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This essay frames in García Márquez’s novel an ethical subjectivity constituted through discursive relations to a distinctively modern history. These relations are sustained by his characters via psychological modes of disavowal, euphemism, and denial that García Márquez analyzes in terms of an aesthetic drive for autonomy or exception. This drive works not simply at a thematic level but also semiotically, in the novel’s formal dimension, and according to a principle of “eternal return” singularly legible in a self-implicating reflection on language and interpretation. This essay seeks to demonstrate this reflection both in the novel and in its own approach, on the assumption that its stakes for García Márquez appear most readily in “readerly complicity” with the modern history his novel tells.