With the death of Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez at the age of 87 on Thursday, the world became a bit less magical. The author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera” wrote stories that splendidly suspended our sense of disbelief, presenting magic and miracles in a way that seemed perfectly normal. Erasing the line between the supernatural and reality, Marquez led us into beautiful, bizarre landscapes where we could dreamily surrender to flowers falling from the sky, priests who levitate, lilies that bleed and storms that last for years.
Yet also tucked away in the soul-stirring prose and otherworldly scenarios was no shortage of sage advice; while Marquez will live on in the magic of his novels, his words of wisdom will also preserve his place. The following are some of our favorites:
1. Life is not what one lived, but what one remembers and how one remembers it in order to recount it. – "Living to Tell the Tale"
2. 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. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
3. He who awaits much can expect little. – "No One Writes to the Colonel"
4. Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
5. The secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude. – "One Hundred Years of Solitude"
6. There is always something left to love. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
7. 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. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
8. No, not rich. I am a poor man with money, which is not the same thing. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
9. Shame has poor memory. – "In Evil Hour"
10. I discovered to my joy, that it is life, not death, that has no limits. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
11. No medicine cures what happiness cannot. – "Of Love and Other Demons"
12. Sex is the consolation you have when you can’t have love. – "Memories of My Melancholy Whores"=
13. Humanity, like armies in the field, advances at the speed of the slowest. – "Love in the Time of Cholera"
14. Crazy people are not crazy if one accepts their reasoning. – "Of Love and Other Demons"
15. No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you've already had. – "Memories of My Melancholy Whores"
Related stories on MNN: