be quite different, the one thing that’s common is the presence of magical realism. Known as the Godfather of magical realism, his stories reflect the fictional blending of the everyday with fantastical elements. And that’s the reason why Marquez eventually became the toast of the literary world.
As much as his magical realism kindles the interest, there’s another thing that makes him unique. In the world of literature, he is like a set example for coming up with perfect opening lines. In fact, that’s the reason why the world has a set accolade for the best opening lines and that is the phrase: “the opening line was like Marquez.”
And the perfect example can of course be quoted from the above mentioned novels to give you a taste of Marquez’s perfection.
One Hundred Years of Solitude: “Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”
Love In The Time of Cholera: “It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love. Dr. Juvenal Urbino noticed it as soon as he entered the still darkened house where he had hurried on an urgent call to attend a case that for him had lost all urgency many years before. The Antillean refugee Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, disabled war veteran, photographer of children, and his most sympathetic opponent in chess, had escaped the torments of memory with the aromatic fumes of gold cyanide.”
Indeed, the sort of opening lines makes you want to read more. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the literature critics kept drawing comparisons of him with legends like Mark Twain and Charles Dickens.
Surely, he was a legend who ruled the hearts of avid readers for ages. May the magic realism with which he charmed the literary world rekindle always!
Rest In Peace Gabriel Garcia Marquez!