I’m reading One Hundred Years of Solitude. Slowly. This is partly by choice, deciding to read like a writer, rather than a reader, and partly by the demand of the prose. Not that I find it difficult, but dense, rich. There is so very much going on and to read quickly might mean missing something that by even this early stage in the book I know is never going to happen again in my reading life. For years I meant to read this book and for years I found something else more pressing to read and now that I have come to read it I find that reading it now, at this stage of life, is no accident. It is a book to be read after reading many others. Somehow, my relationship with the book already seems defined by the construct of the book itself. I could describe it in a way that sounds utterly everyday or I could describe it as I experience it, as something somehow magical. My sense is not that I just didn’t get to this book, but that the book knew I was not ready to read it and held itself back, blending in like a pair of eyes in the jungle, until the right time. So now I am reading it and finding that a great part of its mysterious romance is all that is left out of it. For a book that is teeming with marvellous detail, an exotic setting, unique characters and a tangible interactive tendency with fate, it is all that is not told that somehow contributes most powerfully to the sense of magic. We are not told ‘X number of people live in this town, and this is who they are’ but rather people appear when needed. They appear as if out of ether. Almost biblically, potential wives come out of houses we did not know were there, merchants and travellers part the curtain of jungle as if breaching the edge of the universe. I have a long way to go, and suspect it will be a long time getting there. But I just cannot rush this book. I do recommend it. When it feels right.
This week I am proudly participating in the Magic Realism Bloghop. Please follow this link to visit other blogs for news and thoughts on magic realism: http://new.inlinkz.com/luwpview.php?id=432542