I first discovered Gabriel Garcia Marquez writing style in “Love in Time of Cholera,” a great, great novel about which I made this review some time ago.
But this little, slim book, “Memories of my Melancholy Whores” was above my expectations.
An intriguing title for a novel full of confessions
The book starts with the main character, a journalist at his nineties, who decides to offer himself a brave birthday present: a night with a very young virgin. So he calls his favorite brothel to get a dalliance for himself.
Marquez makes a lovely analysis about youth and old age through his character, who confesses about his hundreds of women whom he made love.
But, at the edge of his life, he discovers that love is all he needs, more than the physical thing. And this thing occurs after meeting this frightened 14 years old girl.
“Whenever someone asks I always answer with the truth: whores left me no time to be married.”
Despite the fact that all his life he used to pay for women, even they didn’t’ agree, or they didn’t have this “profession,” the unnamed character experiences something else with this virgin young girl. They never have sex, as the old man discovers that his only will is to watch her sleep and to have her around. This actually becomes the pattern of their relationship.
His attitude could seem crazy or disturbing for the reader, but for me, it looked like a scream or a wishing to get a final shot of youthfulness, before his death.
A book as a journal about love and life, more than physical attraction
Behind the curtain of this old man’s struggles stays a lesson about love, sex, life and about human weakness near the end of it. This novel is hard to forget, just like the woman who still haunts the protagonist’s memory.
“Memoria de Mis Putas Tristes” was directed in 2011, by Henning Carlsen, based on Marquez original novel.