McOndo with fries

The BBC reports that the town of Aracataca, birthplace of Gabriel García Márquez, has decided not to rename itself Macondo, the name of the town in Márquez book, Cien años de soledad, and avoided a trap of double irony.

The mayor of Aracataca hoped that renaming the town after Macondo would attract tourists, perhaps not realising the problems of naming your town after a place that, after growing to prominence, very much Declined and Fell.

Moreover, it ignores completely the response to Macondo - McOndo. McOndo was a literary response from the Generación del Crak to the perception of Latin America and the fact that it could only be interpreted through magical realism, as if it could not be a real place, despite the very real problems, just like everywhere else, that the continent faces. The only way, according to McOndo, that people perceive Latin America is as Macondo. While the attempt to increase tourism by renaming your town is understandable, it smacks of accepting orientalism.



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