Quotes from “Love In The Time Of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


Publisher: Vintage Books, ISBN: 978-0-307-38973-2, Copyright 1988, 348 pp

I will venture to say Gabriel Garcia Marquez may be my favorite author in Fiction Literature. I will also go out on a limb to say that this book may be in my Top 5 favorite books of all time. Perhaps it’s because this is the most romantic book I have ever read in my life—and I am a sucker for all things romantic. Love In The Time of Cholera is now considered a modern classic, especially upon the death of its author on April 17, 2014. Many reviews praising this work have been done, so I will not do one here. Rather, there are countless of you that I consider friends who have  not heard of Garcia Marquez, let alone have read this book (or seen the movie). I read this book for the 4th time and decided that I would compile lines from within to give you a taste of what the world of literature has lost upon Garcia Marquez’s passing.

“…there was no innocence more dangerous than the innocence of age.”

“Neither could have said if their mutual dependence was based on love or convenience, but they had never asked the question with their hands on their heart because both had always preferred not to know the answer.”

“Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good.”

“Life would have been quite another matter if they had learned in time that it was easier to avoid great matrimonial catastrophes than trivial everyday miseries.”

“…her doe’s gait making her seem immune to gravity.” (Sometimes I wish someone would describe my walk in this way).

“She never knew when the diversion became a preoccupation and her blood frothed with the need to see him.”

“Florentino Ariza wandered like a sleepwalker until dawn, watching the fiesta through his tears, dazed by the hallucination that it was he and not God who had been born that night.”

“The symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera. ‘Take advantage of it now, while you are young, and suffer all you can,’ [Transito Ariza] said to him, ‘because these things don’t last your whole life.'”

“She reminded him that the weak would never enter the kingdom of love, which is a harsh and ungenerous kingdom, and that women give themselves only to men of resolute spirit, who provide the security they need in order to face life.”

“One night she came back from her daily walk stunned by the revelation that one could be happy not only without love, but despite it.”

“Fermina Daza was no longer the only child, both spoiled and tyrannized by her father, but the lady and mistress of an empire of dust and cobwebs that could be saved only by the strength of invincible love. She was not intimidated because she felt herself inspired by an exalted courage that would have enabled her to move the world.”

“The heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.”

“He would remember it always, as he remembered everything that happened during that period, through the rarefied lenses of his misfortune.”

“…he allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.”

“Self-absorbed love…a pitfall of happiness that he despised and desired at the same time, but from which it was impossible to escape.”

“By virtue of marrying a man she does not love for money, that’s the lowest kind of whore.”

“She took refuge in her newborn son. She had felt him leave her body with a sensation of relief at freeing herself from something that did not belong to her, and she had been horrified at herself when she confirmed that she did not feel the slightest affection for that calf from her womb the midwife showed her in the raw, smeared with grease and blood and with the umbilical cord rolled around his neck. But in her loneliness in the palace she learned to know him, they learned to know each other, and she discovered with great delight that one does not love one’s children just because they are one’s children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.”

“It was against all scientific reason for two people who hardly knew each other, with no ties at all between them, with different characters, different upbringings, and even different genders, to suddenly find themselves committed to living together, to sleeping in the same bed, to sharing two destinies that perhaps were fated to go in opposite directions.”

“The problem with marriage is that it ends every night after making love, and it must be rebuilt every morning before breakfast.”

“The problem in public life is learning to overcome terror, the problem in married life is learning to overcome boredom.”

“She had barely turned the corner into maturity, free at last of illusions, when she began to detect the disillusionment of never having been what she had dreamed of being when she was young…Instead, she was something she never dared to admit even to herself: a deluxe servant. In society she came to be the woman most loved, most catered to, and by the same token most feared, but in nothing was she more demanding or less forgiving than in the management of her house. She always felt as if her life had been lent to her by her husband: she was absolute monarch of a vast empire of happiness, which had been built by him and for him alone. She knew that he loved her above all else, more than anyone else in the world, but only for his own sake: she was in his holy service.”

“In the end they knew each other so well that by the time they had been married for 30 years they were like a single divided being, and they felt uncomfortable at the frequency with which they guessed each other’s thoughts without intending to, or the ridiculous accident of one of them anticipating in public what the other was going to say. Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was the time they loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other mortal trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”

“Florentino Ariza learned what he had already experienced many times without realizing it: that one can be in love with several people at the same time, feel the same sorrow with each, and not betray any of them. Alone in the midst of the crowd on the pier, he said to himself in a flash of anger: ‘My heart has more rooms than a whorehouse.'”

“Once he had told her something that she could not imagine: that amputees suffer pains, cramps, itches, in the leg that is no longer there. That is how she felt without him, feeling his presence where he no longer was.”

“‘After all, letters belong to the person who writes them. Don’t you agree?'” —– “‘I do. That is why they are the first things returned when an affair is ended.'”

“It is incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not.”

“…they no longer felt like newlyweds, and even less like belated lovers. It was as if they had leapt over the arduous cavalry of conjugal life and gone straight to the heart of love. They were together in silence like an old married couple wary of life, beyond the pitfalls of passion, beyond the brutal mockery of hope and the phantoms of disillusion: beyond love. For they had lived together long enough to know that love was always love anytime and anyplace, but it was more solid the closer it came to death.”

“…it is life, more than death, that has no limits.”



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