Critical Essays The Use of Prophecy


We learn that adolescence made Aureliano (the last adult Buendía) silent and "definitely solitary." His brooding demeanor strikes both an echo and a foreboding in our minds: we sense in his tension that something will soon occur. He is always quiet and subdued. But he apprehends future events intuitively, and his gift of prophecy becomes the motive for all his later misadventures. His affair with Amaranta Úrsula, for example, fulfills the prophetic curse of Buendía incest. It is through Aureliano that we realize how moral history and destiny impinge. In completing the decipherment of the ancient Sanskrit manuscript of Melquíades, he realizes the conclusion of the history of the Buendías in the act of reading. Here, action is time; and art is, in Faulkner's sense of the word, potential time — that is, it only becomes actual through our experiencing it. Through his work, the artist creates the possibility of a simultaneous dimension of time; his dead symbols come to life whenever we feel recognizable meaning in them. And some meaning for us is always present in García Márquez ' narrative, no matter who reads or creates it. In this sense, everyone has a foreordained future.