Memories of My Melancholy Whores


Memories of My Melancholy Whores
Gabriel García Márquez,
translated by Edith Grossman
2007, Penguin
115 pages

WHEN it comes to telling stories, Gabriel García Márquez is in a class of his own. Memories of My Melancholy Whores is narrated with such smooth ease that reading it is almost like drinking milk. The descriptive prowess of this Colombian master of letters is based on a precision in the choice of language that paints such a vivid portrait of each scene that it rises out of the page like the images of a pop-up book. But it is the content of this tale that is such a disappointment, revealing as it does the retarded emotional condition of the Latin American male. If that is the intent, then the story fails by omission – in this case, by steadfastly ignoring the female component of love and concentrating on the narcissistic self-indulgence of the unlikely protagonist, a nonagenarian who, we are absurdly led to believe, remains fertile. Love, after all, is to be shared. If it is not intended, then one must question seriously the writer’s own emotional maturity. – GO’T

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