A couple of weeks ago, I picked Love in The Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez to read for this week’s blog entry. I was unaware that there would be a run on Marquez books being done between Dave and myself.
For those of you following along, Love in the Time of Cholera was listed on the top ten by five authors; Peter Carey, Michael Chabon, G.D. Gearino, Donald Harington and Ronald Wilson.
Now, I had a really nice blog entry planned out, with like multiple text quotations and websites to link to. However, because I thought it’d be a really nice touch to blog it in a certain way, I have ruined my ability to do the blog entry I dreamt of. I also lost the ability to actually post it early in the day on Thursday.
Here’s my story. Last night at 10 p.m. we boarded a bus in Omaha, a Megabus (megabus.com). We were not excited to be pushed out of the way repeatedly at the baggage check by a high school wrestling team that apparently were looking to save a few dollars by taking over a megabus. Anyway, megabus offers free wi-fi. So I figured between the overnight bus trip to Chicago and then the 5 hour bus trip to Ann Arbor MI, I would have plenty of time to write a blog entry, and that I could then say I was writing it from a bus, in the middle of some random midwestern state. You can see the temptation I’m sure. Or maybe not, and I’m just odd. Anyway, on neither bus did the wireless internet work. Or it might have, at 4 a.m. on the overnight bus when I finally gave up and went to sleep.
You would think, well that’s okay Kim, just blog it when you get to your location. Well. I am at my 83 year old grandma’s house, and she has never hopped on the internet, much less invested in even an dial up modem connection. I have corralled my husband into posting this blog from his blackberry. So in the interest of his typing it on a phone, I have decided to make this as bare bones as possible. (Though apparently I have already failed by my 5 paragraph entry so far that doesn’t even really cover the book).
Love in the Time of Cholera is a love story. It’s a story of a man’s 50 year old devotion to a lover who spurned him and married another. It’s a story of the lengths people will go to forget those loves. It’s a story of a love triangle, where two of the parties are unaware they are even in this love triangle. It’s a story of the physical aspect of love, not just sexual but also how love can cause a physical effect on the body. Not just the typical heart racing and blushing, but the physical illness that new love awakes in some, unrequited love awakes and rejected love causes physical ailment.
The story is set in Columbia at the turn of the century. There are separate cholera epidemics, but they take place almost as a backdrop to the remainder of the story, but also as the proponent for two of the three main characters to meet.
Marquez is brilliant. I have not read any of his other work, but in this alone, I found him amazing. His use of detail is lush. His turn of phrasing makes certain feelings and sentiments come to life in a way I have rarely seen another author reach (except Pablo Neruda, but he’s a poet). Also, so many things he writes about love and people’s reactions to it ring true not just 100 years since the setting of the novel but also in the 35 some years since he wrote the book. Dave has informed me that Love in the Time of Cholera isn’t his favorite Marquez books, so I am excited to read more of his, as if they just get better from this, I expect a lot from them.
Unfortunately Dave sent me a link last week about Marquez’s brother informing the general public that Marquez will be unable to write any further novels due to encroaching dementia. It’s sad how a disease as insidious as dementia can take a person’s history and ability away from them so completely. (I did have the link for the article, but see above for why it’s not here).
I hope you have enjoyed this entry. Please join us next Thursday for our next book.