Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Why all the incest?
So today a friend of mine asked me, "Why does all of our class work have to be about either feminism, incest, or both?" This, of course, is false. About 5% of the time we discuss feces or wet dreams about the Virgin Mary (I'm looking at you, Stephen Daedalus). But I digress. Basically, it got me thinking about why incest is such a prominent theme in the literature we choose to study, specifically One Hundred Years of Solitude. With our discussion of the different meanings of "solitude" today, I considered how in a sense SOLITUDE = ISOLATIONIST = KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY. The incestuous trend in the Buendia family is their way of staying solitary even within the community of Macondo. Also, not too get too gross here, but the incest in the book in a sense is generations "coming together," playing directly into Marquez's mushed-together conception of time. As repulsive as the topic is to me, I also find it fascinating how Marquez uses incest to add layers of meaning to the themes and title of the book.