Gabriel Garcia Marquez quotes that resonate today

Best known for his masterpiece 100 Years of Solitude, Marquez’s work offers a wealth of quotes on life, death and love.

On Tuesday, March 6 Gabriel Garcia Marquez would have turned 91 years old.

Described as one of the most popular Spanish-language writers, and hailed as “the greatest Colombian who ever lived,” we take a look at some of his most emblematic quotes: 

On colonisation

In 1982 Gabriel Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature. In his speech titled The Solitude of Latin America he said:

  • Europeans, he said, “insist on measuring us with the yardstick that they use for themselves, forgetting that the ravages of life are not the same for all, and that the quest for our own identity is just as arduous and bloody for us as it was for them.”
  • “Latin America neither wants, nor has any reason, to be a pawn without a will of its own; nor is it merely wishful thinking that its quest for independence and originality should become a Western aspiration.”
  • “In spite of this, to oppression, plundering and abandonment, we respond with life.”

To oppression... we respond with life

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

On writing

In an interview with Joaquin Estafania, Gabriel Garcia Marquez said: 

  • “The duty of the writers is not to preserve the language but to open the way for it in history.”
  • “The grammarians burst with anger at our blunders but those of the next century pick them up as genius of the language. So rest assured: there is no lawsuit. See you in the third millennium.”

On life and death 

In his book No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories, which was published in 1961, he wrote:

  • “Life is the best thing that has even been invented”.

  • “The only thing that comes for sure is death, colonel”.

Life is the best thing has even been invented

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, No One Writes to the Colonel and Other Stories

On love

Love in times of Cholera was first published in Spanish in 1985, in which he wrote: 

  • “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.”

  • “She would defend herself, saying that love, no matter what else it might be, was a natural talent. She would say: You are either born knowing how, or you never know.”
  • “Always remember that the most important thing in a good marriage is not happiness, but stability.”

She would defend herself, saying that love, no matter what else it might be, was a natural talent

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Source: Al Jazeera

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