Saturday, December 31, 2005

Memories of My Melancholy Whores

The last of my holiday reading was Gabriel Garcia Marquez' latest little book, the beautiful "Memories of My Melancholy Whores."

In translation (by Edith Grossman) it's beautiful to read (I wish I could appreciate the loving language of Marquez' original), a feast for the senses. It's the story of an old man's 90th birthday and the year that follows.

Here are four passages I marked:
"In plain language, I am the end of a line, without merit or brilliance, who would have nothing to leave his descendants if not for the events I am prepared to recount, to the best of my ability, in these memories of my great love." (7)

"In my fifth decade I had begun to imagine what old age was like when I noticed the first lapses of memory. I would turn the house upside down looking for my glasses until I discovered that I had them on, or I'd wear them into the shower, or I'd put on my reading glasses over the ones I used for distance." (9)

"It occurred to me that among the charms of old age are the provocations our young female friends permit themselves because they think we are out of commission." (45)

"The decade of my fifties had been decisive because I became aware that almost everybody was younger than I. The decade of my sixties was the most intense because of the suspicion that I no longer had the time to make mistakes. My seventies were frightening because of a certain possibility that the decade might be my last. Still, when I woke alive on the first morning of my nineties in the happy bed of Delgadina, I was transfixed by the agreeable idea that life was not something that passes by like Heraclitus' ever-changing river but a unique opportunity to turn over the grill and keep broiling on the other side for another ninety years." (109)

Do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of this book and revel in the joys that can come with growing old.


Anonymous redy said...

nice blog ,,this is my first time i visit your site...hope i'll learn much about information on your site..regards

10:03 PM  

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