Excerpt from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ~~Ice~~

They insisted that their father take them to see the overwhelming novelty of the sages of Memphis that was being advertised at the entrance of a tent that, according to what was said, had belonged to King Solomon. They insisted so much that José Arcadio Buendía paid the thirty reales and led them into the center of the tent, where there was a giant with a hairy torso and a shaved head, with a copper ring in his nose and a heavy iron chain on his ankle, watching over a pirate chest. When it was opened by the giant, the chest gave off a glacial exhalation. Inside there was only an enormous, transparent block with infinite internal needles in which the light of the sunset was broken up into colored stars. Disconcerted, knowing that the children were waiting for an immediate explanation,
José Arcadio Buendía ventured a murmur:
“It’s the largest diamond in the world.”
“No,” the gypsy countered. “It’s ice.”
José Arcadio Buendía, without understanding, stretched out his hand toward the cake, but the giant moved it away. “Five reales more to touch it,” he said. José Arcadio Buendía paid them and put his hand on the ice and held it there for several minutes as his heart filled with fear and jubilation at the contact with mystery. Without knowing what to say, he paid ten reales more so that his sons could have that prodigious experience. Little José Arcadio refused to touch it. Aureliano, on the other hand, took a step forward and put his hand on it, withdrawing it immediately. “It’s boiling,” he exclaimed, startled. But his father paid no attention to him. Intoxicated by the evidence of the miracle, he forgot at that moment about the frustration of his delirious undertakings and Melquíades’ body, abandoned to the appetite of the squids. He paid another five reales and with his hand on the cake, as if giving testimony on the holy scriptures, he exclaimed:
“This is the great invention of our time.”

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, Literature

One response to “Excerpt from “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ~~Ice~~

  1. Gabriel Garcia Marquez was born in Aracataca, Colombia on 6 March 1927, and died on 17 April 2014, aged 87 years. ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ was published in 1967.

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