The Most Shared Quote From One Hundred Years Of Solitude

Yellow butterflies and a touch of magic, an epic story that winds through eras, and the family that experiences it all. That's the short version of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," the famous novel written by Gabriel García Márquez. The long version, as expected, encompasses a century, and was the cornerstone achievement that earned Márquez the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, "for his novels and short stories, in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination, reflecting a continent's life and conflicts," as noted by Nobel Prize.

"One Hundred Years of Solitude" was published in 1967. "I knew that it would be a book that would please my friends more than my others had," the author explained in an interview with The Paris Review. "But when my Spanish publisher told me he was going to print 8,000 copies I was stunned, because my other books had never sold more than seven hundred." His publisher predicted the quantity would take about eight months to sell; they sold all 8,000 copies in one week in Buenos Aires alone, Marquez revealed in the interview. It has since been translated into 46 languages and sold over 45 million copies (via MarketWatch).

While there are numerous memorable scenes in the book — those yellow butterflies that followed the love affair of Meme and Mauricio — there is one quote that stands out among the rest, resonating with millions of people.

The quote fans of the book love

Appearing only pages from the end of "One Hundred Years of Solitude," Gabriel García Márquez wrote, "It's enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment." The words are spoken by a priest to one of the many characters named Aureliano Buendía, who has accused the priest of not believing one of the earlier tales told in the book.

Book Analysis believes Márquez used this line in irony, a nod to the theme that the "inhabitants were nothing more than a dream or perception whose fate has already [been] preordained."

When pulled out of the text, romantics have adopted the quote as a vow of love between two partners, with memes showing up on Pinterest, Twitter, and in articles about love quotes, among other places. The sentiment is not far off from "One Hundred Years of Solitude," since Aureliano was in love with Ursula, and only a few pages earlier, Márquez wrote of the couple, saying ". . . both of them remained floating in an empty universe where the only everyday and eternal reality was love."

The magic of Márquez

Although Gabriel García Márquez had published before "One Hundred Years of Solitude," he told The Paris Review it had been several years since he had written anything. "There was something missing and I was not sure what it was until one day I discovered the right tone — the tone that I eventually used in 'One Hundred Years of Solitude.'" He explained his grandmother was his inspiration. "She told things that sounded supernatural and fantastic, but she told them with complete naturalness."

That voice earned him the title of one of the fathers of magical realism, a genre of literature that adds touches of magic to a realistic world, per Vox. As Marquez explained to The Harvard Advocate, "I don't know if it's a reality or not that the dead sometimes come out of their tombs, but it's a reality that people believe it. So what interests me is not whether it happens, but the fact that some people believe it does. And if you just add up these beliefs you can create a whole new universe."

Upon his death in 2014, Reuters reported Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Colombian President Juan Manual Santos, spoke at the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City, where Márquez's urn was displayed. "A great, really great man has left us," said Pena Nieto. "But his work remains with us." After, thousands of paper yellow butterflies were released from the entrance of the palace.