| Quote #1
Everything in the world began with a yes. One molecule said yes to another molecule and life was born. (1.1)
Okay, so we start off positively enough: if molecules can say yes to each other and connect together to make life, why shouldn't we?
| Quote #2
But before prehistory there was the prehistory of prehistory and there was the never and there was the yes. It was ever so. I do not know why, but I do know that the universe never began. (1.1)
Whew. This is setting us up for a Major Story—it's not just going to be some little insignificant tale about a poor girl in a slum but a story that might actually help us understand something about the nature of the universe. That is, if we can even understand what this guy is saying.
| Quote #3
How does one start at the beginning, if things happen before they actually happen? If before the pre-prehistory there already existed apocalyptic monsters? If this history does not exist, it will come to exist. (1.3)
If Macabéa represents all the poor, hungry, sick people in the world, it's hard to say that there's a "beginning" to this story at all. After all, is there a beginning to poverty? Or is it the result of complex economic, political, and social forces that are so tangled it's not even possible to trace their origins?