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Quotes

Quote #4

[Colonel Aureliano Buendía's] efforts to systematize his premonitions were useless. They would come suddenly in a wave of supernatural lucidity, like an absolute and momentous conviction, but they could not be grasped. On occasion they were so natural that he identified them as premonitions only after they had been fulfilled. Frequently they were nothing but ordinary bits of superstition. But when they condemned him to death and asked him to state his last wish, he did not have the least difficulty in identifying the premonition that inspired his answer: "I ask that the sentence be carried out in Macondo," he said. (7.21)

Can we compare Colonel Buendía's efforts to make sense of his clairvoyance with his father's attempts to systematize memory with the memory machine? What's the attitude behind each of these attempts? Neither is successful, but do we feel differently about each of them?

Quote #5

No one had gone into the room again since they had taken Melquíades's body out and had put on the door a padlock whose parts had become fused together with rust. But when Aureliano Segundo opened the windows a familiar light entered that seemed accustomed to lighting the room every day and there was not the slightest trace of dust or cobwebs, with everything swept and clean, better swept and cleaner than on the day of the burial, and the ink had not dried up in the inkwell nor had oxidation diminished the shine of the metals nor had the embers gone out under the water pipe where José Arcadio Buendía had vaporized mercury. On the shelves were the books bound in a cardboard-like material, pale like tanned human skin, and the manuscripts were intact. (10.4)

What's the symbolism of this room being so super-clean? It's like ghost OCD in there! Also, check out the comparison between the books and human skin. It's almost like Melquíades is those books – creepy!

Quote #6

[Aureliano Segundo] became lost in misty byways, in times reserved for oblivion, in labyrinths of disappointment. He crossed a yellow plain where the echo repeated one's thoughts and where anxiety brought on premonitory mirages. After sterile weeks he came to an unknown city where all the bells were tolling a dirge. Although he had never seen them and no one had ever described them to him he immediately recognized the walls eaten away by bone salt, the broken-down wooden balconies gutted by fungus, and nailed to the outside door, almost erased by rain, the saddest cardboard sign in the world: Funeral Wreaths for Sale. (11.10)

Aureliano Segundo and Fernanda have the worst marriage ever. Why do you think he finds her through this crazy supernatural recognition? What does it say about the supernatural in the novel as a whole, if anything?

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