10-08-2007 09:31 AM - edited 10-08-2007 10:24 AM
Do Fermina and Dr. Urbino succeed at "inventing true love" (as mentioned in Chapter 3, p. 159)?
*This book only has six major parts. They're not called "Chapters", nor are they even numbered, but that's how I'll refer to them for the purpose of our discussion. Thanks!
Message Edited by Jessica on 10-08-2007 10:24 AM
10-10-2007 12:43 PM
10-10-2007 05:59 PM - edited 10-10-2007 06:01 PM
Message Edited by APenForYourThoughts on 10-10-2007 06:01 PM
10-15-2007 02:24 PM
After reading your thoughts, I recalled comparing Dr. Urbino & Florentino, based on how they reacted upon meeting Fermina for the first time.
In Chapter 3, when Dr. Urbino is meeting Fermina for the first time, we get this: "Dr. Juvenal Urbino used to say that he experienced no emotion when he met the woman with shom he would live until the day of his death." And that "...he had eyes only for the slightest hint that she might be a victim of the plague."
Wow! Compare that to when Florentino saw Fermina for the first time: "...the girl raised her eyes to see who was passing by the window, and that casual glance was the beginning of a cataclysm of love that still had not ended half a century later" (Ch. 1).
From "no emotion" on one end to "cataclysm of love" on the other. Kind of sets the stage for how the rest of their lives played out, huh?
10-16-2007 02:16 AM
10-16-2007 10:20 AM
foxycat wrote: Is Florentino's emotion really love, or just obsession or infatuation? He's in love with an imaginary ideal that doesn't exist, not the real Fermina. It's the "love at first sight" that exists in romantic comedy films.
1. Well, I have to play devil's advocate for love at first sight! I've seen it in action and I'm a big fan.
2. And did anyone in this novel ever know the real Fermina?
3. Personally, I wondered the same thing about Florentino being obsessed.
So I went to the trusty dictionary, who defines obsession as "a compulsive preoccupation with a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling or emotion, often accompanied by symptoms of anxiety" and "the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc" and, interestingly enough, "an unhealthy and compulsive preoccupation with something or someone."
This certainly sounds like Florentino, doesn't it?
However, because obsession -- by definition -- includes emotions & desire, I'm not sure I'm willing to disconnect obsession from love entirely. And of course, the title of the book practically commands us to believe that it's love.
(And isn't it interesting that the word 'unhealthy' shows up in the definition? Think of all the fevers Florentino suffered thinking of Fermina (see the Lovesickness discussion).
This leads me back to the original question -- did Fermina and Dr. Urbino have "true love"? Dr. Urbino may not have been as intense or passionate as Florentino, but wasn't there love for Fermina?
10-20-2007 12:10 AM