On The Iconic First Line Of One Hundred Years Of Solitude

Claire Adam in Literary Hub:

I remember One Hundred Years of Solitude on my parents’ bookshelf when I was a child: it was the “one hundred years” that put me off: it sounded like it must be something to do with history, very boring history; “solitude” didn’t sound like much fun either. I imagined it was about a man being alone for a hundred years, talking endlessly to himself in the manner of “To be or not to be?” There was also Love in the Time of Cholera, which I assumed must be about cholera. (There were many medical textbooks in the house, both my parents being doctors. I had often leafed through The Handbook of Tropical Infectious Diseases, and knew all about cholera.)

However, when I was in my twenties and happened to be browsing in the English-language section of a bookshop in Amsterdam, I picked up One Hundred Years of Solitude and read the first sentence. I read the rest of the paragraph, and then down to the end of the page, and then I went back and read the first sentence again. I put the book down and moved on, but as I wandered around the bookshop, I occasionally glanced back towards the table where the book lay.

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