the ledge files
the ledge - nl - uk
Cien años de soledad
Gabriel García Márquez
publisher: , 1967

translated as:
One Hundred Years of Solitude
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1970
translation: Gregory Rabassa

refered to by:
Toni Morrison

Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie

The Tin Drum
Günter Grass

Double Play: The Story of an Amazing World Record
Frank Martinus Arion

The Known World
Edward P. Jones

The Last Window Giraffe
Péter Zilahy

The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende

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the ledge - flash version*


Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.
It is typical of Gabriel García Márquez that it will be many pages before his narrative circles back to the ice, and many chapters before the hero of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Buendía, stands before the firing squad. In between, he recounts such wonders as an entire town struck with insomnia, a woman who ascends to heaven while hanging laundry, and a suicide that defies the laws of physics:
A trickle of blood came out under the door, crossed the living room, went out into the street, continued on in a straight line across the uneven terraces, went down steps and climbed over curbs, passed along the Street of the Turks, turned a corner to the right and another to the left, made a right angle at the Buendía house, went in under the closed door, crossed through the parlor, hugging the walls so as not to stain the rugs, went on to the other living room, made a wide curve to avoid the dining-room table, went along the porch with the begonias, and passed without being seen under Amaranta's chair as she gave an arithmetic lesson to Aureliano José, and went through the pantry and came out in the kitchen, where Úrsula was getting ready to crack thirty-six eggs to make bread.
'Holy Mother of God!' Úrsula shouted.

The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded
by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women – the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar – who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that 'the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house.'
With One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez introduced Latin American literature to a world-wide readership. Translated into more than two dozen languages, his brilliant novel of love and loss in Macondo stands at the apex of 20th-century literature.



Don Quixote
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, 1605 / 1615
A comic study of delusion and its consequences; Don Quixote, the old gentleman of La Mancha, takes to the road in search of adventure and remains undaunted in the face of repeated disaster.

The Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka, 1915
'published in Kafka's lifetime'
A man awakens up one morning to find himself transformed into an enormous insect.

Absalom, Absalom!
William Faulkner, 1936
Narrated by Quentin Compson, the suicide in The Sound and the Fury, this is the tale of Thomas Sutpen, a poor White who dreams of founding a dynasty. His refusal to accept his wife' s Negro blood initiates a bloody train of events to create a vision of doom of the American South.

Pedro Páramo
Juan Rulfo, 1955
Pedro Paramo - father, overlord, lover and murderer - dominates the landscape of the novel which flows hynotically through dreams, desires and memories.

Jorges Luis Borges, 1935/ 1944 / 1949
This is a collection of Borges's fiction, translated and gathered into a single volume. From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through the influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, to his final work from the 1980s, Shakespeare Memory.

The First Forty-Nine Stories
Ernest Hemingway, 1939
Literary journalism or journalistic literature? This anthology includes two stories about East Africa: 'The Snows of Kilimanjaro and 'The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber'.


One Hundred Years of Solitude
This magical realist novel tells the history of the Buendías family, the founders of Macondo, a remote South American settlement. In the world of the novel there is a Spanish galleon beached in the jungle, a flying carpet, and an iguana in a woman's womb.

The Leopard
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, 1958
A bitter-sweet tale of quiet lives in the small and apparently timeless world of mid-19th-century Sicilian nobility. Through the eyes of his princely protagonist, the author chronicles the details of an aristocratic, pastoral society, torn apart by revolution, death and decay.

The Family Moskat
Isaac Bashevis Singer, 1950
Tells the story of the prosperous Moskat family, Polish Jews living in Warsaw between the dawn of the 20th century and the gloom of 1939.

The Godfather
Mario Puzo, 1969
The Godfather is the Mafia leader Vito Corleone, a benevolent despot who stops at nothing to gain and hold power. Set in Long Island, Hollywood and Sicily this is a story of a feudal society within society which does not hesitate to consolidate its power.

The Kingdom of This World
Alejo Carpentier, 1949
Set in Haiti during the transition to independence, this novel tells of Ti Noel, a leader who draws on African spirituality and wisdom to lead a group of ex-slaves through chaotic times.

Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Jorge Amado, 1966
Dona Flor' s husband may have been a gambler and womanizer, but when he dies all she remembers is his lovemaking. A new marriage does not bring the erotic love she longs for. So when her first husband appears naked at the foot of her bed, eager to reclaim his conjugal rights, it is hard to resist.

The House of the Spirits
Isabel Allende, 1985
The saga of the Trueba family, whose passions, struggles and secrets span three generations and a century of violent social change.

Julio Cortázar, 1951
Cortazar' s stories are descriptions of ordinary moments in which something impossible quietly takes place.

Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie, 1981
Born at the midnight of India's independence, Saleem is 'handcuffed to history' by the coincidence. He is one of 1001 children born that midnight, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent.

The Master and Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov, 1967P
The Devil raises hell in Stalinist Moscow.

[De versierde mens]
Harry Mulisch, 1957
Seven stories in which mythology, fantasy, and reality come together.

The Magic Toyshop
Angela Carter, 1967
Melanie walks naked in the midnight garden whereupon omens of disaster swiftly follow, transporting Melanie from rural comfort to London, to the Magic Toyshop.

Leaf Storm
'books about Macondo'
This is a collection of stories by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, most of which are fables. It includes 'Leaf Storm', a tale about a week-long South American rainstorm, and the story of a tarry angel who crash-lands in a village and is kept in a hencoop.
No One Writes to the Colonel
'books about Macondo'
In a decaying Colombian town the Colonel and his ailing wife are living a hand-to-mouth existence, scraping together the money for food and medicine. The Colonel's hopes for a better future lie with his rooster, which for him, and the whole town, has become a symbol of defiance.
Big Mama's Funeral
'books about Macondo'
Nine (satirical) stories about village life in Macondo.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Setting out to reconstruct a murder that took place 27 years earlier, this chronicle moves backwards and forwards in time, through the contradictions of memory and moments lost in time. Its irony gives the book the nuances of a political fable.
Love in the Time of Cholera
A man waits his whole life for his love to be requited.
Memories of My Melancholy Whores
After a lifetime spent in the arms of prostitutes (514 when he loses count at age 50), the unnamed journalist protagonist decides that his gift to himself on his 90th birthday will be a night with an adolescent virgin.
Innocent Erendira
Erendira accidentally burns down her grandmother's house and is forced to pay her back with the money she earns from prostitution. However, it seems Erendira has a more appropriate way of repaying her.
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The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
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