Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love in the Time of Cholera

If you've never read it, or you've only seen the movie, I strongly recommend Gabriel García Márquez's novel Love in the Time of Cholera. Despite it's main theme, that lovesickness is literally an illness, a disease comparable to cholera, it is a beautifully written book that has a lot to say about love in its myriad forms.

Here's the start of Thomas Pynchon's review of the book for the New York Times:

Love, as Mickey and Sylvia, in their 1956 hit single, remind us, love is strange. As we grow older it gets stranger, until at some point mortality has come well within the frame of our attention, and there we are, suddenly caught between terminal dates while still talking a game of eternity. It's about then that we may begin to regard love songs, romance novels, soap operas and any live teen-age pronouncements at all on the subject of love with an increasingly impatient, not to mention intolerant, ear.

At the same time, where would any of us be without all that romantic infrastructure, without, in fact, just that degree of adolescent, premortal hope? Pretty far out on life's limb, at least. Suppose, then, it were possible, not only to swear love "forever," but actually to follow through on it -- to live a long, full and authentic life based on such a vow, to put one's alloted stake of precious time where one's heart is? This is the extraordinary premise of Gabriel García Márquez's new novel
Love in the Time of Cholera, one on which he delivers, and triumphantly.

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