Life

Two Witnesses of World Literature

  Many years later, Colonel Aureliano Buendía, standing in front of the firing squad, must remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to visit the ice.” This
  is García Márquez’s novel “One Hundred Years The first sentence of “Solitude”. I remember when I first read this book, this sentence shocked me. I didn’t check the original Spanish text, but English uses “past future perfect tense”. In terms of grammar and tone, it can not only “look backward” but also “look forward”. It even has a sense of eternity that transcends time and space. An American writer once said that a novel is half done when the first sentence is written.
  Why did One Hundred Years of Solitude start like this? I think there is a special relationship between the author and the world of the novel: he already knew what happened to Colonel Buendia, but he didn’t shoot him right away, and traced back to the big family of Buendia, his father and grandfather. Of course, the author can also use a traditional way of writing, for example: “The world is mysterious and the universe is prehistoric. It is said that in this prehistoric land, Macondo is just a small village…” After reading the book, I gradually realized that The author does not pay much attention to the order of time, so he is free to narrate. The narrator uses an “omniscient point of view”, but he goes a step further than the omniscient point of view in European realist novels in the nineteenth century: he not only understands this A big family that has lasted for hundreds of years is well-known, and can “connect with the gods”, can break the traditional concept of time in the novel with the power of ghosts and gods, and even control the personal fate of the characters in the novel, which makes people feel that they are being controlled by someone in the dark. The master of this kind of destiny, this enters the realm of myth and epic. Without the archetypal structure of myth and epic, ordinary realistic novels cannot control this concept of time and space.
  I mentioned in a short essay on this novel that García Márquez and his South American readers shared a world of reality and myth, and that many outsiders took for granted what was absurd. He himself once said: “In my novel, there is a lot of exaggeration, absurdity and fantasy, but Latin America itself is like this-everything is tinged with fantasy, even everyday experience. The characters in my novels are just concrete reflections of this illusory reality.” [1] Therefore, he can still call his novels “realistic”.
  This tradition of South American literature is generally called “magical realism”, and Marquez himself accepted this term. However, thousands of years of history and culture have been bred behind this name: South America has an ancient polytheistic religion, and later Catholicism and science came from Europe. The combination of several factors forms a rational and irrational world. I have always believed that, in addition to intellectual elements—understandable reality—a literary work must contain a little “mystery” that is incomprehensible to ordinary people and common sense, and it cannot even be analyzed by any literary theory. “, otherwise it is nothing more than an “article”. A great culture always includes many mysterious elements, but since the nineteenth century, the wave of European realism has flooded the world, and the theoretical basis of realism (and naturalism) is rational and scientific, so the mysterious The composition gradually diminished until, in the twentieth century, in the “backward” former European colonies of South America, writers discovered mystery and myth again.
  ”One Hundred Years of Solitude” is greatly influenced by the famous American writer Faulkner in terms of technique. Faulkner is Marquez’s favorite writer. There is a well-known small town called Yoknapatawpha (Yoknapatawpha) in Faulkner’s works. The “Magondo” in Marquez’s works may be derived from Faulkner’s works. In addition, there is also a crazy family in several of Fuchs’s novels – such as “The Sound and the Fury”. When I met a young Greek writer in Iowa, I thought that Marquez was only a plagiarist and not eligible for the Nobel Prize in Literature. I admire Marquez’s works long before he won the award, so there is no suspicion of being arty, but I think Marquez is still very original: because he can put the old bottle of Faulkner into the new wine of South American culture, His novels still belong to Latin America, to Colombia. Perhaps, in the most superficial terms, Marquez combined two things in his works – the techniques of Western modernism and the national style of South America. He learned from modernism how to break the constraints of time and space, but used this new method to “prove” a mythical world in South America. The “Oedipus complex” is implied in his novels, which is of course influenced by Freud’s psychoanalysis, but he is different from Faulkner: Faulkner puts Freud in an extremely subjective In the “stream of consciousness” technique, it is used to explore the inner pathology of the characters and the relationship between “consciousness” and “subconsciousness” in the use of language; Marquez’s technique is still “extroverted”, and he quotes Freud’s theory To explain a common phenomenon in South American culture – “machismo”. He put forward a point of view in an interview: “The macho mentality in South America is actually related to the historical matriarchal structure. Mothers are the mainstay of the family, and men have to show the macho spirit by going out for fun and adventure.” [2] We can see from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” that after a man has fought and killed abroad, he still has to return home and return to his mother’s arms. In other words, the so-called “Oedipus complex” has become the other side of the “big man mentality”, a symbol of a cultural phenomenon.
  My analysis is still rough. However, in Márquez’s works, women, especially mothers or grandmothers, are particularly strong, almost to the point of immortality, and become a kind of mythical being, while men – like Colonel Buendía – It is life and death, running continuously, which seems to represent the wars and turmoil in South American history. Therefore, in his novels, mythology and history are intertwined, and the portrayal of characters has its real face and the shadow of archetype.
  Marquez and Faulkner have at least one thing in common, that is, “a writer’s responsibility is to write well”, and everything else comes second. This is the motto that Marquez has repeatedly emphasized. The wonderful thing is that Marquez does not care about society because of this. He is a left-wing figure who sympathizes with the revolution and a good friend of Cuban leader Fidel Castro, but political activities do not “interfere” in his writing. No matter how busy he was, he wrote every day and never stopped in his life. He is both a novelist and a journalist, and these two identities are intertwined for him: “Journalism taught me how to write, and writing made my news work have literary value.”[3] His editorials and report texts , the language is extremely concise, and his novels are not like some modern works in Europe and America – difficult to understand, playing language games, but lifeless, because he is a journalist and knows how to communicate with a large number of readers Group communication. His greatest work, after One Hundred Years of Solitude, is probably Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Crónica de una muerte anunciada, English translation: Chronicle of a Death Foretold), a combined journalism and novel. The works that are together will be discussed in another article if there is an opportunity in the future.
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  ”‘Eternal reincarnation is a mystical idea.’ This idea of ​​Nietzsche has troubled other philosophers: Consider that everything we experience can happen again, and that this recurrence itself keeps recurring until Forever! What does this crazy myth stand for?”
  Czech exiled writer Milan Kundera used this Nietzsche’s philosophy as the beginning of his novel, which is the very special name “Nesnesitena lehkost byti” (English translation: The Unbearable Lightness of Being) . If eternal reincarnation is the heaviest burden of life—”If every second of our life repeats itself, then we are nailed to eternity just as Jesus was nailed to the cross, this is a Terrible prospect, in a world of perpetual reincarnation, where our every action bears an unbearable burden.”[4] ——Then, our present lifetime of perpetual reincarnation should be the lightest, light and heavy What is right and what is wrong, which one should be affirmed and which one should be denied, these are the themes Kundera discusses. He considered this philosophical contrast to be the most mysterious and ambiguous question.

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