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Resources for Teaching
Gabriel García Márquez &
One Hundred Years of Solitude


1982 Nobel Lecture.  Excerpt:  "Latin America neither wants, nor has any reason, to be a pawn without a will of its own; nor is it merely wishful thinking that its quest for independence and originality should become a Western aspiration. However, the navigational advances that have narrowed such distances between our Americas and Europe seem, conversely, to have accentuated our cultural remoteness. Why is the originality so readily granted us in literature so mistrustfully denied us in our difficult attempts at social change? Why think that the social justice sought by progressive Europeans for their own countries cannot also be a goal for Latin America, with different methods for dissimilar conditions? No: the immeasurable violence and pain of our history are the result of age-old inequities and untold bitterness, and not a conspiracy plotted three thousand leagues from our home. But many European leaders and thinkers have thought so, with the childishness of old-timers who have forgotten the fruitful excess of their youth as if it were impossible to find another destiny than to live at the mercy of the two great masters of the world. This, my friends, is the very scale of our solitude."
Macondo.  This is undoubtedly one of the most credible sources on García Márquez' work.
Dissertation: "What Remains: Reading and Writing Between Glas and One Hundred Years of Solitude by Dr. John Omlor. 
Reading Group Guide on One Hundred Years of Solitude
New York Times Book Review of One Hundred Years of Solitude
Oprah's Guide to Understanding One Hundred Years of Solitude.  Not to be dismissed, this is a comprehensive site that provides great material.
"Teaching One Hundred Years of Solitude with The Sound and the Fury" by Mark Frisch, Duquesne University.  One of the few online sources that looks closely at the connection between Márguez and Faulkner.
"Memory and the Quest for Family History in One Hundred Years of Solitude and Song of Solomon" by Susana Vega-Gonzalez.
"Characters, Social Concerns/Themes, Techniques, Literary Precedents" by Steven Serafin, Hunter College, CUNY.

Lesson Plan Ideas (more to come)

Poems about the novel.  Because the plot of One Hundred Years of Solitude can be confusing, readers might need help in  names of characters and the sequence of events.   Have students write poems based on the plot. The following is a sample poem, based on pages 155-239, submitted by an anonymous teacher:

Aureliano Jose loves his aunt Amaranta so
They kiss and off they go
Until Amaranta finally says no.
Until an assassin kills him, shooting him in the back.

Colonel Aureliano Buendia
might as well be called Colonel Appleseed

Since he has fathered 17 boys, none of whom he lives with or feeds
He becomes friends with Conservative General Jose Raquel Montada,
But then has him killed, like he is Tony Montana,
Which really upsets Ursula who also befriended the guy
And had urged Colonel Aureliano Buendia not to let him die.

Colonel Gerineldo Marquez
started to feel the effects of war
Losing his looks and Amaranta likes him less than before.
And no wonder, the Conservatives and Liberals are striking deals that make so little sense
That even Colonel Aureliano Buendia puts up a fence,
Saying that no one could come within ten feet of him

Not even his mother or the Domino’s Pizza deliverymen.

At times he seems more of a slacker than a leader
And won’t even trust his own men either.|
He finally strikes a deal and for that he is considered a sellout
And becomes so depressed he hardly goes out.
He actually tries to commit suicide
But his own bullet misses vital organs and luck is on his side,
At least he decides not to kill Colonel Gerineldo Marquez,

Who seems so sincere, you’d think it was the author Gabo Marquez.
Santa Sofia de la Piedad
and Arcadio the bully
Had given birth to Remedios the Beauty,

Who is thought to be a little on the “special” side
And who has an admirer who dies,
She has brothers, Aureliano Segundo and Jose Arcadio Segundo, the twins
Who sleep with Petra Cortes until Aureliano Segundo wins.

The two are identical when they’re young

But as adults are as different as a Big Mac and Egg Foo Yung.

Jose Arcadio Segundo is a religious Conservative and likes cockfights

While Aureliano Segundo tosses money, loves party nights
Meets Melquiades, tries to decipher the manuscripts he has seen

And marries Fernanda the beauty queen
Who turns out to be such a prude
That even Ursula and Amaranta consider her rude.
It matters little to Aureliano Segundo who

With Fernanda has children named Renata Remedios, known as Meme too,

Jose Arcadio and Amaranta Ursula

Incorporate Images: Review the novel by showing students images that could easily be from the novel.  As an example, can you pick out which parts of the novel the following images might match up with?

Books with Resources for Teaching Márquez
William Kennedy, New York Times Book Review
One Hundred Years of Solitude is the first piece of literature since the Book of Genesis that should be required reading for the entire human race. It takes up not long after Genesis left off and carries through to the air age, reporting on everything that happened in between with more lucidity, wit, wisdom, and poetry that is expected from 100 years of novelists, let alone one man...Mr. García Márquez has done nothing less than to create in the reader a sense of all that is profound, meaningful, and meaningless in life.
  This is the best resource out there for truly appreciating and/or teaching this classic work.
  Amazon Review: “This book will be a great addition in schools where literature teachers need to offer role models to their Spanish-American students...Recommended.”–Gale Reference for Students
  With this latest installment, Nelly Sfeir v. de Gonzalez has completed her trilogy of bibliographies on Gabriel García Márquez. Born in Colombia in 1927, García Márquez has become one of the most outstanding and influential novelists of the 20th century. This third volume presents a comprehensive annotated bibliography of books, articles, and non-print materials by and about García Márquez published between 1992 and 2002. The first part consists of primary sources by García Márquez, while, the second part brings together entries for secondary sources, including reviews. From Amazon.
  This casebook features ten critical articles on García Márquez's great work. Carefully selected from the best work on the novel over the past three decades, they include pieces by Carlos Fuentes, Iris Zavala, James Higgins, Jean Franco, Michael Wood, and Gene H. Bell-Villada. Among the intriguing aspects of the work discussed are its mythic dimension, its "magical" side, its representations of women, its relationship with past chronicles of exploration and discovery, its portrayals of Western power and imperialism, its astounding diffusion throughout the globe and the media, and its simple truth-telling, its fidelity to the tangled history of Latin America.  From Amazon.
  This film reveals García Márquez as a skillful and spellbinding storyteller, taking us from birth ("Since I was born I had known I would be a writer") to the turning points in his life that formed him and his body of work.  From Amazon.
Notable Books by García Márquez


Copyright 2006 design and content by John S. Christie and Jose B. Gonzalez
Copyright 2006 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, Pearson Education, Inc.
Copyright 2006 Latino Fiction and the Modernist Imagination, John S. Christie
Last Updated:
February 26, 2011

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