Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and John Barth - Septuagenarian Grandmasters

A review of John Barth's Where 3 Roads Meet and Gabriel Gárcia Márquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Brandon Stosuy.

Slowing down as he enters his 10th decade, he resurrects his whoring after a period of an "erratic" rereading of the classics and digging into his "private programs of concert music." Ergo, he phones his favorite brothel and requests a virgin; against odds, the shrewd madam-a particularly enjoyable character-finds one. The girl's 14, works in a button factory, has good skin, sleeps through their "dates." Smitten, Scholar names her after the folk character Delgadina, a king's youngest daughter "wooed by her father," and turns his traditional newspaper columns into "love letters that all people could make their own."

In the past, García Márquez conjured "false memories," but here there are false futures. As his narrator posits, "the adolescents of my generation, greedy for life, forgot in body and soul about their hopes for the future until reality taught them that tomorrow was not what they had dreamed, and they discovered nostalgia."

You can find the full review here.

Buy Memories of My Melancholy Whores at
Buy Where Three Roads Meet at

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