Nostalgia/ Gabriel García Márquez




Confused by two nostalgias confronting each other like two mirrors, he lost his marvelous sense of unreality. He ended up by recommending that they all leave Macondo and forget everything he had taught them about the world and the human heart. That they should shit on Horacio, and wherever they found themselves, they should remember that the past was a lie. For memory provided no way back, and their entire past spring was irrecoverable. After all, even the craziest and most tenacious love was an ephemeral truth.


Aturdido por dos nostalgias enfrentadas como dos espejos, perdió su maravilloso sentido de la irrealidad, hasta que terminó por recomendarles a todos que se fueran de Macondo, que olvidaran cuanto él les había enseñado del mundo y del corazón humano, que se cagaran en Horacio, y que en cualquier lugar en que estuvieran recordaran siempre que el pasado era mentira, que la memoria no tenía caminos de regreso, que toda la primavera antigua era irrecuperable, y que el amor más desatinado y tenaz era de todos modos una verdad efímera.


From “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Isn’t this snippet beautiful in both languages?  The terrific mind of Garcia Marquez shines in either tongue, “Remember that the past was a lie. For memory provided no way back, and their entire past spring was irrecoverable.” Those of us who are of Spanish ancestry should not forget to teach this language to our children and grandchildren. A second language opens a new horizon, a new culture, a new way of looking at the world. Almost 20% of Canadians are bilingual, a significant advantage for them. Did you know that 45% of English words come from French? And 85% of French and Spanish words are similar? I have been learning French. It is hard but sounds gorgeous.  It has also illuminated many areas of French life—music, art, literature, jokes—that I thought I knew, but I did not.

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