One Hundred Years of Solitude … Garcia Marquez

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ was born in Aracataca, Colombia in 1928, but he lived most of his life in Mexico and Europe. He attended the University of Bogota and later worked as staff reporter and film critic for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador. In addition to ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE, he has also written two collections of short fiction, NO ONE WRITES TO THE COLONEL and LEAF STORM.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

TRANSLATED FROM THE SPANISH

BY GREGORY RABASSA

ONE HUNDRED YEARS

OF SOLITUDE

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUES x ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

Jort Areadio BoendUi

m. Cnula Iguarln

olonel Aurellano Btiendia-

m. Remcdios Moscote

-Jos6 Areadio

m-Rebeca

Aurcliano Jose

(by Pilar Ternera)

17 Aurelianos

R’emedios the Beauty

Areadio

(by Pilar Ternera)

m. Santa Sofia de la Piedad

Aurellano Segundo

m. Fernanda del Carplo

Amaranta

Jose Areadio Segundo

j_Renata

Remedios (Mane)

Aurellano

(by MauHcioBabfionla)

lose Areadio

-..Amaranta

m. Gasti

ranta Orsula

Gaston

Aurellano

(by Aurellano^

Chapter 2

14

Jose Arcadio paid no attention. While the sad interrogation of the snake-man was taking place, he

made his way through the crowd up to the front row, where the gypsy girl was, and he stooped

behind her. He pressed against her back. The girl tried to separate herself, but Jose Arcadio pressed

more strongly against her back. Then she felt him. She remained motionless against him, trembling

with surprise and fear, unable to believe the evidence, and finally she turned her head and looked at

him with a tremulous smile. At that instant two gypsies put the snake-man into his cage and carried

him into the tent. The gypsy who was conducting the show announced:

“And now, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to show the terrible test of the woman who must

have her head chopped off every night at this time for one hundred and fifty years as punishment

for having seen what she should not have.”

Jose Arcadio and the gypsy girl did not witness the decapitation. They went to her tent, where

they kissed each other with a desperate anxiety while they took off their clothes. The gypsy girl

removed the starched lace corsets she had on and there she was, changed into practically nothing.

She was a languid little frog, with incipient breasts and legs so thin that they did not even match the

size of Jose Arcadio’s arms, but she had a decision and a warmth that compensated for her fragility.

Nevertheless, Jose Arcadio could not respond to her because they were in a kind of public tent

where the gypsies passed through with their circus things and did their business, and would even

tarry by the bed for a game of dice. The lamp hanging from the center pole lighted the whole place

up. During a pause in the caresses, Jose Arcadio stretched out naked on the bed without knowing

what to do, while the girl tried to inspire him. A gypsy woman with splendid flesh came in a short

time after accompanied by a man who was not of the caravan but who was not from the village

either, and they both began to undress in front of the bed. Without meaning to, the woman looked

at Jose Arcadio and examined his magnificent animal in repose with a kind of pathetic fervor.

“My boy,” she exclaimed, “may God preserve you just as you are.”

Jose Arcadio’s companion asked them to leave them alone, and the couple lay down on the

ground, close to the bed. The passion of the others woke up Jose Arcadio’s fervor. On the first

contact the bones of the girl seemed to become disjointed with a disorderly cmnch like the sound of

a box of dominoes, and her skin broke out into a pale sweat and her eyes filled with tears as her

whole body exhaled a lugubrious lament and a vague smell of mud. But she bore the impact with a

firmness of character and a bravery that were admirable. Jose Arcadio felt himself lifted up into the

22

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUES x ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

air toward a state of seraphic inspiration, where his heart burst forth with an outpouring of tender

obscenities that entered the girl through her ears and came out of her mouth translated into her

language. It was Thursday. On Saturday night, Jose Arcadio wrapped a red cloth around his head

and left with the gypsies.

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