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Memories of My Melancholy Whores (Marquez 2014)
 
 

Memories of My Melancholy Whores (Marquez 2014) [Kindle Edition]

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Kindle-Preis: EUR 4,66 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Amazon.de

"The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." So begins Memories of My Melancholy Whores, and it becomes even more unlikely as the novel unfolds. This slim volume contains the story of the sad life of an unnamed, only slightly talented Colombian journalist and teacher, never married, never in love, living in the crumbling family manse. He calls Rosa Cabarcas, madame of the city's most successful brothel, to seek her assistance. Rosa tells him his wish is impossible--and then calls right back to say that she has found the perfect girl.

The protagonist says of himself: "I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn't pay ... by the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once ... My public life, on the other hand, was lacking in interest: both parents dead, a bachelor without a future, a mediocre journalist ... and a favorite of caricaturists because of my exemplary ugliness."

The girl is 14 and works all day in a factory attaching buttons in order to provide for her family. Rosa gives her a combination of bromide and valerian to drink to calm her nerves, and when the prospective lover arrives, she is sound asleep. Now the story really begins. The nonagenarian is not a sex-starved adventurer; he is a tender voyeur. Throughout his 90th year, he continues to meet the girl and watch her sleep. He says, "This was something new for me. I was ignorant of the arts of seduction and had always chosen my brides for a night at random, more for their price than their charms, and we had made love without love, half-dressed most of the time and always in the dark, so we could imagine ourselves as better than we were ... That night I discovered the improbably pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty."

Márquez's style never falters throughout this recounting of his life and his exploration of love, found at an unexpected time and place. The erstwhile lover is still capable of being surprised--and fulfilled. After an absence of ten years, it is a treat to have another parable from the master. --Valerie Ryan

Amazon.com

"The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin." So begins Memories of My Melancholy Whores, and it becomes even more unlikely as the novel unfolds. This slim volume contains the story of the sad life of an unnamed, only slightly talented Colombian journalist and teacher, never married, never in love, living in the crumbling family manse. He calls Rosa Cabarcas, madame of the city's most successful brothel, to seek her assistance. Rosa tells him his wish is impossible--and then calls right back to say that she has found the perfect girl.

The protagonist says of himself: "I have never gone to bed with a woman I didn't pay ... by the time I was fifty there were 514 women with whom I had been at least once ... My public life, on the other hand, was lacking in interest: both parents dead, a bachelor without a future, a mediocre journalist ... and a favorite of caricaturists because of my exemplary ugliness."

The girl is 14 and works all day in a factory attaching buttons in order to provide for her family. Rosa gives her a combination of bromide and valerian to drink to calm her nerves, and when the prospective lover arrives, she is sound asleep. Now the story really begins. The nonagenarian is not a sex-starved adventurer; he is a tender voyeur. Throughout his 90th year, he continues to meet the girl and watch her sleep. He says, "This was something new for me. I was ignorant of the arts of seduction and had always chosen my brides for a night at random, more for their price than their charms, and we had made love without love, half-dressed most of the time and always in the dark, so we could imagine ourselves as better than we were ... That night I discovered the improbably pleasure of contemplating the body of a sleeping woman without the urgencies of desire or the obstacles of modesty."

Márquez's style never falters throughout this recounting of his life and his exploration of love, found at an unexpected time and place. The erstwhile lover is still capable of being surprised--and fulfilled. After an absence of ten years, it is a treat to have another parable from the master. --Valerie Ryan


Produktinformation

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 985 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 118 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin; Auflage: Re-issue (6. März 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00HVPSXLA
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #59.953 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Amazon.com: 4.1 von 5 Sternen  155 Rezensionen
180 von 188 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen No old man forgets where he has hidden his treasure . . . 27. Oktober 2005
Von KH1 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"It is a triumph of life that old people lose their memories of inessential things," Garcia Marquez writes in his first novel in ten years, "Though memory does not often fail with regard to things that are of real interest to us."

_Memories of my Melancholy Whores_ begins on the eve of the 90th birthday of the narrator, a journalist and columnist for a local newspaper. Feeling close to death, his birthday present to himself, which will (initially) cost him one month's wages, is a night in the arms of a virgin prostitute, in this case a fourteen-year-old girl he christens Delgadina.

He arrives at the brothel, where the girl has been drugged to calm her nerves. The narrator climbs into bed with her, and falls asleep. From here, he begins a year-long affair with a young woman that he has never spoken to, whose eyes he has never seen. He looks for her in the streets during the day, and then realizes that he would never recognize her awake or dressed. Yet, a change has come over him. Though his trists and the lavish gifts he has bestowed upon his Sleeping Beauty have made him destitute, and he is forgetting the names of his friends, for the first time in his life, he is in love, and happier than he has ever been.

This beautiful, perfectly-wrought novel tells the story of an old man who has never loved anyone, never had a true friend, who has never made love to a woman that he hasn't paid. It is at once a novel about finding love at old age, after a long life ill-spent, and about coming to terms with the ghosts of one's past. What seperates this novel from others that cover these well-worn themes is that it is also about the state of being old itself. We do not waste away with time, Garcia Marquez seems to be saying; time is a tool that carves away our excess, like a chisel chips away marble to reveal a work of art.

Time has been good in this way for the author, as well. The novella, which I have always felt was his best form, is carefully written, each sentence an equal part of the story. There are very few excesses, and because of this, the work reads very quickly. I often, when reading, had to force myself to slow down, so that I could really concentrate on the work, and when the book started to get really good, near the middle, I had to force myself to slow down again in order to catch the tiny nuances in the text that Garcia Marquez throws at the reader. It's a page turner, but if you blink, you'll miss some great humor and irony.

I really have tried to be critical of this work, but having loved Garcia Marquez for so long, I find it hard to find fault with any of his work. I'm sure that other reviewers will find aspects for critique, but I can't. I loved this book. I was moved to laughter and to tears, all in 128 pages, and that, to me, is the sign of a great novel. I think I'll go read it again.
43 von 46 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Bittersweetness of living 2. Dezember 2005
Von Kerry Walters - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Many of the reviewers here and elsewhere are repulsed by what they see as Gabo's endorsement in this novella of pedophiliac prostitution. But saying that "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" is about sex is as absurd as saying that "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is about architecture.

Love, death, and aging are the (characteristically Marquezian) themes of this book. The 90-year-old protagonist, looking back at his long life, discovers that he's never really quite lived, and that a wasted life is much more fearsome than death. He falls in love for the first time in all his years, and with a young girl who seems to be a symbol for lost youth and innocence in general. In cherishing her, the protagonist lives the bittersweet melancholy of aging, the memory of past joys, sadnesses, and lost opportunities, and the sheer ambiguity of existence.

Gabo's book isn't about sex, although it's intensely erotic. It's about what it means to live, and age, and remember, and to bring those memories into the present as living companions. It took Proust thousands of pages to explore "remembrances of things past." It takes Gabo just a bit more than one hundred pages in this haunting reflection on the human condition. Strongly recommended, especially to anyone over 50.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Life Continues Even at the End 15. Januar 2007
Von Steve Booth-Butterfield - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Great creative writers tend to generate diverse reviews. When I read reviews that are uniformly positive, I tend to keep on looking since it is likely that the writer and the story are bland, commonplace, and acceptable. If you read the reviews on Gabriel Garcia Marquez's work in general and "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" in particular you will find seriously divided opinions that mark a strong artistic work.

Since many of the reviews here detail plot, character, and style I'd like to share one strong element that attracts me past Marquez's admirable skill in those other areas. He often writes about much older men and women and in a way that takes those old lives seriously. Most creative work with older characters is just simply bad. The characters are shallow, stereotypic, and seem to have learned nothing about life. By contrast, Marquez's older characters are interesting people and all seem to possess at times at least a sliver of wisdom earned over their fictional lifetimes. They are not simply young people with aging bodies brooding over lost youth and what might have been. They live the life they have. They act. They think. They listen to themselves and grow even in their old age.

A reviewer has already noted one of the strongest elements in this novel that is captured in a quote one character recalls from Cicero: "An old man never forgets where his treasure is buried." That is one helluva an observation and a powerful theme to use as a springboard for building a character and Marquez constucts an interesting man with it. And, as an aging man (although still a child by the standards of a Marquez character), the vitality, curiosity, and thriving human-ness of the main male character in "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" engages, delights, and challenges me as I begin what is certainly the last half of my life.

Some people will find the characters in this novel to be uninteresting, disgusting, or predictable. It is about a 90 year old man who never married because he couldn't give up his whores and every intimacy he had with a woman was bought. The book takes the sordid world of sex for hire on its own ground and never criticizes or moralizes about it. Very young girls are crushed by poverty, then sold into prostitution by their families as a simple matter of fact. Government officials actively purchase the services of these girls and women and protect the survival of the trade. This is not Overland Park, Kansas, circa 2000. If you cannot accept this context for whatever reason, it may be difficult to appreciate anything about this novel.

My largest technical concern with this novel cannot be fixed, so in that regard is moot. This is a short book that contains many short moments of great richness, complexity, and fertility. They are ripe for development and it almost hurts to see them end too quickly. They each appear to me like a large diamond that should be rotated slowly to view each facet, then tested under different lighting conditions to see how things change. Instead, Mr. Marquez moves from diamond to diamond quickly. I hope this is not his last book.

Finally, Marquez is my kind of writer because of his view on love. The main character in this novel is warned of danger in walking through a rough neighborhood by a taxi driver. The old man replies, "If it is for love, it doesn't matter." Marquez is willing to look at love through the eyes, minds, and hearts of many different characters especially those with many years on them. And he always believes in love.

There are not many writers who can say anything interesting about love and old age. Marquez does.
57 von 65 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen How to Be a Ho...... 30. November 2005
Von T. Bundrick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
In a NYT magazine article several years back Marquez spoke of a lifelong fascination and devotion to two areas: prostitution and Fidel Castro. I admire Marquez the author: when I first read ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE in 1979 at the age of 20, the transformation was instant and complete: I would never again be able to accept the face or literal meaning of words and images.

This slim, yet satisfying book, is Marquez's elegy to a lifelong romantic attachment of an ideal form. However, as in most cases, the ideal has very little to do with reality. In today's sex trade children are often bought, sold and indentured to pimps. Violence becomes a normative experience while alcoholism, drug-addiction and illiteracy are common. Perhaps most sadly, children born to prostitutes will most likely end up as prostitutes themselves.

Marquez is not concerned with the reality. He wants us to identify with this profession, with the whole arena, as he believes it should be viewed: prostitutes act as surrogates, confidantes, friends, and lovers. The prostitutes are provided and cared for. Love is conditional on a price, but for a price, and always for a price That is as close to unconditional love as exists in Marquez's world.

Granted this work is slim, yet there is an essential life force at work that will not be denied. Now in his eighties, Marquez is simply running out of steam. However, the man is simply incapable of writing a poorly-constructed sentence. One note: Edith Grossman has been providing english-speaking readers with translations of latin american authors for as many years as I've been alive. This translatation is pure poetry. Without her artful channeling of an author's voice we would be denied the florid prose of Marquez, Amado, and many others. She is a true poet. Brava......
48 von 59 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Carnal Knowledge 19. November 2005
Von MICHAEL ACUNA - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
On the surface Gabo's "Memoria de mis putas tristes" (loosely translated as Memories of My Sad Whores) is a story about an old man who upon turning 90 decides to bed (or attempt to would be a better description) a 14-year-old prostitute who, upon entering the old man's room for the first time, promptly falls asleep. And it is at this time that the old man (unnamed) begins a reverie of his life and in particular of the many women he has bedded and for whose affections he has paid.

In barely over 100 pages, Gabo manages to squeeze in a chronicle of some 500 women: not finding Love with any of them. He says:"Sex is the consolation for not finding enough love."

Many will look at this novella as Gabo's attempt to write a piece that would be placed out of reach to anyone under 18 in the Public Library, alongside "The Tropic Of Cancer" or "Lady Chatterley's Lover." And Gabo would probably think that this would be the ultimate in Coolness. But, "Memoria" is much more than this. What it is is a tribute to all women and the mysteries of all things feminine. The Old Man pays for companionship yes, but he adores these women: they are his respite from Life, all that he craves and they fulfill something much more inside of him, than can the mere act of sex.

The Old man calls the 14-year-old virgin Delgadilla (or the little skinny one) and he lavishes her with gifts. Delgadilla becomes the Old Man's savior and avenging angel, for it is through her innocence and love that he is reborn as a writer and as a human being.

"Memoria de mis putas tristes" is Gabo at his most sensual. That these encounters he details are sometimes graphic and often times brutal does not deflect the sheer beauty and majesty of the writing or of this novella in general.
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