Friday, December 17, 2010

First Lines Second Thoughts — One Hundred Years of Solitude


First Lines Second Thoughts is an occasional look at the first lines of well known literary works. On second thought, do these opening words stand alone as poetry?

Today, we look at One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez. Published in 1970. In English.


Many years later,
as he faced the firing squad,
Colonel Aureliano Buendía
was to remember
that distant afternoon
when his father
took him to discover
ice.

— Gabriel García Márquez


Originally published in Spanish in 1967 as Cien años de soledad the novel is considered to be the best work done by the Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. Las primeras parabas in Spanish read as:


Muchos años después,
frente al pelotón de fusilamiento,
el coronel Aureliano Buendía
había de recordar
aquella tarde remota
en que su padre
lo llevó a conocer
el hielo.


— Gabriel García Márquez


[Ed. note: Photo and Spanish text added March 27, 2015.]