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I believe the title of “100 Years of Solitude” is a poor translation.

The Spanish phrase, soledad, is translated as both “loneliness” or “solitude”. In English, solitude refers merely to the state of being alone, normally in a constructive sense of discovering calm. To my thoughts, not one of the characters within the e-book are ever actually in solitude, apart from the one man who hides within the jungle to keep away from his curse. Loneliness, abandonment, and even “aloneness” seem to be they might match higher. Particularly with the ultimate quote. Certain, “solitude” has a greater ring to it, nevertheless it all the time bothered me after studying this e-book.
Anybody else really feel this manner?

Comments ( 6 )

  1. I think you are just ‘wrong’* about the connotations of solitude. *Language is really complex and it’s hard to say anyone is wrong, but I don’t think your experience with the word is the most common.

  2. The village they live in is relatively untouched by the world until later events cause them to be influenced by outsiders. By the end of the novel the village is touched by war and global capitalism. I think the title is very fitting.

  3. >solitude refers merely to the state of being alone, usually in a positive sense of finding calm.

    I agree with the first part but not the second. it’s rather a neutral word (compared with your other suggestions) but to me it shades slightly towards the negative side.

    maybe “isolation” would be a fair compromise? although I think poeticism is another factor in the title choice.

  4. I’m a native Spanish speaker. I disagree and think solitude conveys the meaning/emotion/feel more accurately than loneliness or abandonment (which I REALLY think doesn’t work). I do like aloneness, though, and think that has a similar connotation to solitude and soledad.

  5. I’m Spanish, and I think you have a point. Soledad has mostly negative connotations, a certain yearning, just like loneliness. Solitude can have less negative connotations (see for example Superman’s lair, which he calls Fortress of Solitude, with a positive connotation of retreat and spiritual repose).

    The difference between loneliness and solitude is not that sharp, though, and 100 Years of Solitude sounds a bit better than 100 Years of Loneliness. 100 Years of Solitude has a certain rhythm to it, just like the original Spanish title.

    Maybe the slightly different connotations are a reasonable trade-off in order to get the better-sounding title.

  6. Macondo is the one in solitude.

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