In my first year at college, I was trying to make friends.
So, I was taking every opportunity to meet new people. In front of the literature club, I saw one of those portable outdoor signs which said, they were reading and discussing “One Hundred Years of Solitude” that month with the book discussion group. You know One Hundred Years of Solitude is considered the masterpiece of Márquez.
I had already read the book and almost underlined every line of it. So I said “why not to go there and have a couple of chats on something I like”.
The outdoor sign stand said the discussion group would meet next day at 4 p.m. at the club. So until then, I had the time to go to the library and refresh my feelings on the book. Let me tell you a little about the book, if you haven’t read it:
The book tells the life of 7 generations of Buendia Family in the town of Macondo.
Macondo is found by the father of the family Jose Arcadio Buendia, when he left Colombia with his wife for a better life.
During their emigration journey, while Jose and his wife are camping on a riverbank, Jose dreams about Macondo, the city of mirrors. From then on he aims to found that dream place. Finally after the foundation of Macondo, unusual and extraordinary events take place that involve the generations of the Buendía family.
The members of the family are either unable or unwilling to escape their misfortunes. In the end, a hurricane destroys Macondo, and a Buendia man deciphers an encryption that generations of Buendía family men had failed to decode. The secret message informed the recipient of every fortune and misfortune lived by the Buendía Family generations.
Next day, when I went to the club around 4 p.m., the outdoor easel was still there. I went in, a bit excited. There were almost 10-12 students. One boy with glasses welcomed me in, and told me to grab a coffee if I wanted. Then we seated. Sharp at 4, the boy with glasses made an opening speech.
Of course we did not go through the story. Each of us took their turns to describe how they felt, what kind of metaphors and symbols they have found while reading. I want to share some strange facts discussed there, that I think you will find interesting:
- Marquez used to be a journalist. One day he decides to write a novel about growing up in his grandparent’s house. He sells his car to support his family, and 9 months later comes the Hundred years of Solitude.
- He wins the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.
- The book is translated into more than 30 languages.
I am glad I went there that day. Because we have read and discussed great books since then. You know what? I am going out with that boy with the glasses!