“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez

• It was a truly happy village where no one was over thirty years of age and where no one had died.

• But in any case, he could not understand how people arrived at the extreme of waging war over things that could not be touched with the hand.

• She got to be so sincere in the deception that she ended up by consoling herself with her own lies.

• He thought about his people without sentimentality, with a strict dosing of his accounts with life, beginning to understand how much he really loved the people he hated most.

• In the shattered schoolhouse where for the first time he had felt the security of power, a few feet from the room where he had come to know the uncertainty of love, Arcadio found the formality of death ridiculous.

• Death really did not matter to him but life did, and therefore the sensation he felt when they gave their decision was not a feeling of fear but of nostalgia.

• On the contrary, like so many of his fellow party members, he was an antimilitarist. He considered military men unprincipled loafers, ambitious plotters, experts in facing down civilians in order to prosper during times of disorder.

• 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.

• They spend their lives fighting against priests and then give prayerbooks as gifts.

• You may be in command of your war, but I’m in command of my house.

• An inner coldness which shattered his bones and tortured him even in the heat of the sun would not let him sleep for several months, until it became a habit.

• The best friend a person has is one who has just died.

• Worn out by the tormented vigil.

• He did not know that it was easier to start a war than to end one.

• It took him almost a year of fierce and bloody effort to force the government to propose conditions of peace favorable to the rebels and another year to convince his own partisans of the convenience of accepting them.

• He went to inconceivable extremes of cruelty to put down the rebellion of his own officers, who resisted and called for victory, and he finally relied on enemy forces to make them submit.

• He was finally fighting for his own liberation and not for abstract ideals, for slogans that politicians could twist left and right according to the circumstances, filled him with an ardent enthusiasm.

• Dying is much more difficult than one imagines.

• Permitted him to win a defeat that was much more difficult, much more bloody and costly than victory.

• Then he made one last effort to search in his heart for the place where his affection had rotted away and he could not find it.

• And he saw that those damages did not even arouse a feeling of pity in him.

• Don’t worry. Queens run errands for me.

• Like a kitchen dragging a village behind it.

• With that discouraging explanation many felt that they had been the victims of some new and showy gypsy business and they decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings.

• 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 only thing that she lamented was the fact that the idiots in the family lived so long.

• He did not have a feeling of sorrow but a blind and directionless rage, a broad feeling of impotence.

• A person doesn’t die when he should but when he can.

• She reached the conclusion that the son for whom she would have given her life was simply a man incapable of love.

• As if fate had reversed the situation and had made him the husband of his concubine and the lover of his wife.

• In the dream he remembered that he had dreamed the same thing the night before and on many nights over the past years and he knew that the image would be erased from his memory when he awakened because that recurrent dream had the quality of not being remembered except within the dream itself.

• And for the first time since his youth he knowingly fell into a trap of nostalgia and relived that prodigious afternoon of the gypsies when his father took him to see ice.

• As if time and harsh lessons had meant nothing.

• She worked out the plan with such hatred that it made her tremble to think about the scheme, which she would have carried out in exactly the same way if it had been done out of love.

• One minute of reconciliation is worth more than a whole life of friendship.

• What shocks me about you is that you always say exactly what you shouldn’t be saying.

• Love on one side was defeating love on the other, because it was characteristic of men to deny hunger once their appetites were satisfied.

• That’s all we need. An anarchist in the family.

• 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.

• Although it took them over an hour to pass by, one might have thought that they were only a few squads marching in a circle, because they were all identical, sons of the same bitch, and with the same stolidity they all bore the weight of their packs and canteens, the shame of their rifles with fixed bayonets, and the chancre of blind obedience and a sense of honor.

• Martial law enabled the army to assume the functions of arbitrator in the controversy, but no effort at conciliation was made. As soon as they appeared in Macondo, the soldiers put aside their rifles and cut and loaded the bananas and started the trains running.

• The workers, who had been content to wait until then, went into the woods with no other weapons but their working machetes and they began to sabotage the sabotage.

• At night after taps, they knocked doors down with their rifle butts, hauled suspects out of their beds, and took them off on trips from which there was no return.

• The search for and extermination of the hoodlums, murderers, arsonists, and rebels of Decree No. 4 was still going on, but the military denied it even to the relatives of the victims who crowded the commandant’s offices in search of news.

• You must have been dreaming, the officers insisted. Nothing has happened in Macondo, nothing has ever happened, and nothing ever will happen. This is a happy town. In that way they were finally able to wipe out the union leaders.

• And they understood that it was the end of one anxiety and the beginning of another which would find relief only in resignation.

• He could not understand why he had needed so many words to explain what he felt in war because one was enough: fear.

• She felt that the calamities should not be used as a pretext for any relaxation in customs.

• They (prostitutes) at least had the honesty to put a red light at their door.

• By trying to make her love him he ended up falling in love with her.

• She began to believe once more in the youthful superstition that poverty was the servitude of love.

• Many years later, when Aureliano became part of the world, one would have thought that he was telling a hallucinated version, because it was radically opposed to the false one that historians had created and consecrated in the schoolbooks.

• And the way in which she said good-bye, without crying but without smiling either, revealed the same strength of character.

• The sad drunkards who carried them out of the house got the coffins mixed up and buried them in the wrong graves.

• The continuing charity was a way of humiliating the person who had humiliated her.

• She felt so old, so worn out, so far away from the best moments of her life that she even yearned for those that she remembered as the worst.

• Her heart of compressed ash, which had resisted the most telling blows of daily reality without strain, fell apart with the first waves of nostalgia.

• The need to feel sad was becoming a vice as the years eroded her.

• She became human in her solitude.

• He did not buy the books in order to learn but to verify the truth of his knowledge.

• He confided in her about his repressed passion for her, which he had not been able to cure with the substitution but which was twisting him inside all the more as experience broadened the horizons of love.

• Literature was the best plaything that had ever been invented to make fun of people.

• Until they both were conscious of being adversaries and accomplices at the same time.

• The world must be all fucked up when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.

• The past was a lie, that memory has no return, that every spring gone by could never be recovered, and that the wildest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth in the end.

• One winter night while the soup was boiling in the fireplace, he missed the heat of the back of his store, the buzzing of the sun on the dusty almond trees, the whistle of the train during the lethargy of siesta time, just as in Macondo he had missed the winter soup in the fireplace, the cries of the coffee vendor, and the fleeting larks of springtime. Upset by two nostalgias facing each other like two mirrors.

• Because races condemned to one hundred years of solitude did not have a second opportunity on earth.