(image courtesy: silverthreads.wordpress.com)
I’m on page 184 of 348, and while the book is taking a turn I had not anticipated – Florentino Ariza is an absolue slime ball masking his sliminess with vast, romantic notions of love – it is still the finest piece of writing ever. So fine in fact, (I am paraphrasing an esteemed colleague here), that we are almost convinced that Florenino Ariza truly acts out of love, not lust.
It is my humble opinion that in the history of writing, Garcia Marquez is untouchable. Here are a few of my favourite quotes so far:
“She prayed to God to give him at least a moment so that he would not go without knowing how much she had loved him despite all their doubts, and she felt an irresistable longing to begin life with him over again so that they could say what they had left unsaid and do everything right that they had done badly in the past.” (47) An eloquent reminder of the regrets one holds when faced with the death of a loved one.
“…many years later, as he was combing his hair in front of the mirror, and only then did he understand that a man knows that he is growing old because he begins to look like his father.” (170) A bitter sweet moment…especially if your father (or, mother) did not grow old gracefully.
“It was in this innocent way that Florentino Ariza began his secret life as a solitary hunter.” (56) He is a hunter of women and his intention is to submerge his obssessive love for Fermin Daza with sexual liasons and relationships (note: all sexual encounters are mutually consented). That really should’ve been my first cue that this guy was a creep.
“…when she was almost one hundred years old, they found [Hildebranda’s photo] locked in the bedroom closet hidden among the folds of perfumed sheets…Fermina Daza kept her [photo] on the first page of a family album, then it disappeared without anyone’s knowing how, or when, and came into the possession of Florentino Ariza, through a series of unbelievable coincidences…” (134) A simple observation of what happens to our most prized possessions – photos that hold memories of a better time. They are hidden and discovered after we die or we lose them and they travel into other hands…it’s like a little part of us is in those photos that disappear…such a simple concept: the destination of a photograph, given such importance.
I also love the magic realism…the magic mixed in with he real….I could write a quote from every page that exemplifies good writing, but that would be outrageous…a little obsessive, perhaps.
If you’re reading this novel, or have read it, what were your favourite parts? Do you have an author that you just love and could quote from every page?