Two Visits to the Dentist

Michael Mason

A reader who has some acquaintance with Garcia Marquez is almost bound to approach a new novel by him with certain questions about connectedness in mind. There is first of all the issue of the connectedness of his career: which resolves itself at once into questions about the origins of, and successors to, the extraordinary One Hundred Years of Solitude. The commanding presence of this novel has inevitably given the earlier work something of the character of an overture (especially for the English reader, for whom this material has mostly become available since the novel’s appearance), while the more recent writing has generally been assessed for adequacy as a sequel. Then there is the matter of the internal connections in Garcia Marquez’s fiction. There are recurrences of certain characters, events and places: Colonel Aureliano Buendia, Jose Montiel, the Treaty of Neerlandia, Macondo, Manaure. What do these recurrences amount to? Should we even pay attention to them?

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