Topping out our Faculty Favorite list this week is Ms. Dreiling, whose fave books include two acclaimed works of fiction: The Sea, the Sea, by Iris Murdoch, and 100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
“The Sea, the Sea has some of the most incredible, vivid descriptions I have ever read,” says Ms. Dreiling. “The narrator is totally unreliable and the plot seems like it isn’t going anywhere, then almost instantly it all comes together. It’s an incredible piece of fiction that weaves love, theater, obsession, memoirs, danger, powerlessness, and changeability all into one.”
The story centers around Charles Arrowby, leading light of England’s theatrical set, (who) retires from glittering London to an isolated home by the sea. He plans to write a memoir about his great love affair with Clement Makin, his mentor both professionally and personally, and to amuse himself with Lizzie, an actress he has strung along for many years. None of his plans work out, and his memoir evolves into a riveting chronicle of the strange events and unexpected visitors–some real, some spectral–that disrupt his world and shake his oversized ego to its very core.
In exposing the jumble of motivations that drive Arrowby and the other characters, Iris Murdoch lays bare “the truth of untruth”–the human vanity, jealousy, and lack of compassion behind the disguises they present to the world. Played out against a vividly rendered landscape and filled with allusions to myth and magic, Charles’s confrontation with the tidal rips of love and forgiveness is one of Murdoch’s most moving and powerful tales.
“I distinctly remember the feeling I had the first time I read the ending of 100 Years of Solitude,” says Ms. Dreiling. “My pulse was racing and I was terrified of what was going to happen to the Buendia family. No other novel has ever effected me this way. I also adore Magical Realism, and Gabo is a master at weaving the unbelievable into the everyday life of the Buendia family.”
One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement of a Nobel Prize winning career.
The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.
Love and lust, war and revolution, riches and poverty, youth and senility — the variety of life, the endlessness of death, the search for peace and truth — these universal themes dominate the novel. Whether he is describing an affair of passion or the voracity of capitalism and the corruption of government, Gabriel Garcia Marquez always writes with the simplicity, ease, and purity that are the mark of a master.
Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitude weaves the political, personal, and spiritual to bring a new consciousness to storytelling. Translated into dozens of languages, this stunning work is no less than an accounting of the history of the human race.
If you’d like to read One Hundred Years of Solitude, stop by the library to check out a copy. And thanks, Ms. Dreiling, for your wonderful contribution to our blog!
Synopses from Goodreads.com