Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel García Márquez, Edith Grossman

Love In The Time Of Cholera is as much a love story as Wuthering Heights was – which is to say, it’s not a love story at all. It’s a story about an obsession disguised and perceived as love.

My complaint is not about Florentino Ariza waiting for the supposed love of his life for over 50 years. However, that fact alone does not qualify it as a classic timeless love story, thank you very much; especially when you consider that Florentino Ariza was the kind of idiot who lived with his head on clouds and never really knew the woman he claimed to be so in love with. They were infatuated with the ideal that each dreamt the other up to be, since they never really knew each other. The entire affair that started in their youth consisted of love letters filled with the sort of thing that teenagers fancying themselves in love wrote to each other and literally zero face-to-face conversations. I’m not opposed to the author writing this kind of story, not at all, but I’m opposed to the idea that this is a great love story. Obsession and lust isn’t love.

And there’s a lot of lust in this story. Every character slept around, and while I’m not opposed to men who slept around while “waiting” for their “true love”, I do not like it; and I reserve the right not to like such characters (there are exceptions). But the problem I see with this is mainly the idea that all these carnal activities are depicted as love as well. I agree that it’s possible to love more than one person, but I do not agree with the perception that lust = love. But you could say that Florentino Ariza, being an idiot, does not know the difference. That is quite possible.

About the writing:
I found the prose tedious to read, not at all lyrical or poetical like some people claimed it was. But then again, preference is a subjective matter that varies from reader to reader. Within the first 10 pages I understood why I DNFed this years ago when I checked it out of a library, and nevertheless I persisted reading through the rest of the book. I believe my perseverance is to be congratulated.