If men gave birth, they'd be less inconsiderate.
Fame is very agreeable, but the bad thing is that it goes on 24 hours a day.
Why were you so old when we met? I answered with the truth: Age isn't how old you are but how old you feel.
It was the year they fell into devastating love. Neither one could do anything except think about the other, dream about the other, and wait for letters with the same impatience they felt when they answered them.
For those who may be hurting over lost love:
Don't cry because it is over... smile because it happened.
"Things have a life of their own," the gypsy proclaimed with a harsh accent. "It's simply a matter of waking up their souls."
His examination revealed that he had no fever, no pain anywhere, and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was shrewd questioning...to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera.
I discovered the miracle that all things that sound are music, including the dishes and silverware in the dishwasher, as long as they fulfill the illusion of showing us where life is heading.
The house became full of love. Aureliano expressed it in poetry that had no beginning and no end. He would write it on the harsh pieces of parchment that Melquiades gave him, on the bathroom walls, on the skin of his arms, and in all of it Remedios would appear transfigured: Remedios in the soporific air of two in the afternoon, Remedios in the soft breath of the roses, Remedios in the water-clock secrets of the moths, Remedios in the steaming morning bread, Remedios everywhere and Remedios forever.
Caribbean reality resembles the wildest imagination.
Let me stay here," he said. "There was soap.
Florentina Ariza had kept his answer ready for fifty-three years, seven months and eleven days and nights. 'Forever,' he said.
It had to be a mad dream, one that would give her the courage she would need to discard the prejudices of a class that had not always been hers but had become hers more than anyone's. It had to teach her to think of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end in itself.
The first of the line is tied to a tree and the last is being eaten by the ants .
I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of Him.
It was a love of perpetual flight.
And both of them remained floating in an empty universe where the only everyday and eternal reality was love.
An early-rising man is a good spouse but a bad husband.
Nobody is worth crying for, and those that are worth it will not make you cry.
Tricks you need to transform something which appears fantastic, unbelievable into something plausible, credible, those I learned from journalism. The key is to tell it straight. It is done by reporters and by country folk.
How will I ever get out of this labyrinth!
It was also her nature that caused her letters to avoid emotional pitfalls and confine themselves to relating the events of her daily life in the utilitarian style of a ship's log. In reality they were distracted letters, intended to keep the coals alive without putting her hand in the fire, while Florentino Ariza burned himself alive in every line.
My heart has more rooms in it than a whore house.
The adolescents of my generation, greedy for life, forgot in body and soul about their hopes for the future until reality taught them that tomorrow was not what they had dreamed, and they discovered nostalgia.
Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.
She had never imagined that curiosty was one of the many masks of love .
An ash-gray dog with a white blaze on its forehead burst onto the rough terrain of the market on the first Sunday in December, knocked down tables of fried food, overturned Indians' stalls and lottery kiosks, and bit four people who happened to cross its path.
Shame has poor memory.
She asked him to come and see her that night. He agreed, in order to get away, knowing that he was incapable of going. But that night, in his burning bed, he understood that he had to go see her, even if he were not capable. He got dressed by feel, listening in the dark to his brother's calm breathing, the dry cough of his father in the next room, the asthma of the hens in the courtyard, the buzz of the mosquitoes, the beating of his heart, and the inordinate bustle of a world that he had not noticed until then, and he went out in the sleeping street.
I discovered that my obsession for having each thing in the right place, each subject at the right time, each word in the right style, was not the well-deserved reward of an ordered mind, but just the opposite: a complete system of pretense invented by me to hide the disorder of my nature.
I must try and break through the cliches about Latin America. Superpowers and other outsiders have fought over us for centuries in ways that have nothing to do with our problems. In reality we are all alone.
'You can't eat hope,' the woman said. 'You can't eat it, but it sustains you,' the colonel replied.
Nevertheless, no matter how much they killed themselves with work, no matter how much money they eked out, and no matter how many schemes they thought of, their guardian angels were asleep with fatigue while they put in coins and took them out trying to get just enough to live with.
It was a lone voice in the middle of the ocean, but it was heard at great depth and great distance.
Over the weekend the vultures got into the presidential palace by pecking through the screens on the balcony windows and the flapping of their wings stirred up the stagnant time inside, and at dawn on Monday the city awoke out of its lethargy of centuries with the warm, soft breeze of a great man dead and rotting grandeur.
I have never done anything except write, but I don't possess the vocation or talents of a narrator, have no knowledge at all of the laws of dramatic composition, and if I have embarked upon this enterprise it is because I trust in the light shed by how much I have read in my life.
No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you've already had.
Most critics don't realize that a novel like One Hundred Years of Solitude is a bit of a joke, full of signals to close friends; and so, with some pre-ordained right to pontificate they take on the responsibility of decoding the book and risk making terrible fools of themselves.
Over the years they both reached the same wise conclusion by different paths: it was not possible to live together in any other way, or love in any other way, and nothing in this world was more difficult than love.
Then the writing became so fluid that I sometimes felt as if I were writing for the sheer pleasure of telling a story, which may be the human condition that most resembles levitation.
In all the houses keys to memorizing objects and feelings had been written. But the system demanded so much vigilance and moral strength that many succumbed to the spell of an imaginary reality, one invented by themselves, which was less practical for them but more comforting.
Surrealism runs through the streets.
Curiosity is one of the many masks of love.
At some point, you no longer feel pain. Sensation disappears and reason is dulled, until you lose all grasp of time and place.
Everything that belonged to her husband made her weep again: his tasseled slippers, his pajamas under the pillow, the space of his absence in the dressing table mirror, his own odor on her skin. A vague thought made her shudder: "The people one loves should take all their things with them when they die.
A famous writer who wants to continue writing has to be constantly defending himself against fame.
The only thing worse than bad health is a bad name.
Her laugh was sad and taciturn, seemingly detached from any feeling of the moment, like something she kept in the cupboard and took out only when she had to, using it with no feeling of ownership, as if the infrequency of her smiles had made her forget the normal way to use them.
Life is not what one lived, but what One remembers and how One remembers it in order to recount it.
There's no greater misfortune than dying alone.
The truth is that I know very few novelists who have been satisfied with the adaptation of their books for the screen.
With her Florentino Ariza learned what he had already experienced many times without realizing it: that one can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the same sorrow with each, and not betray any of them. Alone in the midst of the crowd on the pier, he said to himself in a flash of anger: 'My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.
The spirit of her invincible heart guided her through the shadows.
There was a house at the foot of the tower, close to the thunder of the waves breaking against the cliffs, where love was more intense because it seemed like a shipwreck.
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.
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.
Become a better person and be sure to know who you are, before meeting someone new and hoping that person knows who you are.
The anxiety of falling in love could not find repose except in bed.
Faulkner is a writer who has had much to do with my soul, but Hemingway is the one who had the most to do with my craft -- not simply for his books, but for his astounding knowledge of the aspect of craftsmanship in the science of writing.
She knew that he loved her above all else, more than anything in the world, but only for his own sake.
Tell him,' the colonel said, smiling, 'that a person doesn't die when he should but when he can.
When I sit down to write, which is the essential moment in my life, I am completely alone. Whenever I write a book, I accumulate a lot of documentation. That background material is the most intimate part of my private life. It's a little embarrassing -- like being seen in your underwear It's like the way magicians never tell others how they make a dove come out of a hat.
Children's lies are signs of great talent.
Life is but a continual succession of opportunities for surviving.
In that Macondo forgotten even by the birds, where the dust and the heat had become so strong that it was difficult to breathe, secluded by solitude and love and by the solitude of love in a house where it was almost impossible to sleep because of the noise of the red ants, Aureliano, and Amaranta Úrsula were the only happy beings, and the most happy on the face of the earth.
It was a meditation on life, love, old age, death: ideas that had often fluttered around her head like nocturnal birds but dissolved into a trickle of feathers when she tried to catch hold of them.
Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.
He thought that the world would make more rapid progress without the burden of old people.
He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrow at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath: "Only God knows how much I loved you.
I'll never fall in love again... it's like having two souls at the same time.
He was still too young to know that the heart's memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.
The children would remember for the rest of their lives the august solemnity with which their father, devastated by his prolonged vigil and by the wraith of his imagination, revealed his discovery to them: 'The world is round, like an orange.
The truth is that the first changes are so slow they pass almost unnoticed, and you go on seeing yourself as you always were, from the inside, but others observe you from the outside.
A process of aging had taken place in him that was so rapid and critical that soon he was being treated as one of those useless great-grandfathers who wander about the bedroom like shades, dragging their feet, remembering better times aloud, and whom no one bother about or remembers really until the morning they find them dead in their bed.
One minute of reconciliation is worth more than a whole life of friendship!
He thought about his people without sentimentalily, with a strick closing of his accounts with life, beginning to understand how much he really loved the people he hated the most.
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.
Very well, I will marry you if you promise not to make me eat eggplant.
I can't think of any one film that improved on a good novel, but I can think of many good films that came from very bad novels.
An artisan without memories, whose only dream was to die of fatigue in the oblivion and misery of his little gold fishes.
He said that love was an emotion contra natura that condemned two strangers to a base and unhealthy dependence, and the more intense it was, the more ephemeral.
Between the covers of the books that no one had ever read again, in the old parchments damaged by dampness, a livid flower had prospered, and in the air that had been the purest and brightest in the house an unbearable smell of rotten memories floated.
He would wake for no reason in the middle of the night, and the memory of the self-absorbed love was revealed to him for what it was: a pitfall of happiness that he despised and desired at the same time, but from which it was impossible to escape.
Sex is the consolation you have when you can't have love.
But that afternoon he asked himself, with his infinite capacity for illusion, if such pitiless indifference might not be a subterfuge for hiding the torments of love.
He repeated until his dying day that there was no one with more common sense, no stonecutter more obstinate, no manager more lucid or dangerous, than a poet.
Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses.
What does he say?' he asked. '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.
When one reaches absolute power, one loses total contact with reality.
Never stop smiling not even when you're sad, someone might fall in love with your smile.
She always had a headache, or it was too hot, always, or she pretended to be asleep, or she had her period again, her period, always her period. So much so that Dr. Urbino had dared to say in class, only for the relief of unburdening himself without confession, that after ten years of marriage women had their periods as often as threes times a week.
But he only found her in the image that saturated his private and terrible solitude.
If God hadn't rested on Sunday, He would have had time to finish the world.
A true friend is the one who holds your hand and touches your heart.
In the end all books are written for your friends.
In the end all books are written for your friends. The problem after writing One Hundred Years of Solitude was that now I no longer know whom of the millions of readers I am writing for; this upsets and inhibits me. It's like a million eyes are looking at you and you don't really know what they think.
I was asked the other day if I would be interested in the Nobel Prize, but I think that for me it would be an absolute catastrophe. I would certainly be interested in deserving it, but to
receive it would be terrible. It would just complicate even more the problems of fame. The only thing I really regret in life is not having a daughter.
Her first reaction was one of hope, because his eyes were open and shining with a radiant light she had never seen there before. She prayed to God to give him at least a moment so that he would not go without knowing how much she had love him despite all their doubts, and she felt an irresistible longing to begin life with him over again so that they could say what they had left unsaid and do everything right that they had done badly in the past. But she had to give in to the intransigence of death. (Love in the Time of Cholera).
He shook my hand and said goodbye with a sentence that might have been either good advice or a threat: "Take good care of yourself.
Then he knew that they had rounded the cape of good hope, and he took her large, soft hand again and covered it with forlorn little kisses, first the hard metacarpus, the long, discerning fingers, the diaphanous nails, and then the hieroglyphics of her destiny on her perspiring palm.
I want the same one, the way she always is, without failures, without fights, without bad memories.
And realized that death was not only a permanent probability, as he had always believed, but an immediate reality.
And nevertheless, when they watched him leave the house, this man they themselves had urged to conquer the world, then they were the ones left with the terror that he would never return. That was their life. Love, if it existed, was something separate: another life.
Thus they went on living in a reality that was slipping away, momentarily captured by words, but which would escape irremediably when they forgot the values of the written letters.
What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.
And the cries of the birds and the uproar of the monkeys became more and more remote, and the world became eternally sad. The men on the expedition felt overwhelmed by their most ancient memories in that paradise of dampness and silence, going back to before original sin, as their boots sank into pools of steaming oil and their machetes destroyed bloody lilies and golden salamanders.
This was when I heard that the first symptom of old age is when you begin to resemble your father.
The bells of glory that announced to the world the good news that the uncountable time of eternity had come to an end.
And the two of them loved each other for a long time in silence without making love again.
Jose Palacios, his oldest servant, found him floating naked with his eyes open in the purifying waters of his bath and thought he had drowned.
He dared to explore her withered neck w his fingertips…her hips w their decaying bones, her thighs with their aging veins.
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.
Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.
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.
Both described at the same time how it was always March there and always Monday, and then they understood that José Arcadio Buendía was not as crazy as the family said, but that he was the only one who had enough lucidity to sense the truth of the fact that time also stumbled and had accidents and could therefore splinter and leave an eternalized fragment in a room.
Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.
Santiago Nasar had often told me that the smell of closed-in flowers had an immediate relation to death for him.
He did not dare to console her, knowing that it would have been like consoling a tiger run thru by a spear.
They were so close to each other that they preferred death to separation.
Everything that goes into my mouth seems to make me fat, everything that comes out of my mouth embarrasses me.
One of the most difficult things is the first paragraph. I have spent many months on a first paragraph, and once I get it, the rest just comes out very easily.
A falcon who chases a warlike crane can only hope for a life of pain.
Four geological eras had to pass so that human beings would be able to outsing the birds and die for love.
It was then that she realized that the yellow butterflies preceded the appearances of Mauricio Babilonia.
He was healthier than the rest of us, but when you listened with the stethoscope you could hear the tears bubbling inside his heart.
She nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.
I became aware that the invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love.
One night a friend lent me a book of short stories by Franz Kafka. I went back to the pension where I was staying and began to read The Metamorphosis. The first line almost knocked me off the bed. I was so surprised. The first line reads, "As Gregor Samsa awoke that morning from uneasy dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect..." When I read the line I thought to myself that I didn't know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago. So I immediately started writing short stories.
I must warn you that the books I like are not necessarily the ones I think are the best. I like them for various reasons not always easy to explain.
Most fatal diseases had their own specific odor, but ... none was as specific as old age.
For a week, almost without speaking, they went ahead like sleepwalkers through a universe of grief, lighted only by the tenuous reflection of luminous insects, and their lungs were overwhelmed by a suffocating smell of blood.
He was weary of the uncertainty of the vicious circle of that eternal war that always found him in the same place, but always older, wearier, even more in the position of not knowing why, or how, or even when.
Thinking that it would console him, she took a piece of charcoal and erased the innumerable loves that he still owed her for, and she voluntarily brought up her own most solitary sadnesses so as not to leave him alone in his weeping.
He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.
It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.
I ask myself how I could give in to this perpetual vertigo that I in fact provoked and feared. I floated among erratic clouds and talked to myself in front of the mirror in the vain hope of confirming who I was. My delirium was so great that during a student demonstration complete with rocks and bottles, I had to make an enormous effort not to lead it as I held up a sign that would sanctify my truth: I am mad with love.
The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own, serves only to make us ever more unknown, ever less free, ever more solitary.
Life in the world... was nothing more than a system of atavistic contracts, banal ceremonies, preordained words, with which people entertained each other in society in order not to commit murder. The dominant sign in that paradise of provincial frivolity was fear of the unknown.
He always considered death an unavoidable professional hazard.
If you're going to be a writer you have to be one of the great ones... After all, there are better ways to starve to death.
A person doesn't die when he should but when he can.
Surrealism comes from the reality of Latin America.
The fact is that being seductive is an addiction that can never be satisfied.
A lie is more comfortable than doubt, more useful than love, more lasting than truth.
One can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the sorrow with each, and not betray any of them.
When you have a healthy appetite there is no such thing as bad bread.