Quotes for "One Hundred Years of Solitude"

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  • José Arcadio Buendía, whose unbridled imagination always went beyond the genius of nature and even beyond miracles and magic,
  • The founders of Macondo, resolving to expel the invaders, went with their older sons to put themselves at the disposal of José Arcadio Buendía. But he was against it, as he explained, because it was not manly to make trouble for someone in front of his family, and Don Apolinar had returned with his wife and daughters. So he decided to resolve the situation in a pleasant way.
  • “What day is today?” Aureliano told him that it was Tuesday. “I was thinking the same thing,” José Arcadio Buendía said, “but suddenly I realized that it’s still Monday, like yesterday. Look at the sky, look at the walls, look at the begonias. Today is Monday too.”
  • She had to make a supernatural effort not to die
  • They promised each other to set up a breeding farm for magnificent birds, not so much to enjoy their victories, which they would not need then, as to have something to do on the tedious Sundays of death.
  • Early one morning, vanquished by the unbearable pain of repressed virility, he went to Catarino’s. He found a woman with flaccid breasts, affectionate and cheap, who calmed his stomach for some time.
  • “But what worries me is not your shooting me, because after all, for people like us it’s a natural death.” He laid his glasses on the bed and took off his watch and chain. “What worries me,” he went on, “is that out of so much hatred for the military, out of fighting them so much and thinking about them so much, you’ve ended up as bad as they are. And no ideal in life is worth that much baseness.”
  • His orders were being carried out even before they were given, even before he thought of them, and they always went much beyond what he would have dared have them do. Lost in the solitude of his immense power, he began to lose direction.
  • The teacher, Melchor Escalona, used to knowing José Arcadio Segundo by his green shirt, went out of his mind when he discovered that the latter was wearing Aureliano Segundo’s bracelet and that the other one said, nevertheless, that his name was Aureliano Segundo in spite of the fact that he was wearing the white shirt and the bracelet with José Arcadio Segundo’s name. From then on he was never sure who was who. Even when they grew up and life made them different. Úrsula still wondered if they themselves might not have made a mistake in some moment of their intricate game of confusion and had become changed forever.
  • and the one about the lamp that fulfilled wishes and about flying carpets. Surprised, he asked Úrsula if all that was true and she answered him that it was, that many years ago the gypsies had brought magic lamps and flying mats to Macondo. “What’s happening,” she sighed, “is that the world is slowly coming to an end and those things don’t come here any more.”
  • Taciturn, silent, insensible to the new breath of vitality that was shaking the house, Colonel Aureliano Buendía could understand only that the secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude.
  • Two days later, however, when he did not dare return but sent an intermediary to arrange the terms of the separation, she understood that she was going to need more patience than she had foreseen because he seemed ready to sacrifice himself for the sake of appearances. Nor did she get upset that time.
  • Even Úrsula’s superstitions, with origins that came more from an inspiration of the moment than from tradition, came into conflict with those of Fernanda, who had inherited them from her parents and kept them defined and catalogued for every occasion.
  • Every time they passed the run-down house she would tell her about an unpleasant incident, a tale of hate, trying in that way to make her extended rancor be shared by her niece and consequently prolonged beyond death, but her plan did not work because Remedios was immune to any kind of passionate feelings and much less to those of others.
  • They be. came indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for the character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears of affliction had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats.
  • But he kept on eating as he spoke, tasting, chewing, more with the distraction of a wise man than with the delight of a good eater,
  • Then, while she was drying herself, the stranger begged her, with his eyes full of tears, to marry him. She answered him sincerely that she would never marry a man who was so simple that he had wasted almost an hour and even went without lunch just to see a woman taking a bath.
  • The birth of the latest José Arcadio and her unshakable will to bring him up to be Pope finally caused her to cease worrying about her great-granddaughter. She abandoned her to her fate, trusting that sooner or later a miracle would take place and that in this world of everything there would also be a man with enough sloth to put up with her.
  • “He’s very sad,” Úrsula answered, “because he thinks that you’re going to die.” “Tell him,” the colonel said, smiling, “that a person doesn’t die when he should but when he can.”
  • “Tell him,” the colonel said, smiling, “that a person doesn’t die when he should but when he can.”
  • So that when Colonel Aureliano Buendía invited him to start a mortal conflagration that would wipe out all vestiges of a regime of corruption and scandal backed by the foreign invader, Colonel Gerineldo Márquez could not hold back a shudder of compassion. “Oh, Aureliano,” he sighed. “I already knew that you were old, but now I realize that you’re a lot older than you look.”
  • Fernanda, on the other hand, looked for it in vain along the paths of her everyday itinerary without knowing that the search for lost things is hindered by routine habits and that is why it is so difficult to find them.
  • She realized that Colonel Aureliano Buendía had not lost his love for the family because he had been hardened by the war, as she had thought before, but that he had never loved anyone, not even his wife Remedios or the countless one-night women who had passed through his life, and much less his sons.
  • Úrsula did not insist, but she ended up confirming her suspicions when Meme did not come back to visit her. She knew that she was getting up earlier than usual, that she did not have a moment’s rest as she waited for the time for her to go out, that she spent whole nights walking back and forth in the adjoining bedroom, and that the fluttering of a butterfly would bother her. On one occasion she said that she was going to see Aureliano Segundo and Úrsula was surprised that Fernanda’s imagination was so limited when her husband came to the house looking for his daughter.
  • “If you hadn’t come,” he said, “You never would have seen me again.” Meme felt the weight of his hand on her knee and she knew that they were both arriving at the other side of abandonment at that instant. “What shocks me about you,” she said, smiling, “is that you always say exactly what you shouldn’t be saying.”
  • “No one will believe it,” the nun said. “If they believe it in the Bible,” Fernanda replied, “I don’t see why they shouldn’t believe it from me.” The nun lunched at the house while she waited for the train back, and in accordance with the discretion they asked of her, she did not mention the child again, but Fernanda viewed her as an undesirable witness of her shame and lamented the fact that they had abandoned the medieval custom of hanging a messenger who bore bad news.
  • Aureliano Segundo was not aware of the singsong until the following day after breakfast when he felt himself being bothered by a buzzing that was by then more fluid and louder than the sound of the rain, and it was Fernanda, who was walking throughout the house complaining that they had raised her to be a queen only to have her end up as a servant in a madhouse, with a lazy, idolatrous, libertine husband who lay on his back waiting for bread to rain down from heaven while she was straining her kidneys trying to keep afloat a home held together with pins where there was so much to do, so much to bear up under and repair from the time God gave his morning sunlight until it was time to go to bed that when she got there her eyes were full of ground glass, and yet no one ever said to her, “Good morning, Fernanda, did you sleep well?” Nor had they asked her, even out of courtesy, why she was so pale or why she awoke with purple rings under her eyes in spite of the fact that she expected it, of course, from a family that had always considered her a nuisance, an old rag, a booby painted on the wall, and who were always going around saying things against her behind her back, calling her church mouse, calling her Pharisee, calling her crafty, and even Amaranta, may she rest in peace, had said aloud that she was one of those people who could not tell their rectums from their ashes, God have mercy, such words, and she had tolerated everything with resignation because of the Holy Father, but she had not been able to tolerate it any more when that evil José Arcadio Segundo said that the damnation of the family had come when it opened its doors to a stuck-up highlander, just imagine, a bossy highlander, Lord save us, a highlander daughter of evil spit of the same stripe as the highlanders the government sent to kill workers, you tell me, and he was referring to no one but her, the godchild of the Duke of Alba, a lady of such lineage that she made the liver of presidents’ wives quiver, a noble dame of fine blood like her, who had the right to sign eleven peninsular names and who was the only mortal creature in that town full of bastards who did not feel all confused at the sight of sixteen pieces of silverware, so that her adulterous husband could die of laughter afterward and say that so many knives and forks and spoons were not meant for a human being but for a centipede, and the only one who could tell with her eyes closed when the white wine was served and on what side and in which glass and when the red wine and on what side and in which glass, and not like that peasant of an Amaranta, may she rest in peace, who thought that white wine was served in the daytime and red wine at night, and the only one on the whole coast who could take pride in the fact that she took care of her bodily needs only in golden chamberpots, so that Colonel Aureliano Buendía, may he rest in peace, could have the effrontery to ask her with his Masonic Ill humor where she had received that privilege and whether she did not shit shit but shat sweet basil, just imagine, with those very words, and so that Renata, her own daughter, who through an oversight had seen her stool in the bedroom, had answered that even if the pot was all gold and with a coat of arms, what was inside was pure shit, physical shit, and worse even than any other kind because it was stuck-up highland shit, just imagine, her own daughter, so that she never had any illusions about the rest of the family, but in any case she had the right to expect a little more consideration from her husband because, for better or for worse, he was her consecrated spouse her helpmate, her legal despoiler, who took upon himself of his own free and sovereign will the grave responsibility of taking her away from her paternal home, where she never wanted for or suffered from anything, where she wove funeral wreaths as a pastime, since her godfather had sent a letter with his signature and the stamp of his ring on the sealing wax simply to say that the hands of his goddaughter were not meant for tasks of this world except to play the clavichord, and, nevertheless, her insane husband had taken her from her home with all manner of admonitions and warnings and had brought her to that frying pan of hell where a person could not breathe because of the heat, and before she had completed her Pentecostal fast he had gone off with his wandering trunks and his wastrel’s accordion to loaf in adultery with a wretch of whom it was only enough to see her behind, well, that’s been said, to see her wiggle her mare’s behind in order to guess that she was a, that she was a, just the opposite of her, who was a lady in a palace or a pigsty, at the table or in bed, a lady of breeding, God-fearing, obeying His laws and submissive to His wishes, and with whom he could not perform, naturally, the acrobatics and trampish antics that he did with the other one, who, of course, was ready for anything like the French matrons, and even worse, if one considers well, because they at least had the honesty to put a red light at their door, swinishness like that, just imagine, and that was all that was needed by the only and beloved daughter of Doña Renata Argote and Don Fernando del Carpio, and especially the latter, an upright man, a fine Christian, a Knight of the Order of the Holy Sepulcher, those who receive direct from God the privilege of remaining intact in their graves with their skin smooth like the cheeks of a bride and their eyes alive and clear like
  • Aureliano Segundo listened to her for more than two hours, impassive, as if he were deaf. He did not interrupt her until late in the afternoon, when he could no longer bear the echo of the bass drum that was tormenting his head. “Please shut up,” he begged.
  • Gaston was not only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of the species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simply to make love in a field of violets.
  • “The world must be all fucked up,” he said then, “when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.”
  • the girl in the red sweater painting watercolors by a lake in Michigan who waved at him with her brushes, not to say farewell but out of hope, because she did not know that she was watching a train with no return passing by.
  • and then they learned that dominant obsessions can prevail against death and they were happy again with the certainty that they would go on loving each other in their shape as apparitions long after other species of future animals would steal from the insects the paradise of misery that the insects were finally stealing from man.
  • The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants.
  • Before reaching the final line, however, he had already understood that he would never leave that room, for it was foreseen that the city of mirrors (or mirages) would be wiped out by the wind and exiled from the memory of men at the precise moment when Aureliano Babilonia would finish deciphering the parchments, and that everything written on them was unrepeatable since time immemorial and forever more, because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.