Friday, May 05, 2006

More Love and Cholera

I started reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez years ago, but somehow never finished, despite having loved One Hundred Years of Solitude. Recently I thought it was time again for some good 'ol Magical Realism, so I picked up Cholera again. Marquez infuses so much color into each paragraph that I think I'll burst.
He was the first man that Fermina Daza heard urinate. She heard him on their wedding night, while she lay prostrate with seasickness in the stateroom on the ship that was carrying them to France, and the sound of his stallion's stream seemed so potent, so replete with authority, that it increased her terror of the devastation to come. That memory often returned to her as the years weakened the stream, for she could never resign herself to his wetting the rim of the toilet bowl each time he used it. Dr. Urbino tried to convince her, with arguments readily understandable to anyone who wished to understand them, that the mishap was not repeated everyday through carelessness on his part, as she insisted, but because of organic reasons: as a young man his stream was so defined and so direct that when he was at school he won contests for marksmanship in filling bottles, but with the ravages of age it was not only decreasing, it was also becoming oblique and scattered, and had at last turned into a fantastic fountain, impossible to control despite his many efforts to direct it. He would say: "The toilet must have been invented by someone who knew nothing about men."
Toilet humor, yes, and very funny.


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