The Russian Orthodox Church has accused Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” widely considered to be a masterpiece, of encouraging and justifying pedophilia.
Vsevolod Chaplin, a leading representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, claims that the novel idolizes the “depraved passions that make people miserable.”
The influential leader argued that books like Marquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” contribute to the moral decay of Russian society and that it is necessary to judge any kind of artistic expression from a moral perspective. Chaplin wants the book, along with “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov, taken off high school curriculums due to the way that it frankly addresses themes such as incest and sex with minors.
One of the protagonists of Marquez’s novel, Aureliano, marries and impregnates a 9-year-old girl, despite her parents’ plea that she is too young and could be his daughter.
The comments have sparked a wave of concern from a number of Russian intellectuals and literary figures, who feared that Chaplin’s demands might be taken seriously. Russian playwright Leonid Zorin says, “the church can’t censor literature, it is absurd.”
Vsevolod Chaplin is one of Russia’s most controversial and out spoken religious leaders. In the past the church spokesperson has tried to implement an orthodox dress code after accusing women of “mistaking the street for a strip tease” and has said that women who get drunk and wear mini-skirts are to blame if they get raped. The influence of the church in Russia has been increasing since the fall of the officially atheist Soviet Union in 1991.
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is considered one of the most influential Latin American texts of all time and is Marquez’s most highly acclaimed and well known novel. It’s popularity and influence set the stage for Marquez to win the 1982 Nobel Prize for Literature.