Love in the Time of Cholera

by Gabriel García Márquez

Start Free Trial

Love in the Time of Cholera

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Gabriel García Márquez won worldwide fame for himself and, to a large degree, Latin American literature with his novel Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of Solitude, 1970). Though the works he has produced since then, such as El otoño del patriarca (1975; The Autumn of the Patriarch, 1976) and Crónica de una muerte anunciada (1981; Chronicle of a Death Foretold, 1982), have maintained his reputation as one of the world’s foremost novelists and contributed as well to his winning the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature, many critics and readers alike believe that none of these works has approached One Hundred Years of Solitude in scope and overall quality. Love in the Time of Cholera, however, is a novel that comes very close to ranking right alongside the author’s earlier masterpiece. It is a profound, complex, and at times bizarre tale of love that only García Márquez could have weaved together.

At seventeen, Florentino Ariza begins his courtship of Fermina Daza. After a two-year relationship in which the two communicate exclusively through clandestine love letters, she accepts his proposal of marriage. Her father learns of the relationship, however, and takes her on a long trip to forget Florentino. Yet she does not forget him, and the relationship grows as the two lovers continue to correspond on the sly. On Fermina’s return, however, she mysteriously rejects Florentino, explaining only that she has realized that their relationship has been “nothing more than an illusion.” Florentino is devastated. Fermina eventually is married to Dr. Juvenal Urbino de la Calle, a prominent local physician. Florentino vows that he will win Fermina back and he patiently waits for her husband to die, an event which does not take place until more than fifty years later. In the meantime, Florentino occupies himself with some six hundred “long-term liaisons,” all the while bettering his social position in preparation for the time Fermina will be available again. When Dr. Urbino de la Calle dies, Florentino is ready. On the very day of the doctor’s funeral Florentino expresses his love to Fermina: “I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love.” She immediately asks him to leave and soon after sends him an insulting letter. Undaunted after waiting so long, Florentino continues to pursue Fermina through another series of letters, followed by a series of visits and a climactic boat trip up the river and back. The progress of his courtship is very slow, but he finally manages to win her heart and in the process show her what love really is. The novel ends with the couple again heading upriver, hoping to remain forever in the unreal world of true love.

García Márquez’s novels are typically populated by a collection of wonderfully odd characters, and this novel is no exception. Foremost of these is Florentino Ariza, whose obsessive love for Fermina Daza permeates the novel. This aspect of his character is evident in the letters he writes, from the first one, when the two lovers begin courting—a letter which grows to seventy pages before he trims it to half a page—to the very last ones, when he is attempting to win her back after her husband’s death—letters which he writes every day, numbering each one and even beginning them with a synopsis of the preceding one.

Ironically, the character most dissimilar to Florentino is the very object of his obsessive and enduring love, Fermina Daza. While Florentino waits for years to resume the relationship they...

(This entire section contains 1659 words.)

See This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this study guide. You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

once shared, she rarely even gives it a second thought. Even at the height of their teenage love affair, she is a rather detached participant. The narrator states that during this period Fermina wrote “distracted letters, intended to keep the coals alive without putting her hand in the fire, while Florentino Ariza burned himself alive in every line.” This woman is the cool (often cold), distant contrast to Floretino’s lead-with-the-heart, hold-nothing-back personality. Cracking that shell, getting her to let go, is Florentino’s problem, both as a teenager and more than fifty years later, when he finally has the chance to try again.

Dr. Urbino de la Calle’s main role in the novel is that of the obstacle in Florentino’s quest for Fermina. He is also a classic García Márquez character, a man who is said to be conscious of the size and weight of his internal organs, who attempts unsuccessfully to teach arithmetic and opera to his parrot, and who insists upon eating asparagus, even out of season, simply so he can “take pleasure in the vapors of his own fragrant urine.”

Love in the Time of Cholera has a whole host of memorable minor characters as well. Leona Cassiani, for example, was once raped on the beach by an unidentified man and actually seems to have enjoyed the experience, so much so that she does not plan to marry until she finds the man who did it. Florentino’s Uncle Leo keeps several spare sets of false teeth in various places in case he loses or breaks the set he is wearing. Certainly the most unfortunate of the minor characters, if not the most memorable, are Olimpia Zuleta and América Vicuña (Florentino’s fourteen-year-old ward and lover), both of whom die as a result of their relationship with Florentino, Olimpia at the hands of her jealous husband and América by suicide.

In spite of their strangeness, the characters of this novel, even the minor ones, never cease to be intensely human. Each and every character is, if not well developed, then at least presented with a wealth of details that give them individual identity and dimension.

Besides the collection of interestingly odd characters, there are many other aspects of this novel which are unmistakable García Márquez trademarks. The first of these is the use of exaggerated and supernatural events. Some examples of this include the number of lovers Florentino is said to have had, the number of cures for baldness he tries (172), a doll of Fermina’s that seems to grow, and the ghost of a drowned woman. The extent of the exaggerations and the supernatural phenomena found in this work, however, do not begin to approach that found in One Hundred Years of Solitude, a novel in which almost every page holds some bizarre or fantastic event. In Love in the Time of Cholera the novelist is more subdued yet still profoundly magical.

As is the case in many Latin American novels written since the 1950’s, the story of Love in the Time of Cholera is not told in a strictly chronological fashion. The novel opens on the day of Dr. Urbino de la Calle’s death and then in the second chapter begins to tell of the first time Florentino and Fermina meet. The text is full of radical changes in focus as García Márquez’s narrator moves from the perspective and story of one character to those of another. There are also countless passages which digress from the subject at hand. Some shifts or digressions deal with one character’s reaction to a situation just described from another character’s perspective, while others provide a background story or simply treat—and often at considerable length—a subject that happens to come up in the narration (such as Dr. Urbino de la Calle’s urinating practices). The constant changes in focus are not meant to confuse the reader but instead are intended to provide the most complete story possible, a story told from multiple perspectives and veritably stuffed with information about the characters and the world in which they live. Because of this, García Márquez’s novel presents a multilayered tale in which the reader can become fully immersed.

There is no question concerning the author’s theme: It is love. It permeates the novel from the title all the way down to the most minor of characters. It is a story of love in virtually all of its guises: carnal, obsessive, invented, convenient, unrequited, and, most important, true love. García Márquez shows that all types of love count and that love, as the saying goes, truly does make the world go round, regardless of the form it takes in the heart of the individual. Given Florentino’s patient perseverance, his success at finally winning the heart of Fermina, and the effect it ultimately has on her, it seems obvious that despite his pluralistic presentation of love it is both the author’s opinion and his message that true love is by far the most satisfying and the most enduring.

Love in the Time of Cholera presents a story that builds not toward a dramatic climax but toward a much subtler one. It is a story in which each part, each scene, each description is important, a story in which “progress” is not as important as the “process” itself. The novel therefore requires a very patient reader, one willing to follow and be engrossed in the narrator’s radical shifts of focus and long, detailed descriptions dealing with the activities, thoughts, and backgrounds of both major and minor characters. At times it almost seems that the reader must have the patience of Florentino as he waits for his second chance with Fermina. It is clearly a work in which the destination is not as important as the trip itself, a novel not as concerned with the story as it is with the treatment of the topic of love, seen in many forms and through a number of characters. The reader who accepts this interpretation will thoroughly enjoy the book. In fact, were it not for One Hundred Years of Solitude, this novel would be known as García Márquez’s masterpiece.

Places Discussed

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share


*Cartagena. Colombian port city on the Caribbean Sea that forms the backdrop to the novel. Gabriel García Márquez never names the city within the novel; however, the clues he provides are sufficient to ensure that the city is, in fact, Cartagena. Details about the novel’s city include the fact that it was the most prosperous city in the Caribbean during the eighteenth century, that it once possessed the largest slave market in the Americas, and that it was the traditional residence of the viceroys of the Spanish colonial Kingdom of New Granada. The capital of the Bolívar region in northern Colombia, Cartagena was founded in 1533 and became important in the mid-sixteenth century, when Spain’s great mercantile ships began stopping there annually to load up with gold and other products for transport back to Spain. In the process, Cartagena also became a center for the burgeoning slave trade.

García Márquez doubtless does not mention the name of the city in order to keep it firmly within the realm of the imagination and brings his fictional city alive in a variety of ways. He provides detailed descriptions of the grand colonial houses in the downtown district, where Juvenal Urbino’s family lives, and contrasts these houses with the rudimentary hovels where the descendants of the black slaves live on the outskirts of the city, near the swamp.

Contrasts between these two areas of the city are brought home to the reader when Urbino visits the outskirts; his carriage driver gets lost repeatedly, and the children stand in the street laughing at the driver’s clothes. This is clearly a different world from the upper-class, professional world that Urbino inhabits, and yet he eventually falls prey to its charms since he ends up having an extramarital affair with a mulatto woman, Barbara Lynch, who comes from the other side of the tracks. The novel thereby uses geography in order to structure its message.

The cholera outbreak that forms a central part of the backdrop to the action is known to have originated in the swamps on the outskirts of the city. Dr. Juvenal Urbino, like his father before him, is involved as part of his professional duties in attempting to stop the spread of the disease; however, he is as powerless to stop its onslaught as he is to resist the temptation of Barbara Lynch’s love. The connection is not a casual one; García Márquez is suggesting that love, far from being nothing but joy, is like a disease. Indeed, the love that Florentino Ariza experiences for Fermina Daza—essentially turning him into a love-sick admirer from a distance when she decides to marry someone else—is something that upsets his sleeping patterns, makes him lose his appetite, and causes him to break out in rashes so severe that his mother thinks it is actually cholera from which he is suffering.

*Magdalena River

*Magdalena River. Colombian river flowing northward from the Andes Mountains to the Caribbean Sea that provides a central symbol in the novel. The river echoes the ebb and flow of the characters’ lives. When Florentino and Fermina go on a boat-ride on the river together, the river, like them, shows signs of its age. However, it also functions as the setting for their twilight love. Fermina and Florentino ask the captain of the ship—the New Fidelity—on which they are journeying if they can simply go on a trip by themselves. Against all the odds he agrees, and the yellow flag normally used to indicate cholera is hoisted, guaranteeing that they will be left undisturbed. The ship subsequently sails off into the sunset to a destination which is no more specific than “straight on, straight on, to La Dorada.” In this last scene of the novel, various geographic leitmotifs—such as the river, travel, and the association between cholera and love—are brought triumphantly together. Florentino has been waiting for this moment for more than fifty years.

Historical Context

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Located in the northwest of South America, Colombia is a Spanish-speaking country that was part of the Spanish conquest of the sixteenth century. The landscape is dominated by the Andes Mountains in the west, the plains of the east, and the lowlands of the Caribbean coast, where most of the action of Love in the Time of Cholera is set. Early Spanish explorers Rodngo de Bastidas and Francisco Pizarro first mapped the Colombian coastland, and the port city of Cartagena was founded by Pedro de Heredia in 1533. Under Spanish rule in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries, the native populations were forced into slavery or the encomienda, in which the taxes they paid to the Spanish government kept them in a kind of indentured servitude. Intermarriage between Spanish colonists and natives soon led to the destruction of many of the native population's special tribal characteristics, but also led to a growing class of mestizos, or people of mixed-race descent. Today almost 60% of Colombia's population is mestizo.

Spanish domination continued in Colombia as well as much of South America until the early 1800s. Then Colombia, as part of the viceroyalty of New Granada (which also included parts of Venezuela and Ecuador), took advantage of France's invasion of Spain to throw out their local Spanish governmental officials. A Bogota uprising that occurred on July 20, 1810, is now celebrated as Colombia's Independence Day. Although Spain attempted to reconquer the territory in the mid-1810s, military leader Simon Bolivar led a united force of South Americans to several decisive victories over the Spanish in 1819, 1821, and 1822. The Republic of Colombia was born, and gained its present borders after the secession of Venezuela and Ecuador in 1830 and the secession of Panama in 1903.

Colombia underwent several periods of civil unrest in the 1800s, as Liberal and Conservative parties battled over the composition of the government, the role of the church, and how to share power between the two parties. The country suffered a civil war from 1840 to 1842, and again from 1899 to 1902. During this time, several constitutions were adopted, and internal political struggles often consumed the country's efforts. The most recent constitution was adopted in 1991, which provides for a system like that of the United States, with a popularly elected president, a two-body legislature, and a supreme court. Although Colombia's drug trafficking trade has received much publicity, the country currently has a diversified economy that is the most consistent on the continent, with important industries in oil, textiles, food processing, clothing, chemicals, and beverages (such as coffee).

Colonialism and Postcolonialism
Set in an unnamed town on the coast of Colombia, Love in the Time of Cholera spans the years from the late nineteenth century to the 1930s—the time of transition from the colonial to the modern period. On the edge of town are old slave quarters, where buzzards fight over the slaughterhouse remains. Cadavers are everywhere, some dead of cholera and others in the wars. The novel is not only about the past but also about the anachronistic lifestyle that still survives in the ruins left by nineteenth-century progress. In this respect, the novel shares the fin de siecle, or "end of century," mood of much contemporary Latin American writing.

The social fabric represented in the novel consists of two major groups: the Social Club (upper class) and the Commercial Club (middle class). The three main characters also embody their respective backgrounds—Dr. Urbino, with his two family names, from the old colonial elite; Fermina, the beautiful representative of the new breed of capitalists who seek high standing in the young republic; and Florentino, illegitimate but connected by birth to a more modern and reputable shipping enterprise that nevertheless ravages the forest environment whose populations it largely serves. In order to account for Florentino, Fermina and Juvenal's backgrounds, the novel extends some sixty years back into the past; at the same time it registers the principal social developments shaping the life of the community during the period concerned, and surveys the political history of Colombia since the country obtained independence in 1819. A still more remote perspective encompassing the period of Spanish colonial rule completes the range of temporal references in the book.

The novel thus embraces considerations of history, politics, class, race and culture, in literal as well as symbolic terms. From a detailed historical vantage point, the narrative evokes the era of Spanish colonial rule in the mid-sixteenth century as a time of prosperity for the local merchant class and, on a wider scale, as a period of slavery and abuse by the Inquisition. Hazardous open sewers inherited from the Spanish are a clear reminder of the colonial heritage of a city that "had now existed on the margins of history ... for four hundred years." The vision of inertia also holds true for the postcolonial era, as the experience of Juvenal Urbino's family illustrates: "Independence from Spanish rule, followed by the abolition of slavery, precipitated the circumstances of honorable decline in which [Juvenal] was born and grew up." Marquez dramatizes the juncture in the history of families that had been influential in the past and sought refuge in the artificial order of social snobbery, racial prejudice, and political corruption.

Literary Style

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

In Love in the Time of Cholera, although the narrative is in third-person—the impersonal "he" or "she" performing the action—Garcia Marquez frequently withholds omniscient insight from his characters. In the novel the author suggests the unknowabihty of one's true feelings and the corresponding impossibility of summing up a relationship. Its six chapters progress smoothly along a linear path, punctuated by frequent asides and repeated flashbacks. The story is told by a single narrative voice, which recounts certain events in duplicate in order to represent the overlapping experiences of its multiple protagonists.

The letters of Florentino are a central narrative device defining the emotional ambivalence of the romantic experience. They are a way of balancing and connecting the kinds of truth and falsehood in romance. His early letters, along with Fermina's subsequent rejection of him, suggest the dangers of delusion. Yet in the long run the impulse of these letters is vindicated when he finds a newly realistic mode of expression. He has to learn that the bubble of romance bursts when its truth is too crudely counted on, or rendered literal. Fermina is so struck by the wisdom of the later letters that she decides to keep them as a series and to think of them as a book. Thus through the device of correspondence, which becomes Garcia Marquez's book, there is a reminder of the origin of the novel in the epistolary genre—the novel of letters—from the eighteenth century.

In the eighteenth century, this device was usually a way of exploring levels of sincerity in the character's self-portrayal while retaining the illusion of reality. While Marquez does not use the letters as the narrative medium, he does firmly place them within his own third-person narrative frame. Rather than reinforcing the realistic effect of the narrative, the letters provide a brief escape from such an effect.

Using the device of the letters the narrative progresses in a series of flashbacks. From one perspective, the marriage of Urbino and Fermina is merely a fifty-year interruption of Florentine's courtship. And the flashback technique treats it as such. Yet it also proves to be the route to the final romance, since both characters develop significantly during this period. It is the marriage that gives Fermina her realistic approach to romance; thus it is not merely an obstacle. Thus the narrator is at all times humorously aware both of the fundamental struggle between romance and reality and of their inextricable connection. This is apparent in the young Florentine's business letters: "Florentino Ariza would write anything with so much passion that even official documents seemed to be about love."

Various patterns of time and structural symmetries have their indispensable role in shaping Love in the Time of Cholera. The narrative starts out with a death in the "present," in this case approximately 1931; a long flashback of over fifty years takes up chapters 2-4 and most of chapter 5, the concluding pages of which then pick up on the dangling thread from chapter 1, chapter 6 then proceeds with the final courtship and romance.

Many parallel threads are woven into the texture of the novel, but among the most important is the set of deflowerings of Florentino and Fermina, both in chapter 3, on his and her respective boat trips, and in each case with more experienced and aggressive sexual partners. Their own consummation of their love will likewise take place on board ship, three chapters and five decades later. The opening suicide of Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, motivated not by love but by dislike of old age, is contrasted with the suicide of rejected lover America Vicuna toward the end of the novel.

Although set ten to twenty years before the turn of the century, Love in the Time of Cholera shows a decidedly modern sensibility. It focuses on an urban rather than a rural society, and shows it with less mysticism and more social detail than in Garcia Marquez's earlier works. In an unnamed Caribbean city, a "sleepy provincial capital" thought to be a composite of the actual Colombian cities of Cartagena and Baranqinlla, there is a fictional leap from the imaginary village of Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude that is significant. Macondo, fully created, can stand for much larger universes, but it is mostly, fundamentally, itself. The unnamed coastal Caribbean city of the later novel can never truly remain imaginative. It seems too real. It holds the resonance and reality of many deaths before the story even begins. It is a city with a history of slavery, civil wars, and cholera epidemics for over a half century, a desolate landscape against which the destinies of the major characters are played out; and decay is part of this landscape of putrefying swamps, old slave quarters, and cadavers.

Compare and Contrast

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Colombia: A country of almost 37 million, Colombia has a life expectancy rate of 72.8 years, an infant mortality rate of 25.8 deaths/1,000 live births, and a literacy rate of 91.3%.

United States: A country of over 266 million, the United States has a life expectancy rate of 75.95 years, an infant mortality rate of 6.7 deaths/1,000 live births, and a literacy rate of 97%.

Colombia: With an economy based on oil and agricultural products, Colombia has a gross domestic product of $5,300 per person, one of the best in South America.

United States: With a diverse economy involving technological, industrial, and agricultural products, the United States has a gross domestic product of $27,500, the highest among major industrial nations.

Colombia: After a history that includes Spanish colonial rule and several civil wars, Colombia's population is 58% mestizo (mixed white-Indian), 20% white, 14% mixed black-white, 4% black, 3% mixed blackI-ndian, and 1% Indian.

United States: With a history that includes forced importation of African slaves as well as frequent immigration, recent censuses put the U.S. population at 83.4% white, 12.4% black, 3.3% Asian, and 0.8% Native American, although more and more people argue for the inclusion of "mixed-race" as a category for the next census.

Techniques / Literary Precedents

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Told in a single narrative voice, the novel is nonlinear in structure, allowing Garcia Marquez considerable license to enhance plot development. The first chapter conveniently eliminates the obstacle to true love in the form of Dr. Urbino and ends with the reappearance of Florentino. The middle chapters reveal the past history of the characters as well as the fictional setting, engaging the reader in a vast panorama of social and cultural history. The final chapter brings the two lovers together to court and consummate their undying love.

Blending social realism with the elements of popular romance fiction, Love in the Time of Cholera is a deliberate attempt by Garcia Marquez to write a nineteenth-century novel "as if it were actually written at that time." As such, it has been compared to the naturalistic fiction of Emile Zola and Gustave Flaubert as well as the romantic fiction of the Bronte sisters. In addition, the novel exemplifies the sentimental literature associated with the folletin, a form of nineteenth-century writing enlisted by other contemporary Latin American novelists, including Manuel Puig, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Carlos Fuentes. Love in the Time of Cholera is clearly one of Garcia Marquez's most ambitious literary ventures and is critically placed among his most important works of fiction.


Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Two of the six films distributed as Dangerous Loves (Amores Dificites) were inspired in part by Love in the Time of Cholera: Letters from the Park, directed by Cuban film-maker Tomas Gutierrez Alea, and The Fable of the Beautiful Pigeon-Fancier, directed by Brazilian filmmaker Ruy Guerra, who received considerable recognition in the United States for his film Erendira, based on Garcia Marquez's short story.

Bibliography and Further Reading

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Paul Bailey, "The Loved One," in The Listener, Vol. 119, No. 3069, June 30, 1988, p. 29.

Michael Bell, Gabriel Garcia Marquez Solitude and Solidarity, St. Martin's Press, 1993.

Gene H. Bell-Villada, Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Man and His Work, University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

Angela Carter, "Garcia Marquez Sick with Love and Longing," in Washington Post Book World, April 24, 1988, pp. 1, 14.

Jean Franco, "Memento Mon," in The Nation, New York, Vol. 246, No. 16, April 23, 1988, pp. 573-74.

S. J. A. Minta, "In Praise of the Popular," in The Times Literary Supplement, No. 4448, July 17, 1988, p. 730.

Thomas Pynchon, "The Heart's Eternal Vow," in the New York Times Book Review, April 10, 1988, pp. 1, 47, 49.

Mona Simpson, "Love Letters," in London Review of Books, Vol. 10, No. 15, September 1, 1988, pp. 22-24.

Michael Wood, "Heartsick," in The New York Review of Books, Vol. XXXV, No. 7, April 28, 1988, pp. 6, 8-9.

For Further Study
Isabel Alvarez Borland, "Interior Texts in 'El Amor en los Tiempos del Colera'," in Hispanic Review, Vol. 59, 1991, pp. 175-86.
Alvarez Borland examines the written texts within the novel and concludes that Love in the Time of Cholera is a novel about writing—both in the literal sense and the figurative sense of the post-modern, self-reflexive text.

M. Keith Booker, "The Dangers of Gullible Reading Narrative as Seduction in Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera," in Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 17, no. 2, Summer, 1993, pp. 181-95.
Booker's reading suggests that Love in the Time of Cholera is not a book about romance, but about politics and history and that its "saccharine surface" conceals a series of textual traps.

Claudette Kemper Columbus, "Faint Echoes and Faded Reflections: Love and Justice in the Time of Cholera," in Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 38, no. 1, 1992, pp. 89-100.
This discussion of the novel invites readers to recognize that Love in the Time of Cholera is a satire which attacks the sentimental notions it seems to support.

Robin Fiddian, "Introduction," in Garcia Marquez, edited by Robin Fiddian, Longman, 1995, pp. 1-26.
Included in Fiddian's Introduction is a discussion of the national context of Colombia, Latin American fiction and magic realism. He also provides biographical information and a brief discussion of Love in the Time of Cholera.

Bernard McGuirk and Richard Cardwell, editors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez New Readings, Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Editors select essays written from a variety of perspectives.

George R. McMurray, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Ungar, 1977.
The first book-length study of Garcia Marquez in English. The author comments on all his fictional writings and provides plot summaries as well as bibliography and index.

George R. McMurray, Critical Essays on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Hall, 1987.
A collection of book reviews, essays, and articles from the 1960s to the present. There is a wide representation of critics as well as of works discussed.

Kathleen McNerney, Understanding Gabriel Garcia Marqueza, University of South Carolina Press, 1989.
A useful study that attempts to interpret the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez in light of modern and contemporary European and Latin American literature.

Stephen Minta, Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Writer of Colombia, Cape, 1987.
Beginning with a very informative and useful chapter on Colombia, the book develops an overview of Garcia Marquez's work within a political as well as literary context. Selected bibliography is included.

Mabel Morana, "Modernity and Marginality in 'Love in the Time of Cholera'," Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 14, No 1, Winter, 1990, pp. 2743.
Morana proposes that the novel juxtaposes two different social projects which are actualized in the two male characters.

K. E. A. Mose, Defamiliarization in the Work of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, E. Mellen Press, 1989.
An interesting consideration of the figures of speech employed by Garcia M&quez to "defamiliarize" his subject and present the familiar in an unfamiliar fashion.

Bradley A. Shaw and Nora Vera-Godwin, editors, Critical Perspectives on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Society of Spanish and Spanish-American Studies, 1986.
A collection of essays on various works by several scholars.

Margaret L. Snook, "The Motif of Voyage as Mythical Symbol in 'El Amor en los Tiempos del Colera' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez," in Hispanic Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1, 1988, pp. 85-91.
Snook discusses the many journeys in the novel, including that of the narrative itself which reflects the movement of a journey that is interrupted and later resumed.

Raymond Williams, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Twayne, 1984.
Brief biography and description of works, including commentary on Garcia Marquez's journalism.


Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Gabriel García Márquez. New York: Chelsea House, 1989. An excellent collection of critical essays on the works of García Márquez. Proves a good overview of the themes and literary trends that shaped García Márquez’s works.

Castronovo, David. “Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez.” America 159, no. 6 (September 10, 1988): 146-148. Discusses in particular the versatility and variety of Love in the Time of Cholera.

Garris, Robert. “Love in the Time of Cholera by García Márquez.” The Hudson Review 41, no. 4 (June, 1990): 759-760. A discussion of the novel’s style that finds the work “robust, energetic, and meditative.” Points out that love and death are treated as comic and absurd.

McNerney, Kathleen. Understanding Gabriel García Márquez. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989. A useful study that attempts to interpret the works of García Márquez in the light of modern and contemporary European and Latin American literature.

Mose, K. E. A. Defamiliarization in the Work of Gabriel García Márquez. Lewiston, N.Y.: E. Mellen Press, 1989. An interesting consideration of the figures of speech employed by García Márquez to “defamiliarize” his subject and present the familiar in an unfamiliar fashion.


Critical Essays


Teaching Guide