18 November, 2011

Gabriel Marquez's The General in His Labyrinth

Reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez (GGM) most known for his book One Hundred Years of solitude (I'm yet to read), is an acquired taste I'd say when it comes to this book of his General in His Labyrinth.

After Oscar Wilde's wit in writing, for the style I would certainly endorse GGM's mannerisms of writing. Even the simplest of the observations are presented in a form that is hard to ignore. Metaphors, similes and verbal decorum are plentiful in his verbiage and keeps the readers entertained.

Talking about the content of this book, an interesting topic to write about - The last days of Simon Bolivar. The dusking life of one of the greatest Generals of Latin America is the protagonist of the book. It is not even Simon Bolivar, but all the nuanced insults, regressions and declines he faces towards the end of his life are unsympathetically, as if in a mode of enjoyment are described by GGM through the book.

Personally, for me the content in the book was super negative, and I for obvious reasons do not enjoy such literature. The main savior for the reader like me to savor this book is GGM's style of presentation as mentioned before.

A couple of pages where GGM describes Simon Bolivar's romantic interests, from the perspective of one of the ladies and Simon Bolivar are the most enjoyable. If it was congruence with my own volatile state of mind, or the pleasure of reading some wonderful writing I might not want to probe into, but those are the pages which stand out, and I might want to quote a couple of lines from memory!

He would leave her on any pretext in a foolhardy effect to escape the servitude of formalized love.
I'll never fall in love again.It's like having two souls at the same time.
He went back, knowing he would sink in her quick sands....

And a whole gamut of zeniths of imagination through the book shaping up as pinnacles of verbal creativity:

Dignified decorum of nostalgia
Lost in the lucidity of advanced levels of insomnia
He had buried her at the bottom of a water-tight oblivion as a brutal means of living without her.
He had the patience of a drowned man..

It is things such as these which kept me afloat through the book, and certainly not the hundreds of Latin American names and places which one is expected to correlate to when incidents are narrated.
Now, I for sure know that Geography of places, and History with names and dates are never going to be my domains of expertise!

In all, looking forward to read One Hundred Years of Solitude sometime soon. And GGM will of course be on my list of favorite writers.
When it is pure genius, it shows!


  1. When it is pure genius, it shows!
    -- Nice :)

    I for sure know that Geography of places, and History with names and dates are never going to be my domains of expertise! - Reapted after you :)

  2. From when have you gone alien to names and places Sri? I thought you were better than me :P



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