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Photography Posters Books News Magazines 913 W. 24 Austin 478-0284 convert him there tied to the tree: ” ‘Hoc est simplicissimus,’ he replied. ‘Because I’m crazy.’ The Colonel’s shot has missed his heart and lie survives through the doctor’s genius The bullet had followed such a neat path that the doctor was able to put a cord soaked in iodine in through the chest and withdraw it from the back. “That was my masterpiece,” he said with satisfaction. “It was the only point where a bullet could pass through without harming any vital 12 The Texas Observer Please ask your state legislators to work for the passage of Senate Bill 548 and its companion, H.B. 919, which would place non-voting student and faculty representatives on the senior college boards of Texas. Adv. paid for by Bob Tice, P.O. Box 602, Kingsville, Texas EUROPE 17 DAYS, $815. Audrey Tippin invites you to join her autumn tour of seven nations. Enjoy Europe at its very best … in the fall. IDepart Texas Sept. 10, 1971 For further information and brochure contact: Mrs. Audrey M. Tippen 1855 Wirt Avenue Houston, Texas 77055 Phone 713/464-3903 organ.” Colonel Aureliano Buendia saw himself surrounded by charitable novices who intoned desperate psalms for the repose of his soul and then he was sorry that he had not shot himself in the roof of the mouth as he had considered doing…. THERE, IN THE space of 300 words, are about 20 gestures executed almost to perfection. It is difficult to indicate how well this is all working in the space of a line or a few lines this is an incredibly difficult novel to excerpt because almost every phase, beautifully chosen as is, is improved by almost every other one. It’s also hard and for the most part useless to break down these successful gestures into components; it’s like explaining why a good joke is funny or how a successful seduction worked. I don’t think One Hundred Years of Solitude succeeds so enormously because of any one reason or really even for any complex of reasons. It succeeds because of the way it exists, and to best give an impression of how beautifully conceived and executed the novel as gesture is and the gestures within gestures are, I quote a long section which is not exceptional but only representative of a book which will ultimately take you around the block and make you happy. Early in the novel it is explained how Macondo came to be founded by the Buendias: When the pirate Sir Francis Drake attacked Riohacha in the sixteenth century, Ursula Iguaran’s great-great-grandmother became so frightened with the ringing of alarm bells and the firing of cannons that she lost control of her nerves and sat down on a lighted stove. The burns changed her into a useless wife for the rest of her days. She could only sit on one side, cushioned by pillows, and something strange must have happened to her way of walking, for she never walked again in public. She gave up all kinds of social activity, obsessed with the notion that her body gave off a singed odor. Dawn would find her in the courtyard, for she did not dare fall asleep lest she dream of the English and their ferocious attack dogs as they came through the windows of her bedroom to submit her to shameful tortures with their red-hot irons. Her husband, an Aragonese merchant by whom she had two children, spent half the value of his store on medicines and pastimes in an attempt to alleviate her terror. Finally … he took the family to live far from the sea in a settlement of peaceful Indians located in the foothills, where he built his wife a bedroom without windows so that the pirates of her dream would have no way to get in. In that village there was a native-born tobacco planter named Buendia who joined the Aragonese merchange in a partnership which made them both rich. Several centuries later the great-great-grandson of the native-born planter married t h e great-great-granddaughter of the Aragonese. Therefore, every time that Ursula became exercised over her husband’s mad ideas, she would leap back over three hundred years of fate and curse the day that Sir Francis Drake had attacked Riohacha. It was simply a way of giving herself some relief, because actually they were joined till death by a bond that was more solid than love: a common prick of conscience. They were cousins. . . . They were afraid that two healthy products of two races that had interbred over the centuries would suffer the shame of breeding iguanas. There had already been a horrible precedent. An aunt of Ursula’s, married to an uncle of Jose Arcadio Buendia, had a son who went through life wearing loose, baggy trousers and who bled to death after having lived forty-two years in the purest state of virginity, for he had been born and had grown up with a cartilaginous tail in the shape of a corkscrew and with a small tuft of hair on the tip. A pig’s tail that was never allowed to be seen by any woman and that cost him his life when a butcher friend did him the favor of chopping it off with his cleaver. Jose Arcadio Buendia, with the whimsy of his nineteen years, resolved the problem with a single phrase: “I don’t care if I have piglets as long as they can talk.” But the marriage is not consummated for over a year. Talk spreads in the town. One Sunday, Jose Arcadio Buendia wins a cockfight from Prudencio Aguilar. Aguilar is enraged: “Congratulations!” he shouted. “Maybe that rooster of yours can do your wife a favor.” Jose Arcadio Buendia goes home and gets a spear and then returns and kills Aguilar with it, nicely through the throat. The matter was put down as a duel of honor, but both of them were left with a twinge in their conscience. One night, when she could not sleep, Ursula went out into the courtyard to get some water and she saw Prudencio Aguilar by the water jar. He was livid, a sad expression on his face, trying to cover the hole in -his throat with a plug made of esparto grass. The twinge of conscience grovis into an obsession and Prudencio Aguilar keeps coming around with his esparto grass plug. Finally, Jose Arcadio and Ursula decide to leave the town to get away and to give Prudencio Aguilar some peace, and with a few other families, they cross the mountains, ultimately to found Macondo. That’s only the beginning. It goes on. But you might say that that’s how it all began, and you might even say this is one fine book, and you might, if you haven’t yourself two copies and read them both. There you go. The pursuit of hirsuteness Follicle of our youth. H. Staten Austin