Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Latin America: The Red-Headed (Hipster) Stepchild of the World

In his Nobel Prize speech, Gabriel Garcia Marquez explained, "Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination, for our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render ours lives believable." To me, this quote captures of the essence of Marquez's speech, which is the struggle and longing of Latin America to form their own identity. I believe this quote and Garcia Marquez's entire speech can be interpreted in two ways. First, Latin Americans, such as Garcia Marquez, attempt to use art as a way of understanding their history and identity. Simple. We have The Declaration of Independence. They have their art- magical realism and all.
On the other hand, maybe the works that came out of the Latin American Boom, such as 100 Years of Solitude, is their history. As we discussed in class, 100 Years of Solitude is filled with mythical accounts. We label these accounts as "magic realism." We assume these fantastic events are simply metaphors, used for emphasis, ect. We talked about how, as citizens of a First-World nation, we look for logic. Logically speaking, their is no doubt Garcia Marquez used fantastic events as metaphors, emphasis, ect. Personally, I don't believe looking for logic is a bad thing. However, do Latin Americans view "magic realism" as just "real?" Although, I realize this theory completely contradicts Garcia Marquez's attempt to make 100 Years of Solitude as a "metaphor for Latin America" instead of a "history of Latin America."
Maybe, when attempting to formulate an identity for Latin America, Marquez thought of all the things that haven't happened in the world. Revolution: been there, done that. Melting Pot: taken. Out of "logical" options, maybe Marquez then decided to turn to imagination to formulate an identity. And in doing so, he created an entirely unique (and hipster) identity for Latin American.

As you can see, I'm having a field day trying to make sense of the use of magic in the novel.

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