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Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Favorite Passages

One of the first things that strikes me about this book -- or any of Gabriel García Márquez's books -- is how descriptive his writing is. Let's talk about some of our favorite passages from the book. (Be careful of spoilers, though!)

I'll start with a few from the first chapter.

  • After Dr. Urbino meets the mistress of the recently deceased Jeremiah de Saint-Amour (what a great name, by the way) -- "Dr. Urbino already realized how completely he would repudiate the memory of of that irredeemable woman, and he thought he knew why: only a person without principles could be so complaisant toward grief." This gives us rare insight into the depths of Dr. Urbino's emotions, because we see early on how others view him as somewhat stoic and cold.

  • When the parrot escapes -- "The servant girls, with the help of other maids in the neighborhod, had used all kinds of tricks to lure him down, but he insisted on staying where he was, laughing madly as he shouted long live the Liberal Party, long live the Liberal Party damn it, a reckless cry that had cost many a carefree drunk his life." It's a humorous scene that provides a stark reminder of the political climate.

  • But my favorite, after Dr. Urbino and Fermina fight about whether or not there was soap in the dish -- "'Let me stay here,' he said. 'There was soap.'" It's such a tender, simple ending to a huge, emotional, marital argument.

    What are some of your favorites?
  • Frequent Contributor
    APenForYourThoughts
    Posts: 394
    Registered: ‎06-22-2007
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    Re: Favorite Passages

    [ Edited ]
    I think one of my favorite passages is when Fermina has returned from Valledupar and Florentino follows her as she walks through the market. I don't own the book and I can't find an e-text, so I can't quote anything, which is a shame because there are a couple of really beautiful lines about how Florentino couldn't understand how the world didn't go mad at the rustling of Fermina's skirts or something to that effect. Kind of conveys the extreme depth of Florentino's love for/obsession with this girl. It's a wonderful passage, and then we have Fermina's heartbreaking rejection of Florentino. :smileysad:
    I also love when Florentino plays the violin for Fermina one last time... That part made me want to cry.
    The whole thing is amazing. It's a true work of art that still has me awestruck.

    Message Edited by APenForYourThoughts on 10-07-2007 02:39 PM
    "A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us." --Kafka
    Frequent Contributor
    BarbaraN
    Posts: 519
    Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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    Re: Favorite Passages

    [ Edited ]

    Jessica wrote:
    One of the first things that strikes me about this book -- or any of Gabriel García Márquez's books -- is how descriptive his writing is. Let's talk about some of our favorite passages from the book. (Be careful of spoilers, though!)

    I'll start with a few from the first chapter.

  • After Dr. Urbino meets the mistress of the recently deceased Jeremiah de Saint-Amour (what a great name, by the way) -- "Dr. Urbino already realized how completely he would repudiate the memory of of that irredeemable woman, and he thought he knew why: only a person without principles could be so complaisant toward grief." This gives us rare insight into the depths of Dr. Urbino's emotions, because we see early on how others view him as somewhat stoic and cold.

  • When the parrot escapes -- "The servant girls, with the help of other maids in the neighborhod, had used all kinds of tricks to lure him down, but he insisted on staying where he was, laughing madly as he shouted long live the Liberal Party, long live the Liberal Party damn it, a reckless cry that had cost many a carefree drunk his life." It's a humorous scene that provides a stark reminder of the political climate.

  • But my favorite, after Dr. Urbino and Fermina fight about whether or not there was soap in the dish -- "'Let me stay here,' he said. 'There was soap.'" It's such a tender, simple ending to a huge, emotional, marital argument.

    What are some of your favorites?




  • I liked and noted these passages as well, Jessica. There are so many. Garcia Marquez has an interesting way of describing his characters and their situations without blatantly stating it. And I'm only up to page 38!

    Some in relation to the Doctor's (or Garcia Marquez) professional attitude that I liked:

    pg 8 ... it was easier for him to bear other people's pains than his own.

    pg 10 "The scalpel is the greatest proof of the failure of medicine."

    pg 10 "Each man is master of his own death, and all that we can do when the time comes is to help him die without fear of pain."

    Or the environment:

    pg 9 ... and motors from the bay whose exhaust fumes fluttered through the house on hot afternoons like an angel condemned to putrefaction.

    pg 17 ...women protected themselves from the sun as if it were a shameful infection.

    pg 17 At nightfall, at the oppressive moment of transition, a storm of carnivorous mosquitoes rose out of the swamps, and a tender breath of human **bleep**, warm and sad, stirred the certainty of death in the depths of one's soul.

    pg 19 ..the riverboats with their shining lights, purifying the stagnant garbage heap of the bay with the wake of their music.

    The Doctor's political thinking:

    pg 15 Dr. Urbino did not agree: in his opinion a Liberal president was exactly the same as a Conservative president, but not as well dressed.

    Barbara

    Message Edited by BarbaraN on 10-08-2007 04:08 PM
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    BarbaraN
    Posts: 519
    Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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    Re: Favorite Passages

    pg 17 At nightfall, at the oppressive moment of transition, a storm of carnivorous mosquitoes rose out of the swamps, and a tender breath of human **bleep**, warm and sad, stirred the certainty of death in the depths of one's soul.

    Oops! It looks like I've been **bleeped** by the B&N censor. It does make discussing adult literature a bit difficult. I gave the page reference so others can read it for themselves. It does lose something in B&N's translation.

    pg 31 in Spanish version

    ...y una tierna vaharada de mierda humana, cálida y triste, revolvía en el fondo del alma la certidumbre de la muerte.

    I bet the B&N censor doesn't read Spanish.

    Barbara
    Frequent Contributor
    Jessica
    Posts: 968
    Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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    Re: Favorite Passages


    BarbaraN wrote:
    pg 17 At nightfall, at the oppressive moment of transition, a storm of carnivorous mosquitoes rose out of the swamps, and a tender breath of human **bleep**, warm and sad, stirred the certainty of death in the depths of one's soul.

    Oops! It looks like I've been **bleeped** by the B&N censor. It does make discussing adult literature a bit difficult. I gave the page reference so others can read it for themselves. It does lose something in B&N's translation.

    pg 31 in Spanish version

    ...y una tierna vaharada de mierda humana, cálida y triste, revolvía en el fondo del alma la certidumbre de la muerte.

    I bet the B&N censor doesn't read Spanish.

    Barbara




    :smileywink:

    (Thanks! And sorry to bleep a quote from a Nobel prize winner!)
    New User
    a_cindy
    Posts: 1
    Registered: ‎10-12-2007
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    Re: Favorite Passages

    In spite of the fact that I teach Spanish (and Latin American literature), I only recently read this book, for a book club, actually. I don't know that it's my favorite Garcia Marquez work, and I think that "100 Years" exemplifies magical realism best.
    No spoilers :smileyhappy:, but after reading this one and the "Memorias de mis putas tristes", friends and I noticed some parallels that are a little disturbing.
    Anyway, one passage that I remember grabbed me as I read was near the very beginning, as the doctor took a nap on the patio (can't quote, 'cause mine's in Spanish). That paragraph captured, for me, the essence of the Caribbean.
    Frequent Contributor
    BarbaraN
    Posts: 519
    Registered: ‎11-08-2006
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    Re: Favorite Passages



    a_cindy wrote:
    In spite of the fact that I teach Spanish (and Latin American literature), I only recently read this book, for a book club, actually. I don't know that it's my favorite Garcia Marquez work, and I think that "100 Years" exemplifies magical realism best.
    No spoilers :smileyhappy:, but after reading this one and the "Memorias de mis putas tristes", friends and I noticed some parallels that are a little disturbing.
    Anyway, one passage that I remember grabbed me as I read was near the very beginning, as the doctor took a nap on the patio (can't quote, 'cause mine's in Spanish). That paragraph captured, for me, the essence of the Caribbean.




    Cindy what page? Give the page and quote the Spanish. I have the book in both languages. What did you find disturbing about it?
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