Friday, August 28, 2015


Time is an interesting concept. The theme of time plays a major role in both of our summer reading books. Obviously, it is huge in 100 Years of Solitude as it is explicitly mentioned in the title and it is also very prevalent in The Unbearable Lightness of Being. Distinct comparisons and contrasts of the use of time can be drawn from each novel. For example, the biggest thing is probably time's repeating aspects.

To name just a few more examples...

100 Years:
-the future, past, and present are all inter-dependent
-time seems to cycle within the Buendia family
      -repetition of names and personalities
-some characters come back after death, essentially repeating life (ex: Melquiades)
-disorientation of time
-stories told from memory mixed in with current time (...eternally confusing the reader)
-time once "forgotten" (insomnia plague)
-some characters live for over 100 years (ex: Ursula)

Unbearable Lightness:
-eternal recurrence= events are repeated ad infinitum; Kundera's disagreement= our lives happen only once
-"happiness is the longing for repetition"
-linear, cyclical, idyllic time
      -distinction between time for human beings and animals
            -animals, like Karenin, experience time cyclically and come into contact with the same routines every day
            -humans, like Tereza and Tomas, only live life linearly with no chance of going back
-time setting is known (1960s-1980s)

1 comment:

Antonio Imbornone said...

I think the similarity between Nietzsche's idea of eternal recurrence in The Unbearable lightness of being, and Marquez's use of the Buendia family in a cyclical time frame. Marquez and Kundera actually work similarily, both novels are set up in an unorthodox timeline. For instance, in The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera allows the reader to see Sabina's reaction to Tomas and Tereza's death long before we get close to the end of their story. In a similar manner, Marquez opens up his novel with Aureliano facing the firing squad, giving us insight to what will eventually happen later on in time. There are in fact many more examples of this funky time order in both novels, but i just wanted to point out Kundera and Marquez's simmilarities in messing up chronology.