Memories of his Melancholy Whores

Am currently on a Gabriel Garcia Marquez bonanza. I am re-reading three of his works at the same time and wanted to share two things with you

The first is a short quote that is very poignant because I have always believed that nostalgia is one word for ‘bored with today’. It doesn’t mean that you are weeping or are sad for the past, but that you don’t believe – usually subconsciously – that your present is worth paying attention to. As soon as I realized that, I tried to get rid of the word ‘nostalgia’** from my own personal lexicon and tried to pay attention to details of right now. (**Another word I try to never use the active of is ‘regret’; that’s another blog entry saved for another rainy day.)

Naturally, it’s impossible not to rethink and review the past – be it for signs we missed or mere curiosity to understand a current situation – but the essence of nostalgia is usually rooted in some sort of melancholy, and so it is fitting that the title of Marquez’s work of art is Memories of my Melancholy Whores.

The quote is: ”The adolescents of my generation, greedy for life, forgot in body and soul about their hopes for the future until reality taught them that tomorrow was not what they had dreamed, and they discovered nostalgia”. (p. 38)


Yesterday morning while looking out through windows peeking at snow covered streets and yellow trees, I was drinking my morning coffee, listening to jazz and the following made me so sad I actually cried for both of them…

Damiana has served as the maid of the book’s main character for years; today he turns 90 …

“I could not resist the temptation to ask: Tell me something, Damiana: what do you recall? I wasn’t recalling anything, she said, but your question makes me remember. I felt a weight in my chest. I’ve never fallen in love, I told her. She replied without hesitation: I have. And she concluded, not interrupting her work: I cried over you for twenty-two years. My heart skipped a beat. Looking for a dignified way out, I said: We would have made a good team. Well, it’s wrong of you to say so now, she said, because you’re no good to me anymore even as a consolation. As she was leaving the house, she said in the most natural way: You won’t believe me but thanks be to God, I’m still a virgin.

A short while later I discovered that she had left vases filled with red roses all over the house, and a card on my pillow: I hope you reach a hunnert.” (p. 39 & 40)

I wish to close my eyes, sink in to a very thick, soft & warm chair while Gabriel Garcia Marquez reads his stories to me.