Colombian novelist and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, who died Thursday at the age of 87, wrote some of the most beautiful words ever put to paper. If you studied Spanish, if you studied English, if you studied literature of any kind, you likely read some of them.
Two of his greatest literary achievements were Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude — a novel that some argue contains the most beautiful opening sentence of all time: "Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice."
Those beautiful words are only one example of the incredible linguistic and literary legacy García Márquez leaves behind. Considered the father of magical realism and the most important Spanish-language author since Miguel de Cervantes in the 17th century, García Márquez' powerful impact on the literary world will not be soon forgotten.
Enjoyed by readers of all generations, García Márquez' words and language often offer the best advice for young people. Here are some of his greatest insights to carry with you, on life and love.
1. On existence
"It’s enough for me to be sure that you and I exist at this moment." — One Hundred Years of Solitude
2. On inspiration
"If I had to give a young writer some advice I would say to write about something that has happened to him; it's always easy to tell whether a writer is writing about something that has happened to him or something he has read or been told." — The Art of Fiction
3. On children
"She discovered with great delight that one does not love one's children just because they are one's children but because of the friendship formed while raising them." — Love in the Time of Cholera
4. On happiness
"No medicine cures what happiness cannot."
5. On aging
"It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams."
6. On marriage
"The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast." — Love in the Time of Cholera
7. On memory
"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it."
8. On regret
"Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no." — Love in the Time of Cholera
9. On memories
"No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had." — Memories of My Melancholy Whores
10. On death
"A person doesn't die when he should but when he can." — One Hundred Years of Solitude
11. On wisdom
"Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good." — Love in the Time of Cholera
12. On poetry
"He repeated until his dying day that there was no one with more common sense, no stonecutter more obstinate, no manager more lucid or dangerous, than a poet." — Love in the Time of Cholera
13. On love
"There is always something left to love." —One Hundred Years of Solitude