Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sunday Story - Memories of My Melancholy Whores

Image result for memories of my melancholy whoresLast week I said I'd got this book from the library. It's not big but it packs a punch! It's not too dissimilar to Love in the Time of Cholera, but I found it so much better - maybe because it's short and intense.

The opening line is this: "The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin."
from: Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

It's a story of a man who at 90 has never been in love, but has bedded hundreds of women. And then he falls in love with his adolescent virgin who he never speaks with, never has sex with, and never spends the day with.

And this is where I'm going to fall in a heap with my logic. In this book, I loved how the 90 year old man became teenage-like in his 'love' to the point of becoming insane. I loved his self-deprecating humour and the way he knew how silly he was being. But it wasn't just love that he tried for the first time, he also got a cat, sold precious items he never could have parted with before, and opened up a part of himself that he's kept firmly clamped all his life. He came to experience life and emotion, to value it.

In Love in the Time of Cholera, I found the guy pathetic and his love so obsessive that I couldn't believe it was truly love. I didn't find it fun or funny. Yet, the Whores I thought was fun and funny.

I wonder if that's because I was at a different point in my life when I read each? Or did I invest more into the longer book and so wanted more from it? Or has Marquez tweaked the story so that it suits me more in this one?

I think he's a gifted writer, but I wonder if he has ever known the purity of love. For me, animals show a purity of love but even with the cat, the old man never really loved it, he didn't understand it...maybe he would have been better with a dog.

I loved this book - maybe for its brevity!

In an aside, I checked out some reviews on Goodreads - it got a lot of 1 stars because of the content (an underage whore) and people's horror at the age difference.

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