Love in the Time of Cholera Love in the Time of Cholera discussion

Marquez opinion about love ........

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Amir my understanding of love is not more than a human specific and very developed presentation of sexual function. Such viewpoint is disqualified by love in this book because florentino has a very active sexual behaviour, but as the reader's opinions shows , he should considered an exception instead of rule...

Elvia I'm not convinced of that. I'm still not sure what love meant to him.

message 3: by Ramiro (last edited Feb 12, 2008 05:43PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ramiro  de la Garza Florentino is capable of the entire range of human emotion and therefore capable of poetry and living a profligate existence at the same time. Who says the wretched cannot experience love? Florentino does so is magnificent form - when he's rejected he writes letters for lovers who cannot express their feelings for each other, when women are lonely, he's there for them, even if his love is not fulfilled. He's a great literary character.

Elvia yes, i can see that to a certain extent. i wish you would keep talking, tho, professor. what can you offer about fermina, especially at the end and her feelings for florentino? or the book's definition of love; sometimes i wondered if it was love at all, not that i could sit here and define love right now.....or why juan uribe as an old man was my favorite character? please add?

Ramiro  de la Garza Love in all in it's forms is still love. Fermina, though she disagreed with her father in matters of tradition, still had a great familial bond with him. She loved Florentino for his audacity, his commitment to an ideal. Great suffering and great love come from the same place, and whether it was pity that was the seed of Fermina's love for Florentino remains a mystery, but she loved him all the same.

message 6: by Elvia (last edited Feb 18, 2008 05:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elvia I think that's true, that she loved him for his audacity, thanks for writing that. Much of what you say is so clarifying for me, thanks, but love from pity? Does not seem like real love...It seems that he waited until she needed him, and eventually she did. You have more to offer in this discussion than I do...sorry...So....I was also thinking about the title, and, other than the fact that it was set in that time period, what other insights could you lend? I've been thinking about other connotations, but I bet you have ideas...;) Could you just write your ideas about the entire book? Please? You're good.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

i think fermina fell in love with florentino twice
florentino knew that would be the case-so he waited

Amir I am still wondering about love. the point is that behaviours of story's personalities can be explained without intervention of love. for example as many evidences suggest , the main characteristic trait of florentino is a narcissist. when his first love failed , this cause a very profound narcissistic injury to him. I think he tried to cover this injury and all of his life was affected by it but this was not cured until feremina came back ,when he lost all of his life in a dream and finally (I think) he understood that was just a dream nothing else.....

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

the romantic in me wants to say isn't love but a dream? That's what makes it so crazy. Do we love because someone loves us too or do we just love...i don't even know why i love my children and my grandchildren i just know when they are troubled, i dream of them and when they are away from me something in my body says they are far away and when my romantic love is with me it's intoxicating to be close
the mind says if this then this
the heart sails on the river and quarantine's itself with it's love like a sickness has befallen them

Elvia I like your last comment, Maureen.

I've been thinking about the title a lot. It obviously also has something to do with the era they were living in, that was a main theme of the book, and how people were not free to love as they pleased...with so many social rules...but it's not like they are now, either.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

yes and of course as an american and for me a new england reader with all the cultural predispositions that entails I have to remember it's a south american novel with the cultural expectations and predispositions quite different from mine
I read this several years ago so the details are foggy but I liked it a lot and absolutely feel it was a love story
I think time was an important element
a whole life time of loss, despair, joy, obligation, betrayal, loyalty and an accumulation, accreation of care over time
and finally, death was what was stalking them
old age
so excruciating loss was a key feature
it was also somewhat surreal especially at the end for what purpose?
did they die together, alone?
what do you accept and forgive with death stalking you?
what do you choose or expect?
did they get cholera?
was the river trip merely a feverish dream?

Judith I thought the river trip might have been a dream, but that they were ghosts. Remember the couple murdered on a ship? Do you think that Florentino succumbed to cholera?

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

i don't know if that is in the text-i'd have to reread to give an opinion
you could check academic criticism and see if any scholars have arguments saying that
i think it's certainly mysterious at that point but sort of like it that way
i don't think there is enough in the text to say definitively

Ramiro  de la Garza I think the river is symbolic of man's resignation to his inevitable end. In the end, both Florentino and Fermina resign to their ends together on that river in the hopes of emptying themselves into the infinite - the ocean, to creation, to the waters of life, to God.

message 15: by Elvia (last edited Mar 23, 2008 09:51AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elvia Yes, but they also are running from something; from the authorities since they don't have the correct permission to stay out on the water. They stay out using fraudulent means: they put the cholera flag out so that they will be left alone. They have the time of their lives eating and drinking and....This was big for me because it shows they have to lie to do what they want, as so many of the characters in the novel had to do/Lies were a big deal here, like a necessary part of life somehow. I think about Florentino and his niece in which we find him reprehensible, and of his chess partner who was really a serial killer? It was a time of terrible corruption, not that we are free from it now.
Anyway, then in the end they are caught but choose to be defiant and stay out. I think they are choosing to stay and die (starvation comes to mind--where will they be able to get supplies?), but to me it is more of a defiant act instead of a resignation. Sorry, but kind of like Thelma and Louise. I'm sure there's a better and literary comparison...;). So that's what makes me think of the social boundaries and the need to lie and live a secret life, and the hipocracy and corruptness, and the role of cholera in the end as a safety net, that they would have to pretend to be like lepers to live freely. So then I think about the title: that love must have a different definition/composition in a historical time period such as that (think about the dead bodies in the small villages Fermina saw from the balloon). You know the title is Love IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, notlove in the middle ages, or the 90s or just plain LOVE. Something about being in the time of cholera must make love different. Then I think about what the TIME OF CHOLERA denotes--what can you say about this time? It was a rough time. But then I think how times are different now, or if they are so different, I guess we have our own constraints on the freedom to love.
I was also thinking about the murdered older couple. For a while I wondered if it was them and we were in a weird time warp or something...but it definitely has symbolic significance to them and I'd like to hear others' thoughts about the murdered couple. And thanks to all who are offering thoughts here...

Christine more than a novel about defining love, i think Love in the Time of Cholera is about the many different types of love. its breadth, it's ability to last or fade. with Florentino and his many lovers, most of whom i believe he did love, we see love as the pure appreciation of the faults and best qualities in another human being. with Fermina and her husband GGM shows us love that comes with time, comfort, and a certain amount of stability. even the love we see between Florentino and Fermina changes over time. first the budding of young love - often dismissed by the "participants" and onlookers as never having been "true" love. through most of his life Floerntino experiences both unrequited love and love from afar - defined, for me, as containing a certain amount of idealism. and finally we see slow and mature love between Florentino and Fermina in the end of the book. this love came with time and changes in both characters brought about the presence of the other.

more than anything else i think GGM questions the presence or lack of all these many types of love - and says that they are all to be appreciated.

Ramiro  de la Garza I like this last comment very much. The author has presented us with a love constant beyond death, a story that defines the unfathomable depth of every man and woman.


message 18: by EllaP (last edited Feb 26, 2012 09:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

EllaP Ramiro wrote: "Love in all in it's forms is still love. Fermina, though she disagreed with her father in matters of tradition, still had a great familial bond with him. She loved Florentino for his audacity, his ..."

i dont think that Fermina felt any love towards Florentino, because he was a 'pusher' a fixated erotomanic man

message 19: by Sue (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sue I think the idea that love is simply a derivative of sex is so simplistic. Yes, absolutely can Florentino sleep with, what was it, 652(?) other women and still love Fermina. I think people get too hung up on sex=love, which is definitely not the case in 'Love in the Time of Cholera.' Florentio may have had numerous physical affairs, but he kept Fermina in his heart all his life.

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