Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Love in the Time of Cholera

The next stop on my trip through every author who has won the Nobel Prize winner for Literature is Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The book: Love in the Time of Cholera. Here’s my take…

Never thinking I would say this about Marquez after having read half of Love in the Time of Cholera, I stand corrected by my original thought: this is the driest book ever.

In my initial throngs, torture of the inhumane kind would best have described reading this text. It was akin to reading 400 pages of John Galt’s speech over and over and well…over. Round about the midway point however, something clicked. I still have not decided if the click was internal or on the page but it happened. Suddenly, I found myself enamored by his prose.

On its face, Love in the Time of Cholera is about love, an unending, pure love during the time when Cholera was still an issue in parts of the world that the rest of the world gave a shit about. If one could not pull this from the title, perhaps, thne, a brain enema might be suggested. However, this is not what it is about! Florentino’s love is infatuation and blinded by lust and self-loving and self-hatred. Fermina’s love for him is apparently not as strong as her love for her father, so she marries into money and power per her father’s request. She spends the next 50+ years pretending not to hate the Doctor husband she married. All the while, Florentino carries his infatuation to disturbing heights–buying a mirror her reflection drifted across–and screws every wife and whore that will have him.

Marquez seems to purposefully mention dark concepts whenever the true love affair is described. He likens deep infatuation to disease, calling its symptoms out as equivalent to that of Cholera. I can’t help but think Marquez did not intend this as a happy love story. Nor can I help but believe he has a dark view on love and aging. Himself an aging, I can understand it. Only 34 myself, I’ve never concerned myself with aging except my recent inability to maintain a flat stomach and my ever-receding hair line. Perhaps if I cared about such things, I would take notice that my testes hang lower than they used to, but if I were that type of man, I would simply comment to myself that my balls have gotten more impressive in view (I bring this disturbing point up since Marquez himself raises equally uncomfortable points about aging and one’s thoughts on aging and dying).

I find it funny (nay, disturbing) that many of the few who have read Love in the Time of Cholera think it’s a beautiful love story. Then again, perhaps that was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s plan all along.

PS: The image is mine, of my own copy of the book. Nobody paid me for this review. Though I’m not objectionable to anyone paying FOR it.

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