Memories of my Melancholy Whores

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This is a wry and totally affecting novella by a nostalgic master, as much in love with life and with women as he has ever been. Easily readable in one sitting, you’ll want to take your time.
An excerpt:
The certainty of being mortal, on the other hand, had taken me by surprise a short while before my fiftieth birthday on a similar occasion, a night during carnival when I danced an apache tango with a phenomenal woman whose face I never saw, heavier than me by forty pounds and taller by a foot, yet who let herself be led like a feather in the wind. We danced so close together I could feel her blood circulating through her veins, and I was lulled by pleasure at her hard breathing, her ammoniac odor, her astronomical breasts, when I was shaken for the first time and almost knocked to the ground by the roar of death. It was like a brutal oracle in my ear: No matter what you do, this year or in the next hundred, you will be dead forever. She pulled away in fright: What’s the matter? Nothing, I said, trying to control my heart.:
“I’m trembling because of you.”
From then on I began to measure my life not by years but by decades. 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 the 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 on the grill and keep broiling on the other side for another ninety years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *