One Hundred Years of Solitude

by: Gabriel García Márquez

Important Quotations Explained

1. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.

These lines come from the very first page of the novel. They establish Macondo as a kind of Eden, recalling the biblical tale of Adam naming the animals. This parallel to the Old Testament is present throughout the book, as Macondo slowly loses its innocence by seeking too much knowledge. At the same time, however, the reference to prehistoric eggs refers to an entirely different account of the origin of the world: evolution. By beginning the book with references to two entirely different accounts of creation, García Márquez tries to tell us that, in this book, he will invent his own mythology. It will not be based solely on the Bible, nor will it be totally grounded in science. Instead, it will ask us to accept several different myths at the same time.