Sunday, January 15, 2006

What is Language for Marquez?

I haven't read many of Marquez's work. Marquez's talent is better displayed in his works that are closer to 'Magical Realism'. However the objective of this post is to challenge the Magical Aspect of Marquez's writing; but from a different angle. By the end of this post you will see why 'Magical Realism' is a wrongly understood term to denote the insights of Marquez.

It should be a matter of concern for all the literary critics how to classify those phenomena in literary works which are beyond human comprehension. How can one categorise a phenomenon like a sleepless community which has been sketched in the beginning of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude'? Calling it a magical phenomenon or something related to mysticism is only a shallow understanding. Depth of understanding such writings must be initiated from a different point.

I understand many of the magical elements in Marquez’s writings as having close affinity towards sleep (and dream as its essential by product), memory and meaning. The sketching of Macondo’s sleeplessness is a symbolic effort by the author to reveal his audience how he understands language and its function. For Marquez there is always a connection between sleep (dream) and memory. In the novel he says only if human can sleep he can have memory and can recall his past in any way. Sleeplessness of Macondo actually affects its language and memory. The people of Macondo had to write on objects their respective names. With sleeplessness all the relevance and ‘being’ of language was lost. Conversely, this also implies that human language has a function only in dream, or rather language functions as dream.

1 comment:

mythri said...

i almost finished 100 years of solitude and must say one should read that