le 26 novembre 2007
Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera is an epic love story, notable as much for its romanticism as for its unflinching gaze towards the vagaries of love's many faces. For those who scoff at or discard the literary love story, paradoxically, this is the book for you. Set in the seductive Caribbean during the mid-nineteenth century, Marquez's novel explores love in all its manifestations, from the vertigo of idolatry to the dirty dishes of marriage, and his portraits resonate exquisitely for anyone who has nursed this human inkling. Marquez never cheapens love nor falsifies it; on the contrary, he sees love's glory, or lack thereof, with an unerring eye. His portrait of marriage between his two protagonists, Dr. Juvenal Urbino and Fermina Daza, includes such observations such as "The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast." Interestingly, Marquez reveals an astute viewpoint towards the female predicament in marriage: Fermina Daza realizes she is nothing more to her husband than "a deluxe servant;" she feels she is trapped in his "holy service." Nor is Marquez oblivious to the bland atrocities committed by a husband: Dr. Juvenal Urbino proclaims meals prepared "without love;" he never deigns to pick anything up, turn out a light, or close a door. Marquez is a man who observes without bias the diurnal stalemate of a marriage lived daily. He concludes that "nothing in this world was more difficult than love." Marquez does not limit himself to the domestic pitfalls of marriage. Florentino Ariza, another man who figures prominently in this incognito Caribbean city, has loved Fermina Daza inexorably for fifty-three years, seven months, and eleven days. His love is fervent and never falters. Yet, before one chalks his devotion to an unlikely romanticism, the love Florentino Ariza fosters towards Fermina Daza is not idealized. Notwithstanding the hundreds of women he frenetically possesses during his admirable wait for Fermina Daza's widowhood, he is hardly a hero of unblemished character. At a very advanced age, he exploits his position as guardian of a 14-year old girl for physical love. Ultimately, when Florentino Ariza is granted the holy audience of Fermina Daza, he abandons the girl, who commits suicide. Towards the novel's conclusion, Florentino Ariza is very old, a victim of festering bed sores and unfettered constipation. Marquez's omniscient eye (or nose) describes the stench of the two elderly lovers as a "henhouse." Despite, or perhaps because of, these prosaic details, the reader does not doubt the authenticity of the feelings presented. Love, in Marquez's lush, grand novel, is made truer because of, not despite, its human frailties. Would also recommend the book ------THE WOMAN WHO CUT OFF HER LEG by Slavin for a FUNNY read that's nothing like this one.
le 30 décembre 2010
I begin with an admitted bias as Márquez is my favourite author.
This was an absolutely awesome read! This epic love story that spans decades. It's impossible to capture it's brilliance and to really express what it is about. In today's time and age, 'love story' carries a connotation that isn't really fitting for this book, but I hope 'epic' captures this.
What's most brilliant about Márquez is how he vividly captures the imagination and leads you into this world, where you feel that you are living the lives of the characters and you learn about them. In this manner, you also learn a lot about your own life and human nature in general, which makes his work powerful.
Furthermore, in describing these lives from mundane details to the extraordinary, he weaves in a subtle social commentary regarding such diverse topics as gender relations, race, class, politics. The thing that strikes me the most about this is that he does this all without becoming 'preachy' but in the subtlest fashion.
It leaves you with a sense of the power of love, a love that is currently not in fashion, but also with the sense that the Caribbean and Latin American in general is constantly ravaged by war, disease, and corruption that continues unabated for almost a century.
le 5 novembre 2007
I had shyed away from Gabriel Garcia Marquez for years, afraid of the complexity of his works and the un-readibility factor which can put some off. And I'm not one to take Oprah's recommendation to heart as I don't always agree with the quality of her picks, but LOVE IN THE TIME kept nagging at me and I decided to read it. This said, it is not a fast easy read, the way a page turner like "life of Pi" or "Katzenjammer" by McCrae is. but it is a good solid book. The evocative descriptions of South American, coupled with the incredible writing style of Marquez makes this a meticulous novle with details found in no other book. On the same level as "Bark of the Dogwood" or the novel "Underworld" this is a book that will tug at not only your heart, but your intellect as well. Dealing with true love as well as death and the ramifications of those two powerful forces, Marquez has put together a fantastic phantasmagorical piece of literature to span the ages. Timeless and at once depressing AND uplifting, this is a great work of art. Would also recommend the books MIDDLESEX, BARK OF THE DOGWOOD, and the truly wonderful EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck for those interested in a great read.
le 27 octobre 2007
The illustrious and meticulous Dr. Juvenal Urbino and his proud, stately wife Fermina Daza, respectively past 80 and 70, are in the autumn of their solid marriage as the drama opens on the suicide of the doctor's chess partner. Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, a disabled photographer of children, chooses death over the indignities of old age, revealing in a letter a clandestine love affair, on the "fringes of a closed society's prejudices." This scenario not only heralds Urbino's demise soon afterwhen he falls out of a mango tree in an attempt to catch an escaped parrotbut brilliantly presages the novel's central themes, which are as concerned with the renewing capacity of age as with an anatomy of love. We meet Florentino Ariza, more antihero than hero, a mock Don Juan with an undertaker's demeanor, at once pathetic, grotesque and endearing, when he seizes the memorably unseemly occasion of Urbino's funeral to reiterate to Fermina the vow of love he first uttered more than 50 years before. With the fine detailing of a Victorian novel, the narrative plunges backward in time to reenact their earlier, youthful courtship of furtive letters and glances, frustrated when Fermina, in the light of awaking maturity, realizes Florentino is an adolescent obsession, and rejects him. With his uncanny ability to unearth the extraordinary in the commonplace, Garcia Marquez smoothly interweaves Fermina's and Florentino's subsequent histories. Enmeshed in a bizarre string of affairs with ill-fated widows while vicariously conducting the liaisons of others via love poems composed on request, Florentino feverishly tries to fill the void of his unrequited passion. Meanwhile, Fermina's marriage suffers vicissitudes but endures, affirming that marital love can be as much the product of art as is romantic love. When circumstances both comic and mystical offer Fermina and Florentino a second chance, during a time in their lives that is often regarded as promising only inevitable degeneration toward death, Garcia Marquez beautifully reveals true love's soil not in the convention of marriage but in the simple, timeless rituals that are its cement.
le 23 mai 2005
This book is one of the most beautiful I have ever read. Every page is like poetry.
Takes patience at first of course, but definitely worth it.
le 20 mai 2004
many people have tried to define love with words, as did florentino ariza. he wrote, read, ate, slept words. but like so many others, he discovered that love cannot be contained. it flows through our actions, through our lives, sometimes enriching, sometimes destroying. but in the end, it is what it is, in any era, at any age.
and like the characters, gabriel garcia marquez uses little dialog, instead, letting the story tell itself. often, i've read novels where the characters speak so much and so often that it leaves little room for emotion.
fermina daza is a strong woman who would be admired in any society. and like many strong woman, many may mistake her for unfeeling. but as you get to know her through garcia, you realize that she is as lost as anyone when it comes to love. it is only at the end of her journey that she realizes she has already arrived at her destination.
this translation moved me like few love stories have. i admit it did take a few tries for me to become absorbed but once i got started, i couldn't put it down. i only wish i could read it in its original form.
le 18 mai 2004
In his youth, Florentino Azira was rejected by Fermina Daza at the end of a correspondence-driven affair. While she endures a marriage with a higher-class doctor, Azira continues to be faithful to Fermina, in his whimsically stubborn way that only Garcia Marquez could imagine.
While Marquez's other well-known novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude, is well-known for its characters who float into the air, or grow pig's tails, this book stands in decided contrast. The unbelievable happens not in the physical realm, but psychological. Here, a man has hundreds of lovers and yet remains loyal to one old, married woman. We don't ask for the psychiatrist's explanation, just like we didn't ask a scientist to explain 100 Years of Solitude. Instead, we believe and want to believe.
The details are lyrically described, different characters wind subplots around the single-minded Azira. The dialogue occurs in pithy lines scattered throughout, almost like inter-titles in old movies. Marquez doesn't move the mouths of his characters, he moves much larger forces. He moves ships, brings plagues, and stretches love over lifespans.
le 28 avril 2004
Love in the time of Cholera
People may think of love and automatically think about the people who are close to them such as their family or they may also think about their soul mates. This is not wrong in today's society. This is what most people think about when talking about love, and this is the way they are raised to think. If you look up "love" in the dictionray the most common works used to discribe love are "deep affection" or "warm feellings". However, Love in the time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez gives us a different view on what love is. There is love for all ages, there is love for the young who is inexperience and fall foolishly in love; and then ther is the love for the old that is mature, and true. "Love in the time of cholera portrays love from the first to the one and only love.
How dramatic that the book starts with a suicide! Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a very descriptive writer to the point that he makes you feel as if you are there. You could smell the stench and see the twisted anf stiff dead body. You then wonder why this man committed suicide. Did he do it for love and if so why? To make things more dramatic, Marquez adds another death! A death that is unexpected and surprising. Which leaves a widow. However out of this death came out a declaration of love, a love that is declared to the widow that is grieving for her husband's death.
Who is this guy and is he crazy for waiting for a man to die to take his wife? Now my question is how long can a person love somebody for so long with out response? Florentino the man that declare his love to the widow has loved her for fifty-one years, nine months, and four days. It is too many years for me to love someone with out receiving the same affection. Can true love last so long? Is Florentino just obsessed over Fermina or is she some kind of fantasy or illusion.
Florentino is a very unique character. He never left his town, causing his to never grow into the person he could have been. Staying home and seeing his love being married to someone else, seeing how she develops as a mother and wife from afar. Just waiting and wishing for her husband to die to take his righfully place along side his love. Living in a life that you love but not being loved back is the world that Florentino is living and is destroying a way, but its also a keeping his alive.
In the time and place where the book takes place, is a time where certain things were forbidden. However they may have been forbidden but they are still done. To the late night visits that Florentino took to visit the widows, to Fermina hiding note from her father that Florentino has written.
"Love in the time of cholera" is a book that embraces loves and transforms it in to something beautiful. However love is not all for it is accompanied by death and pain, they all come together to. Marquez does a beautiful job in connecting them all together, he goes beyong describing them and bringing them together he brings the to life.
le 22 mars 2004
"Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez."
As I finished reading this book I understand many things that occur in life that sometimes people take for granted, or those little thing that we don't seem to care for or to bother with. I also realized the importance of respect and love as well. I say this in regards to the partner one chooses to be with, for example in this book I'm referring to Fermina and Dr. Juvenal Urbino, as well as Jeremiah D'Saint Amour and his mistress. Both very honest love and have respect for one another which is very important to have and understand. Another part I enjoyed very much in regards to feelings is the innocent, profound, and unconditional love that Florentino Ariza had towards Fermina Daza throughout the whole book. This is one of the books I've read that I enjoyed to the fullest.
Another different aspect presented in this book was loyalty and also in a way superstition. Loyalty was presented between the relationship of Jeremiah D'Saints Amour and his dog. That's what I meant when I said that sometimes we don't notice those little things in life that are important as well. There was also loyalty with Jeremiah D'Saint Amour and his mistress and this is because of her being with him in secret and as long as she was by his side meant keeping it a secret then she was willing to do it for love, for Jeremiah. It's amazing the love example, or should I say stories that Gabriel Garcia Marquez brought upon the characters in this novel. There was also superstition and a bit of coincidence. I'm talking about the significance of the natural world. Specifically when in the novel it rains when it was never done so in the Pentecost. Amazing how one change in our nature can also change something else in one's life?
One particular thing I liked very much was the way Gabriel Garcia Marquez described scenery or a specific area in the novel. Sometimes he would describe far to much, but as reading in a way I felt like I would read and put the words into a picture that I made in my mind and thoughts. I may sound crazy but it's the way I got through this book. In a way I understood it better by picturing it. I hope other people do it as well it's a way of understanding better sometimes. Well at lease for me it has been. Honestly his is a very good novel to read.
Humor was another aspect presented in this novel, especially when it came to Dr. Urbino with his not liking animals but he does like a parrot he has. Along with the humor came irony which was when Dr. Urbino helped the parrot from the tree but then again what happened to him not liking any animals? Ironic huh? Another very funny part in the novel was the reason when Fermina and Dr. Urbino got into an argument and stop talking for months. Funny as well as childish in a way.
le 17 mars 2004
51 years, 9 months, 4 days - which was how long Florentino had waited.
Fifty-one years ago, Fermina Daza felt madly in love with Florentino Ariza. The affair was made possible only through her aunt's complicity. But under her father's tight regime and thus his intransigence of her love affair, Fermina eventually broke all ties with Florentino and married Dr. Juvenal Urbino, a wealthy, eminent doctor who merited in fighting cholera along the Caribbean coast by implementing stringent measures. What followed Fermina's denial of his love was an austerely beautiful story of unrequited love that had still not ended half a century later. They were two people, ambushed by death, who no longer had anything in common except the distant memory of an ephemeral past that was no longer theirs but belonged to two young people who had vanished with no vestige.
Heartrending but not forlorn, it was during this long period of time (almost all his life) that Florentino changed his entire being. He whiled the years away by engaging in 622 affairs and maintained some link with his lovers but reserved his heart for the irreplaceable Fermina. The idea of substituting one love for another carried him along surprising paths that permitted him to find solace in other hearts for his pain.
Florentino, whose only point of reference in his own life was the love affair with Fermina, made a fierce decision to win fame and fortune in order to deserve Fermina. In his demented passion, he did not even consider the obstacle of her being married to the doctor but regarded it an ineluctable event that he resolved to wait without impatience or petulance, even till the end of time. When meeting the doctor, he could not bear the pangs of grief at the thought that the admirable man would have to die in order for him to be happy. Florentino understood both he and the doctor were poignantly subjected to the ineluctable fate of loving the same woman.
As the bell tolling resonated citywide for Doctor Juvenal Urbino, who died of a broken spine when he fell from the branch of a mango tree catching a parrot, death had interceded on his behalf after half a century of longing and imbued him the courage to repeat his vow of everlasting love to Fermina. So he planned to attend the funeral...
Love in the Time of Cholera is a tapestry of the complicated human emotions: love, repression, nostalgia, sex, concupiscence, and pride. It is a tale of morbidly repressed love, of passion, of obsession, and of indomitable longing and fulfillment. Garcia Marquez, with an incredulously detached voice and matter-of-fact manner, slowly unfolds the story with succulent details and lyrical exuberance. Piercing fluidity and precision of words accentuate the beauty of prose. Peripheral characters are no less etched and are vividly limned to the essence of their thoughts and emotions. The book is riddled with an air of melancholy and repression that is held redeemable by an undying hope.
2004 (14) ©MY