Memories of My Melancholy Whores
by Gabriel García Márquez
Gabriel García Márquez is well known for his novel “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera” which was adapted to motion picture in 2007. His most recent novella, “Memories of My Melancholy Whores” received mix reviews. It is believe to be his last written work stated by Carmen Balcells, his literary agent.
Captivating from the first sentence, “The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself the gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin.” Many thoughts may ruminate though a person’s mind. Is this a story about a perverted old man or worse a pedophiliac? To the contrary, it is a story about a man with a troubled conscious for the ninety years of life he has lived. By the age of fifty, he has had sex with over five hundred women, all whom he has paid.
The unnamed narrator recollects his past dual life, which is the journey of a man whose life should be ending but has just commenced living at the mature age of ninety. The catalyst, a female prepubescent child laborer supporting her family by sewing buttons on garments and subsequently selling her virginity.
The short story (115 pages) is enjoyable for its contemplation aspects, projection of ideation, rationalizing decisions, and role of sex and love. “Memories of My Melancholy Whores” is perfect for a book club discussion group.
Lastly, what does “The tiger does not eat far away” mean? I have a few theories, but will refrain discoursing my opinion, for it would give too much information about the plot, spoiling it for others.