Monday, June 23, 2014

Gabo el Magnífico!

I'm almost never trendy, seldom onto the newest thing. I shop clearance racks. I have a dumb phone. I adopted a sweater, boots and jeans in the winter, sundress and sandals in the summer mode of dress so long ago I can't remember when I wore anything else. Why, then, should I expect to be on top of the latest literary must read? Drum roll please...I am about halfway through Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Love in the Time of Cholera, published in 1988 and featured on Oprah's Book Club in 2007. Clearly I am behind the times. And I am spellbound. For me this isn't a quick read, I'm only getting through ten pages a night, tops. I get so caught up in the language that I reread whole paragraphs. And then pause. 

And then he wiped him from his memory, because among other things, his profession had accustomed him to the ethical management of forgetfulness.

I am astonished by the beauty of the phrases that issue from this man's brain. How he crawls inside his characters' hearts and minds and puts their secrets on display. You feel their fevers and desires and pain as you read. I am reminded at times of another writer whose lyrical prose reads as if it comes from the same vein. I have loved Isabel Allende from the first five pages when I picked up House of the Spirits fifteen years ago. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that both authors write in their native Spanish. All I can say is, their translators are masterful. I don't happen to know anyone who has read these books in both Spanish and English so that they might offer an opinion on what might be gained or lost in translation. Until then, I am savoring this story in small doses in English. If I don't answer the door, look for me in the hammock. With a time of day appropriate beverage. And the words of Gabo.

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