One Hundred Years of Solitude
How we cite our quotes:
It was not fear of the dark that drove [Aureliano José] to crawl in under [Amaranta's] mosquito netting but an urge to feel Amaranta's warm breathing at dawn. Early one morning during the time when she refused Colonel Gerineldo Márquez, Aureliano José awoke with the feeling that he could not breathe. He felt Amaranta's fingers searching across his stomach like warm and anxious little caterpillars. Pretending to sleep, he changed his position to make it easier, and then he felt the hand without the black bandage diving like a blind shellfish into the algae of his anxiety. Although they seemed to ignore what both of them knew and what each one knew that the other knew, from that night on they were yoked together in an inviolable complicity. […] [T]hey not only slept together, naked, exchanging exhausting caresses, but they would also chase each other into the corners of the house and shut themselves up in the bedrooms at any hour of the day in a permanent state of unrelieved excitement. […] She realized that she had gone too far, that she was no longer playing kissing games with a child, but was floundering about in an autumnal passion, one that was dangerous and had no future, and she cut it off with one stroke. (8.3)
Compare this passage to ones where the Buendía boys are having their first experience of sexuality. How is the description here changed by the fact that we are getting an older woman's point of view? How does it stay the same?
While [Aureliano Segundo] was shut up in Melquíades room he was drawn into himself, [but one day] a piece of chance took him out of his withdrawn self and made him face the reality of the world. A young woman who was selling numbers for the raffle of an accordion greeted him with a great deal of familiarity. Aureliano Segundo was not surprised, for he was frequently confused with his brother. But he did not clear up the mistake, not even when the girl tried to soften his heart with sobs, and she ended taking him to her room. […] Aureliano Segundo realized that the woman had been going to bed alternately with him and his brother, thinking that they were the same man, and instead of making things clear, he arranged to prolong the situation. He did not return to Melquíades' room. […]
For almost two months he shared the woman with his brother. [After giving her – and indirectly his brother – an STD] José Arcadio Segundo did not see the woman again. Aureliano Segundo obtained her pardon and stayed with her until his death. (10.17-18)
Here is yet another of the transfers of personality from one twin to the other. After this episode with Petra Cotes, it's Aureliano Segundo who becomes all about physical pleasure, and José Arcadio Segundo becomes a weird silent recluse. Is it just us or is there a strange transfer happening here?
In a few years, without effort, simply by luck, he had accumulated one of the largest fortunes in the swamp thanks to the supernatural proliferation of his animals. His mares would bear triplets, his hens laid twice a day, and his hogs fattened with such speed that no one could explain such orderly fecundity except through the use of black magic. […] The more he opened champagne to soak his friends, the more wildly his animals gave birth and the more he was convinced that his lucky star was not a matter of his conduct but an influence of Petra Cotes, his concubine, whose love had the virtue of exasperating nature. […]
They were a frivolous couple, with no other worries except going to bed every night, even on forbidden days, and frolicking there until dawn. (10.25-26)
This stuff is usually right out on the table in this book, but there's no discussion of why Petra never gets pregnant with Aureliano Segundo. Instead, all her fertility is somehow transferred to the animals.