Love in the Time of Cholera Quotes
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 again to give birth to themselves.
To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.
He was still too young to know that 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.
Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.
She would defend herself, saying that love, no matter what else it might be, was a natural talent. She would say: You are either born knowing how, or you never know.
But when a woman decides to sleep with a man, there is no wall she will not scale, no fortress she will not destroy, no moral consideration she will not ignore at its very root: there is no God worth worrying about.
It had to be a mad dream, one that would give her the courage she would need to discard the prejudices of a class that had not always been hers but had become hers more than anyone’s. It had to teach her to think of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end in itself.
With her 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.
She knew that he loved her above all else, more than anything in the world, but only for his own sake.
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.
But that afternoon he asked himself, with his infinite capacity for illusion, if such pitiless indifference might not be a subterfuge for hiding the torments of love.
Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both 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 moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.
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.
Take advantage of it now, while you are young, and suffer all you can, because these things don't last your whole life.
The world is divided into those who screw and those who do not. He distrusted those who did not—when they strayed from the straight and narrow it was something so unusual for them that they bragged about love as if they had just invented it.
Florentina Ariza had kept his answer ready for fifty-three years, seven months and eleven days and nights. 'Forever,' he said.
[T]hink of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end in itself.
his examination revealed that he had no fever, no pain anywhere, and that his only concrete feeling was an urgent desire to die. All that was needed was shrewd questioning...to conclude once again that the symptoms of love were the same as those of cholera.
...The girl raised her eyes to see who was passing by the window, and that casual glance was the beginning of a cataclysm of love that still had not ended half a century later.
It was a meditation on life, love, old age, death: ideas that had often fluttered around her head like nocturnal birds but dissolved into a trickle of feathers when she tried to catch hold of them.
It was the time when 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 trails, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.
It was the year they fell into devastating love. Neither one could do anything except think about the other, dream about the other, and wait for letters with the same impatience they felt when they answered them.
It had to teach her to think of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end it itself.
The problem in public life is learning to overcome terror; the problem in married life is learning to overcome boredom.
There was no sleeper more elegant than she, with her curved body posed for a dance and her hand across her forehead, but there was also no one more ferocious when anyone disturbed the sensuality of her thinking she was still asleep when she no longer was.
Fermina, he said, 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 wanted to be herself again, to recover all that she had been obliged to give up in half a century of servitude that had doubtless made her happy but which, once her husband was dead, did not leave her even the vestiges of her identity.
In the plenitude of their relationship, Florentina Ariza asked himself which of the two was love: the turbulent bed or the peaceful Sunday afternoons, and Sara Noriega calmed him with the simple argument that love was everything they did naked. She said, 'Spiritual love from the waist up and physical love from the waist down.
..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.
She was a ghost in a strange house that overnight had become immense and solitary and through which she wandered without purpose, asking herself in anguish which one of them was deader: the man who had died or the woman he had left behind.
The only thing he could do to stay alive was not to allow himself the anguish of that memory. He erased it from his mind, although from time to time in the years that were left to him he would feel it revive, with no warning and for no reason, like the sudden pang of an old scar.
he dared to explore her withered neck w/his fingertips…her hips w/their decaying bones, her thighs with their aging veins.
He would wake for no reason in the middle of the night, and the memory of the self-absorbed love was revealed to him for what it was: a pitfall of happiness that he despised and desired at the same time, but from which it was impossible to escape.
his mysterious resources had awakened in her a curiosity that was difficult to resist, but she had never imagined that curiosity was one of the many masks of love.
He said that people who loved [animals] to excess were capable of the worst cruelties toward human beings. He said that dogs were not loyal but servile, that cats were opportunists and traitors, that peacocks were heralds of death, that macaws were simply decorative annoyances, that rabbits fomented greed, that monkeys carried the fever of lust, and that roosters were damned because they had been complicit in the three denials of Christ.
Life in the world... was nothing more than a system of atavistic contracts, banal ceremonies, preordained words, with which people entertained each other in society in order not to commit murder. The dominant sign in that paradise of provincial frivolity was fear of the unknown.
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.
Courage did not come from the need to survive, or from a brute indifference inherited from someone else, but from a driving need for love which no obstacle in this world or the next world will break.