Tropics of tragedy: the Caribbean in Gabriel Garcia Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude

University of the West Indies
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Shibboleths, 2007, 1 (3), pp. 16 - 33
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Gabriel García Márquez s celebrated novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, belongs to a virtual sub-genre of Spanish Caribbean narratives of failure in the quest for community framed within fatalistic and tragic structures. The novel follows the fortunes of the Buendía family and the mythical community of Macondo through the town s foundation, consolidation and eventual decline into apocalyptic destruction. The novel has frequently been interpreted as an allegory of Colombian or even Latin American national failure and the underlying 'message' that issues from the novel is that peoples who are unable to develop a historical consciousness (understand their trajectory in history) are fated to perish. This essay challenges this myth and its perpetuation by many prominent Latin American literary critics.
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