ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ was born in Aracataca, Colombia in 1928, but he has lived most of
his life in Mexico and Europe. He attended the University of Bogotá and later worked as staff
reporter and film critic for the Colombian newspaper El Espectador. In addition to ONE HUNDRED
YEARS OF SOLITUDE. he has also written two collections of short fiction, NO ONE WRITES TO THE
COLONEL and LEAF STORM (both available in Bard editions).

García Márquez currently lives with his wife and children in Barcelona.

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“If you have to go away again,” she said halfway through dinner, “at least try to remember how
we were tonight.”

Then Colonel Aureliano Buendía realized, without surprise, that úrsula was the only human
being who had succeeded in penetrating his misery, and for the first time in many years he looked
her in the face. Her skin was leathery, her teeth decayed, her hair faded and colorless, and her look
frightened. He compared her with the oldest memory that he had of her, the afternoon when he had
the premonition that a pot of boiling soup was going to fall off the table, and he found her broken
to pieces. In an instant he discovered the scratches, the welts, the sores, the ulcers, and the scan that
had been left on her by more than half a century of daily life, and he saw that those damages did not
even arouse a feeling of pity in him. 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. On another occasion, he felt at least a
confused sense of shame when he found the smell of úrsula on his own skin, and more than once
he felt her thoughts interfering with his. But all of that had been wiped out by the war. Even
Remedios, his wife, at that moment was a hazy image of someone who might have been his daugh-
ter. The countless women he had known on the desert of love and who had spread his seed all along
the coast had left no trace in his feelings. Most of them had come into his room in the dark and had
left before dawn, and on the following day they were nothing but a touch of fatigue in his bodily
memory. The only affection that prevailed against time and the war was that which he had felt for
his brother José Arcadio when they both were children, and it was not based on love but on
complicity.

“I’m sorry,” he excused himself from úrsula’s request. “It’s just that the war has done away with
everything.”

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