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Love & Longings in times of Marquez

Posted On 14 Feb, 2016 में

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Today is Valentine’s day that brings me to the subject of love and who could be a better doctor than Gabriel Garcia Marqez on the disease of love. Well, it was only in 2006 when I read Marquez for the first time. Till then I had heard about his brilliant work but somehow didn’t read his novels and short stories. It won’t be an exaggeration if I say it was like a revelation for me that any other writer that I had read so far could match his take on love. He was kind of a modern Shakespeare to me. The very first Mareez novel that I read was none other than “Love in times of Cholera” and it was indeed an amazing experience for me as a reader. The story was about the unrequited love between Florentine and Fermina and their reunion after more than half a century when both have reached an age when people get busy with the travails of old age rather than love or romance . Florentine always had the spark of love for Femina all these years of a failed love that he continued to long for. Marquez does not hesitate  to explore the yearnings of love in advanced age of 70s for both protagonists-the heaviness of two weary souls of falling in love hopelessly in such old age. Their trepidations about rekindling the embers of dying flame as redeemed by the undercurrent of a deep longing typical of youthful spirits excited by the discovery of each other in a voyage along river Magdalena in a steamer is brilliantly narrated by Marquez.

Garcia invokes the levity of a Shakespearean comedy in this novel but also puts gravitas of a Greek tragedy. During their journey in the steam boat, both lovers are enjoying the typical finale of their difficult and disastrous journey and the reader is battling with a multitude of emotions – a sense of disbelief followed by discomfort.

Ordinarily most of us do not quite know or understand the phenomenon of an elderly love and how to react on such love. There are complicated reasons for this. The society is not comfortable with the idea of love in old age. Old people are expected to cease being creatures of desire. Marquez has demolished this myth in his “Love in Times of Cholera”.  Marquez is like a magician weaving realism, enabling all sorts of improbabilities in his unique style of story telling. He is a wizard of words that capture human emotions at the core.

Love in times of cholera is set in turbulent times and Marquez has pitched his story around social customs, morals, politics and the antics of rich and powerful but here I have dwelt only on the aspect of “love” which is the central theme of his all writing.



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