| Quote #10
Aureliano did not leave Melquíades' room for a long time. He learned by heart the fantastic legends of the crumbing books. The synthesis of the structures of Hermann the Cripple, the notes on the science of demonology, the keys to the philosopher's stone, the Centuries of Nostradamus and his research concerning the plague, so that he reached adolescence without knowing a thing about his own time but with the basic knowledge of a medieval man. (18.1)
This is funny, but it's also closely related to the ideas we discussed in the first quotation of this section. Knowledge isn't static; it's shifting. Its usefulness is connected to time and history. Aureliano's education is broad and far-reaching, but it's totally inappropriate for someone in mid-twentieth-century Macondo.