One hundred years of solitude (sort of a book review)

pdfs. I think we all have a lot of them in our phones. Downloaded; to be ignored forever, never to be opened unless checking to see what it is about or just going through them when we are bored. Which is exactly what I was, lets say, because admitting that I am supposed to be studying 24/7 isn’t easy. Anyway, like any normal person, I looked for an escape and like any normal person, I looked for it in my phone and found this book.

This book is so freaking insane.

When I first scrolled through it, I thought it’s a war story and the main character is this dude named Colonel Aureliano Buendia who is always taking great pains to give us a detailed account of the weather and with some melancholy, talk about every memory that each element of nature in that particular instant brings back to him. You’d think this guy discovered Spain.

This overview didn’t spark joy, honestly, but anyway I started reading it for the sake of reading and forgetting that anything in the world other than it amounts to anything more than mere silent existence. guess what, I love this book so much. 8/10. Perhaps, the fact that I had never read anything like it before (magical realism is my new favorite), made it even more amazing and devote-your-whole-day-to-it-able for me.

My favorite character is probably Ursula. A total boss woman and the only Buendia with actual functional brain cells apart from Jose Arcadio Buendia (the main guy, the first guy, the sitting under the tree guy) who definitely has my respect and whom I would refer to as nothing other than ‘sir’ if I were in Macondo and I would stay as far away as possible from Amarantha.

(Ok I am not even going to talk about Rebecca’s parents’ skeletons lying about in the Buendia house dancing tiredly in their dirty old sack and no one caring about it at all. Its so frustrating like bro please just bury them already) isn’t it very much like how the ghosts of fictional classical dead people might actually invisibly be? Or the strong but silent schemes of the quiet and mysterious characters?

While we are at it, can we talk about how cool is the name Gabriel Garzia Marquez? I wish my name sounded that dope. He lived up to it, though, didn’t he? I would expect nothing less from a Gabriel Garzia Marquez tbh. I remember thinking ‘this guy is nuts’ and at the same time knowing that he is nothing less than a genius.

Sometimes I think about how Remedios the baby grandmother and Remedios the beauty had kind of a similar fate. First of all, they were both too pure for this world and secondly they had to deal an unwelcomed and unwanted attention and sexualization in their own innocent manners. Through them, the author has portrayed what is devastatingly fundamentally wrong with society and it’s attitude towards women.

My guy Melquídias was awesome through and through. He literally knew about every bullshit that this race of Aurelianos and Jose arcadios and Amaranthas would pull in a hundred years and wrote about each and every one of them in Sanskrit and mathematics. Admirable. I bet the Aureliano Segundo part was in stats though. Not to forget Melquìdias cured the town’s insomnia!!! That was something.

The amnesia itself was something. I think it being contagious is one hell of a metaphor.

Intentional forgetfulness leads to total oblivion. We help each other forget things that would have , other wise, lasted longer in its full glory. We take pride in forgetting the past, the languages, the words, the stories and we encourage each other to move on and create new lives and realities. But it wears us down. It tires us. It drains our energy. I suppose it’s because some part of the killed memories remain inside of us , crippled and angry, gnawing weakly at our hearts because there’s nothing much more that they can do. The unnoticeable and negligible feeling of unease passes away in seconds but it has long term damage. We celebrate advancements, intentional or accidental like the people of Macondo thought of the diminished need for rest as a chance to work more, earn more, party more and be better all in all. Then they got bored, they were hopeless and so fucking tired. The gentle weight of memories and the heavy weight of knowledge, everything that made them them was shed from their shoulders and they were left behind wide eyed and clueless. What does that remind you of?

And the rain!

The four years, eleven months and two days of rain in Macondo which started after the banana company killed all it’s workers and fled the area (more ‘realism’ than ‘magical’ tbh)

Úrsula always tried to go a step beyond. Open the windows and the doors, she shouted. Cook some meat and fish,buy the largest turtles around, let strangers come and spread their mats in the corners and urinate in the rose bushes and sit down to eat as many times as they want and belch and rant and muddy everything with their boots, and let them do whatever they want to us, because thats the only way to drive off rain.

Ursula 1:0 Fernanda

Like the Colonel’s routine of making metal goldfishes, the story too, seems like a habit of history. The twins (maybe) exchanging names and forgetting who is who to the twins dying on the same day and their coffins getting mixed up and their gravestones bearing names that they didn’t live their lives with.

That’s not even half of everything I want to say about this book but maybe some other time. Girl has to go to school now. Alrighty.

she told me

that one day I’ll know what she went through. She wouldn’t tell me but I’ll know. She won’t write it down or speak of it to anyone but I will know. She won’t hide it in a poem or leave behind a secret keeper but I’ll know. I can’t doubt it. The universe has strange ways of wrapping shows up even if it takes one hundred years to do so so I will know even if I don’t live to be a hundred years old. That’s because I already know and, probably, I am subconsciously feigning ignorance because once I know I can’t un-know it, unsee it. It will over shadow all the falsely cheerful realities of life and take into it’s arms all my hopes and dreams of a better world and hide it away for some other world.

She told me that I’m being too clingy. To life. That it will slip away like a ballet dancer and jump into someone else’s arms to keep the act going and that I am dumb for having hoped for more. She told me that after all that she saw here, she doesn’t find herself obliged to remember anything at all. Tit for tat, she said. It won’t remember me and I won’t remember it. She told me that she will start her new life like she started like one; like a baby with a broken maze for memories, no language, no sign of culture or traditions, no recognition of the sky or the daisies and sunflowers or the stars that she loved so much. She told me that it will be okay that way.

And of all the mad things she told me, one was that she hoped that I will be loved like she never was; that I won’t grow to hate myself with the surety and conviction with which she hated herself. She said that I look like her. But that’s okay and so does the mirror and the shadow of her mother. And that’s okay, she said.

“you will hear them say things you would never want them to say and act the way you couldn’t bear to think that they ever would and that’s okay too”, she told me and then looked so wistfully out of the window that I guessed that it’s not really okay but what can one say? She told me that her life went up and vanished like cigarette smoke in a joyless twirling and she looked happy enough while saying it as if her own life had served to be of some aesthetic value to the world.

She told me that she isn’t greedy but would begrudge me that sweet pain in her chest; that no matter how hard I tried, I wouldn’t be able to feel what she felt ; “no matter how badly you fall from your makeshift castle in the anchored artificial skies, I won’t share with you the only thing I’m allowed to carry with me to the world beyond the world”, she said. I didn’t know why she was being so pompous. It’s not like I fancied having some sort of a pain in my chest. But she knew what she was saying. Medals, souvenirs and evidences.

She told me to move on and stand on my feet like the ghost of myself. Carry on, be the utter nuisance that I wished had disturbed my dark tangled thoughts and set them in some sort of a queue, at least, if not a perspective.

Why did her hands dissolve into mine when she held them up the cheeks and cried into the palms of a stranger that I was to her? It is as if she was breaking her own promise of betraying whoever betrayed her. I was too dumbfounded to raise these questions, not even when she smiled her sad smile and hid her face behind her dirty gray veil and left, maybe, for another one to tell her regrets to.

The Picture of Dorian Gray (sort of a book review)

7.8/10

No one:

Definitely not Sibyl Vane

Not even Lord Henry

Dorian Gray: anyways so what if Hallward is a cake?

Now this book is a master piece. Oscar Wilde has truly eaten every writer up with this one. I can almost picture him with a smug smile and sad eyes on his throne somewhere in the afterworld or downworld (in case he is a vampire). I can understand why this book is a dark academia favorite.

The metaphors in it are insane. The whole theme is insane, to begin with. I’d list all the metaphors but I am afraid I didn’t get half of them. (will reread at some point). I think that every other line was an epiphany that Mr. Wilde decided to throw at us. Consider this

Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own
soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly,—that is what each of us is here for.

And this

There was something tragic in a friendship so colored by romance.

And

We live in an age when men treat art as if it were meant to be a form of autobiography.

And many many more that make you take a deep breath and smile to yourself then silently curse because what the heck was that?

So Dorian is this disgustingly rich dude with an angelic face (same old white boy charms tbh) golden hair, blue eyes, pink lips, whatnot and everyone who has ever seen him believes that he is an angel amongst men. On top of it all, his innocence is noticable and praised left right and center. Later on in the book, when he is slightly older, everyone thinks that he is that bitch for sure but also not shit. He still looks like a Greek god but his mind is in the gutter; is what the general public opinion is.

So in the prime of their youth, his friend Basil Hallward paints a picture of him. This very picture makes Dorian realize that he is hot. (I blame that on Harry of course). And Dorian totally loses it and becomes jealous of his own picture for remaining young forever and ever and ever. Youth is the biggest happiness and aging is dumb; or so dude thought. Let’s talk about Harry now. He is mood, for starters. Secondly, Wilde used Harry to unleash his philosophy of literally anything and everything on our already deliciously over burdened brains. Thirdly, Harry needs to chill. Basil said he is a bad influence and we trust Basil, as the owner of the only brain cell in the book, to tell the truth. I mean look at what he brought Gray to but honestly, Gray would have walked himself there too (Ok so I knew for real that he isn’t right in the head by the way he was simping for Sibyl)

Our boy Dorian is always the talk of the town of course and God knows what awful agendas he used to have in the London of that time because he was infamous. He doesn’t age a day. Nor does sin write itself across his face but guess what happens to the painting? Guess what happens to the painting ??

Well well well I shouldn’t just spoil the whole book like this. So take my world for it. It’s crazy good.

It’s one of those books that I really regret having read from a screen. It deserves to be held and put themed bookmarks in, put on a shelf and given admiring looks to now and then.