Tag Archives: Love

Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude”

Translated by Gregory Rabassa. Goodreads rating 4.10.

…the secret of a good old age is simply an honorable pact with solitude. [p. 205]

… and once again she shuddered with the evidence that time was not passing, as she had just admitted, but that it was turning in a circle. [p. 341]

Both looked back then on the wild revelry, the gaudy wealth, and the unbridled fornication as an annoyance and they lamented that it had cost them so much of their lives to find the paradise of shared solitude. Madly in love after so many years of sterile complicity … [p. 345]

… and then they understood that José Arcadio Buendía was not as crazy as the family said, but that he was the only one who had enough lucidity to sense the truth of the fact that time also stumbled and had accidents and could therefore splinter and leave an eternalized fragment in a room. [p. 355]

Some of the book’s best phrases according to NewsLiterature:

  • “The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and to mention them you had to point your finger at them.”
  • “You don’t die when you should, but when you can.”
  • “Loneliness had selected his memories, and had incinerated the numbing heaps of nostalgic garbage that life had accumulated in his heart, and had purified, magnified and eternalized the others, the most bitter.”
  • “Actually, he did not care about death, but life, and that is why the feeling he experienced when they pronounced the sentence was not a feeling of fear but of nostalgia.”
  • “Like all the good things that happened to them in their long lives, that unbridled fortune had its origin in chance.”
  • “He had the rare virtue of not existing completely but at the right time.”
  • “He had had to promote thirty-two wars, and violate all his pacts with death and wallow like a pig in the dunghill of glory, to discover almost forty years late the privileges of simplicity.”
  • “The oldest cry in the history of mankind is the cry of love.”

Hermann Hesse’s “Siddharta”

Goodreads rating 4.04.

Seine Wunde blühte, sein Leid strahlte, sein Ich war in die Einheit geflossen. …

Weisheit ist nicht mitteilbar. Weisheit, welche ein Weiser mitzuteilen versucht, klingt immer wie Narrheit. …

Mir aber liegt einzig daran, die Welt lieben zu können, sie nicht zu verachten, sie und mich nicht zu hassen …


Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet”

Goodreads rating 4.22.

Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Surely there is no greater gift to a man than that which turns all his aims into parching lips and all life into a fountain. And in this lies my honour and my reward,—That whenever I come to the fountain to drink I find the living water itself thirsty; And it drinks me while I drink it.

If these be vague words, then seek not to clear them. Vague and nebulous is the beginning of all things, but not their end, And I fain would have you remember me as a beginning.


In the FAZ, molecular biologist and Tibetan monk Matthieu Ricard advises to find “happiness” (“Glück, innere Zufriedenheit”) by acquiring certain attitudes:

Wir Buddhisten, aber auch Psychologen, verstehen unter Glücklichsein keinen für sich alleinstehenden Gefühlszustand, sondern eine Gruppe von menschlichen Eigenschaften. Dazu zählen innere Freiheit, emotionale Ausgeglichenheit, altruistische Liebe, Mitgefühl. Für mich kann Glück nicht eigennützig sein. Wer sich selbst die ganze Zeit ins Zentrum stellt, fühlt sich mit der Zeit elend und ist obendrein verwundbar. Denn auch ich-zentrierte Personen kommen nicht ohne andere Menschen aus.

Um zu innerer Zufriedenheit zu gelangen, muss man den entgegengesetzten Weg gehen, und zwar die anderen Menschen ins Zentrum stellen, indem man diesen mit Wohlwollen, Großzügigkeit, Mitgefühl und Altruismus begegnet. Großzügig und freundlich zu sein, erzeugt ein Gefühl von innerer Harmonie. Diese Form von Glücklichsein nutzt sich zudem nicht ab, wie das bei den hedonistischen Freuden der Fall ist, sondern wird mit der Zeit immer stärker und verringert außerdem die Verletzlichkeit.