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One Of Gabriel Garcia Marquez S Most Intricate And Ambitious Works, The Autumn Of The Patriarch Is A Brilliant Tale Of A Caribbean Tyrant And The Corruption Of PowerFrom Charity To Deceit, Benevolence To Violence, Fear Of God To Extreme Cruelty, The Dictator Of The Autumn Of The Patriarch Embodies The Best But Also The Worst Of Human Nature Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Renowned Master Of Magical Realism, Vividly Portrays The Dying Tyrant Caught In The Prison Of His Own Dictatorship Employing An Innovative, Dreamlike Style, And Overflowing With Symbolic Descriptions, The Novel Transports The Reader To A World That Is At Once Fanciful And Vividly Real


10 thoughts on “El otoño del patriarca

  1. says:

    I m out of breath just thinking back to this book It is a torrent of words that grabs you and suffocates you You are helpless and do not even try to float.The peculiarity of this translation is punctuation some sentences make up to 50 pages Impossible to let go until the sentence is over, and if like me you have the weakness to start the next, just to see, you find yourself embarked for a new endless gulp.I remain haunted by the image of this man out of age, wandering endlessly in the dismal rooms of his devastated palace, squeezing his bandage hernia Even if the theme is striking, I recommend it especially for the literary experience how to be trapped by a book style, what I had lived so much that for On the road , by Kerouac a haunting and sometimes annoying plot interspersed with variations that gradually enrich the whole we are hypnotized Lisbon Book Fair 2016.


  2. says:

    A novel of blazing, indefatigable brilliance A tale in which absolute power of a uniquely Caribbean variety corrupts its possessor absolutely Year by year el president grows ever farther from any connection with his people until he s a pampered Howard Hughes like recluse In his detachment he looses a succession of evil proxies on his people, who perpetrate genocides without a cause In one, 20,000 children are murdered for their unwitting collusion in a lottery scam which el president always wins Then there s the time he literally roasts one of his generals for perceived wrongs and serves him up with fava beans and a nice chianti to the man s officers At the start of el president s hundred year reign, he is illiterate he signs documents with an inked thumb, like a criminal being booked When a Catholic novice he has despoiled teaches him how to read, entire daily newspapers are produced with an print run of one copy solely for him How, please tell me, does Garc a Marquez keep the tone skimming adroitly between the comic and tragic It s entertainment dripping with blood.The reading is no simple task You ve got to want this one you ve got to have the fire in the belly Written in a Modernist style with many of its esthetic conventions run on sentences stream o consciousness , intersecting multiple voices without identifying tags, dreams interlarded with so called reality, with fleeting fantasy, shifting points of view, asynchrony, etc This works well with the so called Magic Realism the author helped pioneer, though in this context I begin to think Magic Realism s roots were in Modernism all along There are oracular basins, seas turned to lunar dust, vanishing virgins, and lots of divination by tarot card, palm of the hand, coffee grounds and murderous purges resulting from it There is also a pervasive sense of the eschatological Its 255 pages reads like 400 since it s virtually one solid paragraph all the way through I particularly enjoyed the sacrilegious parts especially the move by the capricious president to have his mother canonized by the Vatican Cruelly funny stuff Not to be missed Your patience will be amply rewarded.


  3. says:

    The Caribbean Bates Motel Perhaps one of the longest sustained rants in literary history Certainly an anti dictatorial polemic which spares the reader nothing of the disadvantages of uncontrolled power torture, arbitrary execution, sadism, and a general lack of good taste Even if the dictator in question does love his mother.The United States of course is the catalytic force for the dictatorial regime and its flaws Well sort of, since one could hardly insist that previous governments were better in any discernible sense Marquez implies that there is an underlying problem of unwillingness to be governed which would have led to the same state regardless of foreign meddling The country resembles the Roman Empire in its declining years the buck stops with local war lords who keep most of it and distribute the rest as loose change.Perhaps the real culprit is mother She was a peasant after all, with all the banal proclivities of the peasantry, lamenting to anyone who wanted to listen to her that it was no good being the president s mama She encouraged the dictator to believe in the miracle of having conceived him without recourse to any male and of having received in a dream the hermetical keys to his messianic destiny, Of course she chooses not to acknowledge his grotesque sexual appetites when she sees him wallowing in the fen of prosperity Poor boy never had any real discipline.The problem presented by Marquez to the reader is that without extensive knowledge of Colombian and general Latin America history, Autumn of the Patriarch reads, like an old Norse saga, as a endless series of awful lives, awful assassinations and massacres, and dissipating palace intrigues Perhaps that is how he perceives Colombian history in a nutshell a repetitive cycle of corrupt generals who maintain a permanent state of incipient war and pervasive squalor Not something for the tourist brochures then.


  4. says:

    Hypnotic and brilliant.This is my fourth Garcia Marquez book and this is said to be his most difficult book to read It took him four 1968 1971 years to write this book Four years He wrote this as a follow up novel to his masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude that catapulted him to stardom in the world literary arena This was his most recent novel when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982.I picked this 1001 book because there was a new member in our book club who is also a GGM s fan and this is the book that he hadn t read yet We read 1 chapter a day and so we were able to read this in less than a week We posted our daily insights here Please take my 6 day insights as my review, please Because right at this moment, my heart is bleeding.The reason is that in the same thread though, another member informed us that Garcia Marquez is now suffering from dementia because this reminded me of what happened Alzheimer s being similar to dementia in some ways before Dame Iris Murdoch died in 1999 This entry in the Wiki broke my heart In July 2012, his brother reported that Garc a M rquez was suffering from dementia His treatment for lymphatic cancer was considered a possible cause Garc a M rquez s brother attempted to keep the details private but was dismayed at speculation always filled with morbid details over his brother s condition He explained Dementia runs in our family and he s now suffering the ravages prematurely due to the cancer that put him almost on the verge of death Chemotherapy saved his life, but it also destroyed many neurons, many defences and cells, and accelerated the process But he still has the humour, joy and enthusiasm that he has always had However, he also said his brother was unable to continue with the autobiography he is working on.I am very sad because I d like him to write that autobiography as I d like to know about him He is my most favorite novelist This farewell message in You Tube is guaranteed to make you cry especially if you are one of his million fans like me THE FAREWELL LETTER of Gabriel Garcia Marquez If for a while God forgot that I m a puppet and gave me a piece of life, probably I wouldn t say everything that I think, but definitivelly I would think everything that I say I would give value to things not because of what they cost but because of what they mean.I would sleep less and dream I understand that for each minute that we close our eyes, we lose sixty seconds of light I would walk when the others stopped, I would wake up when the others slept, I would listen when the others spoke, and how much I would enjoy a chocolate ice cream If God gave me a piece of life I would dress simply, I would lie on the sun, showing not only my body but my soul My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hate on the ice and I would wait for the sun to rise image error


  5. says:

    It s hard not to distinguish the writer s infamous tone subject matter in this sumptuous tale which might be the first time that a character study is so well meshed with the locale of his biography The Autumn of the Patriarch in less than 50 sentences spanning pages pages and a thick layering of symbols and leit motifs, tells the sad story of a mad tyrant ruler who, despite being bathed in power and glory, is nonetheless a HUMAN he kills but suffers immensely and if the book were a painting it kind of is the words span an entire panorama the Caribbean island is so fully described in words that convey both stagnation AND movement at the same time fantastic magic and awful reality it d be an enormous canvas of colors, moods, unbelievable sights and smells the flow of words, a literal bombardment of them, gives the novel its undeniable charm Hey the format is difficult it really is poetry than prose robust beauty.


  6. says:

    Update Rest in peace, dear M rquez Your books will always live on Why do I let M rquez torture me so, with his convoluted sentence structures and brilliant use of the comma, his obvious disdain of the semi colon and colon, the thoughts that go on and on, so intricate and philosophical these sentences that he has me choosing his words over the weekend movie or tennis game, has me so brainwashed that I m typing this review and can t seem to stop for something as simple as that small dot known as the period or that brief pause known as the paragraph break, because after all, a review of this book does not deserve a break, written as it is and all, where the biggest breaks are when the man takes a breath to give us new chapters, when each new sentence and thought is separated only by commas, no such thing as dialogue tags because really, who needs dialogue tags when you re dealing with the mentality of a brutal dictator who will take you, the reader, chew you up for dinner and spit you out, have you crawling for the safety of your real world when you realize that the protagonist is an animal, that these characters are all strange indeed, this dictator president and his matriarch mother, Benidicion Alvarado with her entertaining grotesqueness, yet you follow her meanderings and those of her son s, a main character you want to strangle, especially when he serves one of his generals on a platter, literally, but you instead choose to take a deep breath and keep following him around because you realize what M rquez is doing here, letting you inside the disaster of a troubled mind, bringing you pleasure and pain through mysticism, taking you through this great season of autumn without even bothering to show you the colors oh but this takes place within the Caribbean, I remind myself, so the seasonal color changes might be minimal still, he does something you ve never seen any author do so successfully when he transports you back and forth through time, switches from third to first person perspectives and narrators without even ending a sentence, thoughts from both mother and son, because alas, a Marquez novel never introduces such an omnivorous patriarch without having an equally rapacious matriarch present A person needed an iron liver to refuse a favor to someone who was singing his praises, and now on the contrary there was no one to ask him for anything, no one to say to him at least good morning general sir, did you have a good night, he didn t even have the consolation of those nocturnal explosions that woke him up with a hail of broken glass and blew the doors off their hinges and sowed panic among the troops but which at least made him feel he was alive and not in this silence that buzzes inside my head and wakes me up with its noise, all I am now is a fright painted on the wall of this horror show


  7. says:

    This is Garcia Marquez at his most complex and polemical It is an uncomfortable read, disturbing at times It is also difficult with very few chapters, no paragraphs and sentences that go on for several pages Garcia Marquez conducts an extended love affair with the comma his punctuation mark of choice in this book The novel concerns the nameless dictator of a nameless Caribbean nation principally it is the story of his decline and death with added detail concerning his bloody reign He has modestly titled himself General of the Universe Garcia Marquez does have experience of living under dictatorship Pinilla in Columbia and Franco in Spain It is a mass of influences that hits you like a torrent of water As you would expect there is magic realism and surrealism at its heart However the influence of Rabelais is also clear and there is a strand of mysticism running through it all The jumps in time are reminiscent of Faulkner It is also crude, vulgar, violent and cruel as you would expect of any analysis of the internal dynamics of dictatorship.There are also some deeply comic moments The dictator sells the sea around his island to the Americans who keep him in power The sea is packaged up and sent to somewhere in Arizona the general is given a wind machine as a present to replace the sea breezes The cows on the island are born with the presidential mark already on them However, the novel is deeply depressing, polemical and focuses on excess The General is a grotesque and the excesses are completely over the top, even though there is a dreamlike quality even to the violence and perversions Garcia Marquez captures the chaos and unknowing of life in a dictatorship there is little sense of time the General changes it at will , memories are changed at will and reinvented The atrocities are trotted out and explained by the General We spend a great deal of time in the General s head and Garcia Marquez exposes what one reviewer has called the solitary vice of power The General comes to see himself as a god and names his son Emmanuel This is a fascinating, confusing, shocking and mystical analysis of the heart of dictatorship and the heart of a dictator charting his decline from charismatic leader to depraved beast.


  8. says:

    Real Rating 4.75 of fiveI can t full five a book I read three decades ago in the midst of my Latin American delights phase I can tell you that the translation is excellent, captures the spirit of the original Spanish if not the literal idioms It s a brief book but not a light one, in any sense of the word I suspect lots of readers look at its length and think, oh goody good good, a shorty and I can say I ve read a Garc a M rquez And were they ever sorry Fascism was fought back into hidey holes during our lifetimes for a reason, y all, and it s oozed back into the public discourse on the fears and hates of ignorant people yet again The Left, bunch of elitist idiots that we are, has yet again failed to educate those most resistant to book larnin in basic decency Once upon a time, that was the stated aim of religion, so aber nat rlich the Fascists co opted the religiosifiers to spread their hateful, vile, cruel propaganda for them They did that last time, too, only then it was Catholicism Father Coughlin in the US, Pius XII ignoring the Holocaust, the Cristeros in Mexico whose scorched earth civil war led directly to the WWII influx of illegal migrants enduring slavery in US farm fields.So long as the lowest, the least, and the last are allowed to wrest control of the microphone from their betters, this will continue to happen Elitism fully intentional.


  9. says:

    finally i finished this bookso disgusting but admirable The Autumn of the Patriarch is a remarkable and clear psychological portrait of a dictator, and beautifully written but it is despicable and terrible subject At first people loved him beacuse they thought and believed he has the power of healing But his infinite power created a lot of political corruption so ancient dictator remained alone and wandered in the empty palace with cows and hens it was an image of death and decay and fall The Autumn of the Patriarch isn t difficult to understand, it can be difficult to read because the style is so dense and rich but it is a unique and great book when i read this book, i remembered The President a film by Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf


  10. says:

    Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city woke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur. Thus begins Gabriel Garcia Marquez s acclaimed novel The Autumn of the Patriarch, about the life and death of the dictator in an unnamed Latin American country This first sentence tells us clearly what to expect in this story as the time starts moving, slowly, sluggishly out of the presidential palace where it has been imprisoned for centuries, we are invited to dip into its muddy waters which contain fragrance and filth not in equal amounts, the filth dominating yet by willing ourselves to endure it, we can still take nutrition hidden in its whorls and eddies.But as time unravels, it would be foolish to expect it to be linear And also, as the hoary past has been pent up for aeons in a timeless receptacle, it would futile to expect truth also For what is truth, other than what we perceive through our senses, those lying blackguards whose main aim to filter information to limit it to the bare minimum we need for survival No, here we are in the realm of myth, so dive in folks, prepare to get smothered, gasp for breath, imbibe filthy waters, drown yourself and resurrect unexpectedly it s not an easy journey, it s not even enjoyable sometimes, but it s compelling, and once you are in, it s not easy to come out until all the years have unravelled and you are left alone on the unstoried beach of desolation.The author does not tell you whether the Patriarch is an actual flesh and blood person who existed, oh no, it is impossible and important, immaterial what is essential is for us readers, once we enter the palace with its courtyard of lepers beneath the rosebushes and the cows wandering on the stairs and the chickens roosting in the royal chambers and the birds of paradise creating immense cacophony in their cages and his innumerable concubines with their seven month runts is to reach the room where the great man is lying dead face down with his right arm as a pillow, turn him over, look into his wizened visage and his skeletal finger wearing the ring of authority and his herniated testicle and transport ourselves to the timeless era of his reign from his birth as a no account orphan to the bird woman Benedicion Alvorado later consecrated as saint, his double Patricio Aragones murdered in his stead, his henchmen who draw, quarter, skin and through various other cruel means dispatch his suspected enemies before they are murdered in much barbarous fashion themselves, the novice Letitia Nazareno kidnapped and kept captive naked for years before she becomes first lady and is murdered, the beauty queen Manuela Sanchez who apparently moves through walls Oh yes, that is what we are supposed to do, float, swim, dive drown, resuscitate No questions Most important no questions, no analysis, no asking what does it all mean anyway , oh no just lose yourself.For this is not the tale of the Patriarch, when you look at it deeply, it is the tale of all such patriarchs who lived the ignominious fiction of commanding without power, of being exalted without glory and of being obeyed without authority when they get past the spring of their youth and the high noon of their summer and enter the autumn of their dotage, when the leaves of their authority start to fall, we have to brace ourselves for the long, hopeless winter that follows Let s only hope that it will not be a Nuclear Winter Note This is a very tough read, though I found it exhilarating.