From "La hojarasca" to "Cien años de soledad": Gabriel García Márquez’s Labyrinth of Nostalgia
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It is now a commonplace of Latin American literary criticism that Gabriel García Márquez’s 'La hojarasca' (1955) ('Leafstorm') is the key intertext and the precursor for the Colombian writer’s magnum opus, 'Cien años de' (1967) ('One Hundred Years of Solitude'). But exactly how 'La hojarasca' was remodelled for 'Cien años de soledad', especially in terms of structure and theme, has received insufficient attention. This essay posits the consciousness raising under the impact of the Cuban Revolution as the central factor in García Márquez’s decision to re-fashion a tale of individual tragedy into a collective one. In spite of this renovation, however, and in counterpoint to the optimism of the Cuban Revolution, 'Cien años' remains deeply imbued with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and personal loss, which is then projected as both pessimistic national history and transcendental category.