Saturday, March 21, 2020

One Hundred Years of Solitude Read-along Week #2


What a week! It seems it was a completely different century when I last posted One Hundred Years of Solitude WEEK #1; and how ironic that the title consists of the word SOLITUDE. There are a few extrovert-types in my household who are climbing the walls because of all this "solitude."

By the way, I'm not one of them.

Monday, the state of California issued a "stay-at-home" edict, permitting essential businesses to remain open, while requiring others to close to the public. A lot of folks have been laid off, while some are able to work from home. Basically, our economy has tanked. How are we going to take care of all these people, many who are financially unprepared for this? Nor do I know how long some will be able to contend with this long-term isolation.

Escaping isolation
On the grocery front, I continue to add items I still cannot find no matter where we go: eggs, rice, pasta, and chicken breast, which are staples in our house, and everyone else, obviously. (I knew we should have raised hens!) My husband told me he found a store today that received a shipment of  flour, but the employee didn't want to unbox it yet, and my husband didn't want to wait 20 minutes when she expected to shelve it. So...I told him to see if they had pancake mix or Bisquick. In these times, one is forced to be resourceful. And I'm fine with that.

Finally, after five days of no gym, no dance classes, no piano lessons (we homeschool, so we didn't need to change routine for school), we decided to go OUTSIDE today! Yes, we got into our van and went to the Mojave Riverwalk. The kids rode bikes or rollerbladed, and we even met some friends who were out doing the same with their kids. It was finally a beautiful day. It felt like a little bit of sanity. So many people were using the riverwalk, and everyone said hello and good morning. Humans! It was a relief to have some connection with the outside world. Not surprisingly, we introverts need people connections, even if it is in passing.

Now...on to bookish stuff...


Chapter 5: Aureliano and Remedios were married. Father Nicanor Reyna remained in Macondo because he believed the people were living in sin and needed religion. Pietro and Rebeca's wedding was postponed because his mother died (but that was a lie). Amaranta poisoned Remedios, who subsequently died; hence, Aureliano plunged back into solitary work. It was discovered that José Arcadio Buendia was not mad, as assumed, and he could speak Latin.

Later José Arcadio (the son) returned to Macondo and shared his wild adventures and also married Rebeca -- you snooze you lose, Pietro! So Pietro asked Amaranta to marry him. And for the next three chapters, Macondo became immersed in elections, corruption, politics, violence, murder, and war between the Liberals and Conservatives. (Sounds so familiar.)

Chapter 6: Col. Aureliano went to war for the liberal resistance. He also fathered seventeen kids. Arcadio (José's and Pilnar's kid) was in charge of the village during the rebellion, and he was cruel and overbearing...and creepy. He tried to sleep with his own mother, but she staved him off by sending him a virgin, which obviously worked because they had three children together.

Ursula wasn't having any of Arcadio's crap; she challenged him and basically took over the town. She found her husband, JAB, peaceful and decided to release him from his tree-arrest. Meanwhile, Pietro proposed to Amaranta, who rejected him; he, therefore, committed suicide. Arcadio surrendered and the resistance was ended. His last wish is for his daughter to be named Ursula. He was executed.

Chapter 7: So the Libs lost the war, and Aureliano was captured then freed by José. Aureliano planned a second uprising, then failed and was abandoned by the government. But he captured Macondo anyway, until he realized his rebellion was based on his pride. José died, and his wife Rebeca became a hermit. Did she really murder him? It seemed obvious, but no one knew the truth. His blood traveled all over Macondo. Almost restless. What's worse? The town thought about "seasoning him with pepper, cumin seeds, and laurel leaves and boiling him for a whole day over a slow fire..." Very concerning. Finally, JAB was visited by the ghost of the dead guy back in chapter two, and then died peacefully; tiny yellow flowers rained down on Macondo.


Again, this past week's reading centered mainly on the conflict of Civil War between the brothers, and ended with the death of the patriarch, who wasn't very present or effective, especially spending much of his parental life tied to a tree. I'm still looking for that timeline of real world history compared with that of Macondo's history, but I did find a timeline of characters. Someone took the time to create this.


The death of Remedios had not produced the despair that he had feared. It was rather, a dull feeling of rage that gradually dissolved in a solitary and passive frustration similar to the one he had felt during the time he was resigned to living without a woman.
As soon as they took the body out, Rebeca closed the doors of her house and buried herself alive, covered with a thick crust of disdain that no earthly temptation was ever able to break.  
I'll be back next Friday when I check in with my third review of One Hundred Years (chapters 8 through 11). Are you reading along, reading ahead, or dragging behind? How are you doing with the novel? And how are things in your part of the world? Are you in solitude? Keep us posted. And stay well!

Go to Silvia Cachia;s: WEEK TWO POST


shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

One Hundred Years of Solitude is an apt choice given everything. I am in voluntary self isolation because I have a cold and coughing in public is frowned on about now :) We are not yet in lockdown though will likely be in a week or so.

Wishing you a great reading week, be well x

Ruth said...

I guess I also could be reading Love in the Time of Cholera, by Marquez. LOL!

I know what you mean about coughing in public. Get well soon!! I have allergies that sometimes cause me to cough, and I'm paranoid about coughing around anyone.

pussreboots said...

We are not going out except to the grocery store and to the vet. My weekly update

Silvia said...

I'm in the last fourth of the book. I couldn't stop reading it earlier in March, then my reading came to a halt because during the Spring Break's week I was busy with things, and then this Covid situation!

I'm going to try to write my second post on the book today if possible.

I like how you recap the book, thanks for your posts. I apologize for not being able to have been better read along host, but I'm thankful for this opportunity to read the book again. I'm falling in love with it again. It's powerful.

Brona said...

It was amazing how quickly all our worlds changed. My husband and I were on a road trip holiday driving around the wineries of South Australia when things started to get crazy here and we had to do a dash home again. The only thing I've been able to write since then is my Covid Chronicle posts - it felt all-consuming - it IS all-consuming I guess! Glad to hear you're all fine and that you live in a state that jumped onto the isolation rule quickly.

I'll try not to repeat myself as I catch up on your posts - but I do love the character timeline you included. I wished I'd had a look at that about halfway through :-)

Ruth said...

BRONA: I have been following all of your Covid Chronicles now bc I am interested in how others are experiencing this and how their countries or areas are responding, as well as how it is personally affecting all of us. So thanks for sharing your experience.