So one of my literary criticisms tells me that my book is about TRUE love. And then my other criticism says that the entire book is satire and that anyone who believes otherwise is overtly sentimental, arrogant, selfish, and blind. Claudette Columbus is an angry woman and she will not hesitate to flame anyone. Michael Palencia-Roth needs to step up his game; I’m starting to agree with Columbus.
Whoa! I thought something was off with the unrealistic representation of love in Love in the Time of Cholera, and it seems that the critics agree. According to this lady named Claudette Columbus, the entire book is a satire of people who are overtly sentimental, people that let love blind them in inappropriate situations. In this case, Florentino is so in love that he is unable to lead a productive life despite the cholera epidemic. Columbus even goes as far to compare Marquez’s writing with Swift, a writer known for satire. She also criticizes other analysts who only regard the book as romantic fiction.
I found the article for free on JSTOR.com, if anyone is looking for a free repository of criticism, this one is fantastic.
So we learn that Dr. Urbino has had an “affair”, and so Fermina leaves him for a short while only to return later. By now, many years have passed and everybody is old, and finally, we reach the point in time where Urbino dies and the story continues. I’ve noticed that Marquez frequently uses the weather to set the mood in his story; he uses heavy rain to symbolize dramatic events in the story, such as Urbino’s death. After Florentino proclaims his love again to Fermina after so many years, he is actually pretty successful in building a relationship with her again despite her initial outbursts of anger. Finally, with persistence and patience, Florentino is able to get into Fermina’s pants. And that’s pretty much how the book ends.
After Fermina’s rejection of Florentino, we learn of Dr. Urbino’s life and his difficult but successful courtship of Fermina. After learning of this, we hear of Florentino’s affairs with multiple women such as Rosalba, Nazaret, Sara, and Olimpia. So it seems that Florentino is quite a player, yet he proclaims that his love for Fermina is still pure. Which doesn’t really make sense. Marquez’s idealization of love is very strange, as he tries to write Florentino in a positive light, but I just find him increasingly annoying with his passive complaints and his inability to move on. Florentino does see Fermina every now and then, first at the poetry competition, and then again with Dr. Urbino, and he tries to stalk her again, but she disappears.
So it seems that Dr. Urbino’s present story was just a prologue. After Urbino dies, this awkward man named Florentino Ariza shows up and awkwardly proposes his love to Fermina at Urbino’s funeral. Which is obviously a bad move, as Fermina kicks him out immediately. And then the real story begins, first with a background on Florentino’s early immature courtship of Fermina when they were both very young. It seems that Fermina led Florentino on for a very long time without actually meeting him, and then abruptly cut off relations after seeing him up close and in person. Yet Florentino pledges his love to her for the rest of his life while Fermina eventually runs off with Urbino despite her disdain for him. Marquez wants to make Florentino an important part of Fermina’s life in his story, but in reality, Florentino would probably be classified as a stalker.
The Urbino’s marriage is described in great length, and it leaves me wondering how these two completely different people were able to stay together in marriage for so long. Fermina loves nature while Dr. Urbino despises it; Fermina is independent and strong-headed while Urbino is distant and reliant on his wife; Fermina is full of love and passion while Urbino seems to love his parrot more than his family. It actually just struck me how silly Dr. Urbino’s death is. He is such a dignified man, with so much education and prestige, yet he dies after falling off a ladder chasing a parrot. Maybe this is Marquez’s way of making fun of death?
Love in the Time of Cholera isn’t the most infatuating book I’ve ever read, but it is quite interesting. The book begins in the present with a description of a old-timer named Dr. Urbino, who is a hot-shot doctor with a very attractive wife. Their marriage is described in a very strange way. It isn’t exactly troubled and it isn’t exactly happy, and although the couple says that they love each other, the relationship sounds very tense and methodical. It honestly sounds terrible, but when Dr. Urbino dies, his wife seems genuinely distressed. Something that stood out to me in the first few pages of the novel is the description of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour’s suicide and the evident age of Dr. Urbino. Marquez paints a very realistic picture of death and age very early in his novel.
After reading a few chapters of The Count of Monte Cristo online, I decided to go to the library to pick up a paper copy. Looking through the shelves in the library and realizing how long the book was, I changed my mind. The book is 1200 pages! And I’ve read five chapters already without becoming significantly interested. So browsing through the “Classics” rack at the Troy Public Library, I stumble upon the novel Love in the Time of Cholera. Tales of romance are always interesting, so I’ve picked it up and decided to read it. It has much more critical analysis, it’s been made into a movie here (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0484740/), and it is interesting to see how modern romance compares to romance of the past. I’ve decided to wait until I’m halfway through the book to post this, just so there aren’t any more changes.
After searching the internet for an “interesting book with literary merit” I found a forum with several recommendations for the book The Count of Monte Cristo. Quickly googling the title of the book, I find that it is an adventure novel about revenge written by Alexander Dumas, and that it is available online at this link. I ask Mr. Kreinbring for approval, and I make sure critical analysis exists for the novel, and now I begin reading!