On March 6th, Netflix announced the launch of a new original series: an adaptation to one of the most famous and important books in the world of literature, One Hundred Years of Solitude by the magnificent Latin American author and Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Gabriel García Márquez. This book is considered a masterpiece, and a vivid and spectacular demonstration of what magical realism is: a world where everything is seemingly real as our own, but with fantastical elements that set it apart from our reality, like people coming back from the dead or people randomly flying away.
Netflix has acquired the rights to Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and will adapt it into a series. This marks the first and only time in more than 50 years that his family has allowed the project to be adapted for the screen. pic.twitter.com/HUX1miRAJs
— See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) March 6, 2019
Most of us already know Gabriel from high school, when we were assigned his short stories and novels. Receiving news like these takes me back to when I was just beginning to enter this mystical world of magical realism, full of unthinkable things and stories with exciting plots. I remember never knowing what would happen next and letting my imagination fly high with the clouds.
For those who don’t know yet, Gabriel García Márquez, known as "Gabo" between family and colleagues, was born on March 7th, 1927 (Yes, Netflix announced the series a day before the author's birthday) in Aracataca, Colombia and died a few years ago on April 27th, 2014 with 87 years of life. Before gaining fame, García Márquez worked many years as a journalist, a tone that is captured in some of his works like Relato de un náufrago and Crónicas de una muerte anunciada.
Among his other novels are Del amor y otros demonios, El coronel no tiene quien le escriba, Amor en tiempos de cólera and many others. He also wrote numerous short stories, of which some have been published and others have never been read by the public. Among his most famous stories are La increíble y triste historia de cándida Eréndira y su abuela desalmada, Buen viaje señor presidente, El rastro de su sangre en la nieve, among others.
Now, when talking about if it’s a good idea to make this adaptation or not, I think yes as well as not. It would be interesting to see how the world of magical realism comes to life, but at the same time, an adaptation runs the risk of altering important details from the beloved story. But this is just my opinion and I am still pretty much excited to watch this. Just like me, I know that my Spanish teachers from middle school and high school are somewhere bursting with excitement, crossing their fingers and hoping for the producers to stay faithful to the book and not ruin it.
Why do we care so much? Well, this book is very important in the Hispanic culture. Macondo, the place where the story takes place, is a metaphor and representation of the Caribbean countries and their people. The book talks about relevant topics such as religion, politics, and economics. I really don’t want to give any spoilers, but the story makes a lot of references to actual events. Since the book literally narrates the story of 100 years you see the beginning, the development, and the fall of Macondo. From invasions to wars and to romance, this literary piece is a complete exposition of the story of Macondo through the eyes of the Buendia family. And again, since it’s 100 years, you’ll be getting a lot of characters, and some of those may share the names. It’s really confusing at first but you get the hang out of it.
Although the years continue to pass, this book will always remain as one of the classics that you have to read. I truly recommend reading the book before watching the show. If you really want to wait and see it instead of reading, that’s okay, but keep in mind that it may be different from the original story. Don’t fully judge the story based only on the series and, more importantly, enjoy it!
“No one should know their meaning until they have completed one hundred years”