Faculty, students coordinate marathon reading of '100 Years of Solitude' novel

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel that chronicles the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family and the tragicomedy of humankind.  The Penn State College of the Liberal Arts and various departments and centers are organizing a marathon 24-hour reading of the novel, beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, on the lawn in front of Pattee and Paterno Libraries.

The event is free and open to the public to attend and to participate in the reading of the masterpiece by novelist Gabriel García Márquez. Students and faculty are invited to camp out overnight and bring appropriate equipment. Pizza and breakfast will be provided by event sponsors. 

Select readers will take turns reading aloud for approximately five minutes each throughout the event. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends and community residents are invited to sign up to read aloud by emailing marathonread@psu.edu. But, it is not necessary to make a reservation in order to read. Some participants will read aloud in Spanish, and organizers also will have available translations in French, German and Chinese for anyone versed in those languages. Penn State Distinguished Alumna Sue Paterno will begin reading at 1 p.m.,Thursday, followed by State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham and senior University administrators. Women’s basketball coaches will wrap up the event on Friday.

''This event was a tremendous success last year, bringing together dozens of students, faculty and community members in a public space, and showcasing the power of ideas, discussion and learning,'' said Christopher Reed, professor of English and visual culture, and a key organizer. ''We launched the Marathon Reading last year with 'Catch-22,' which has origins on the Penn State campus, but this year, we chose 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' to celebrate Penn State’s commitment to diversity and international perspectives. Many people consider the novel's opening line as one of the greatest first lines in literature: `Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.'"

Sponsors are the College of the Liberal Arts; School of Languages and Literatures; Department of English; Department of Comparative Literature; Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese; Department of French and Francophone Studies; Paterno Fellows Program; Center for Democratic Deliberation; and Center for American Literary Studies.

For more information, contact Sarah Denes at smd18@psu.edu

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Last Updated September 11, 2013