Don’t mind me. This is just a rambling about the ending I am so utterly dissatisfied with, written with minor vulgar language and a little too much seriousness.
Gabriel García Márquez is ingenious when it comes to recounting the irrational state of being in love. The narration is masterful, especially the mundane little quarrels in life, in married life. (Kind of makes you take a step back and rethink marriage in the cost and benefit way: if domestic security out weights your dislike for boring, repetitive everyday life and the annoyance your counter part evokes from time to time, then you’ll ace the marriage 101.) There is barely any character development, which somehow fits in the story like a hand in a glove. And Márquez’s got a perverse sense of humour. I just love how after the elaborate establishment for the fear of old age and the celebration of youth (and definitely fertility), Dr. Urbino died from falling off a tree in attempt to catch a foul mouthed owl. Of all things, he fell from a tree and broke his neck!
With all due respect to the various parts of the novel that I did enjoy, I’m going to tuck them under the sheets and sleep on ’em. What “inspired” this entry is my profound dislike for the ending.
I don’t sympathize with Florentino’s fifty one years, nine months, and four days of self-imposed exile anymore than I do with Humbert Humbert (one day, I’m going to vent about Lolita too). His romantic pursuit is in fact an illusion created for the sole purpose of allowing him the pleasure to wallow in misery, under the name of Love. Oh how holy. This guy isn’t in love with Fermina Daza, he’s in love with his own hopeless romanticism. You know this guy is in love with the romantic notion conveyed through words and poetry when he writes a love letter for a boy in one hand writing and one writing style then writes the reply letter for the girl who received the letter in a different hand writing and different style, and follow the two letters by a correspondence letter for the boy, so on so forth until the two come to the unequivocal conclusion Florentino reached for them – marriage. Then Márquez made it so that the newly weds asked Florentino to be their baby’s godfather. Oh the humour.
After his 622nd long term erotic expeditions, this man-whore had the nerves to claim himself a virgin, protected by his unrequited love at the old age of what, early seventies!? If love from the waist up is called Love, then what is love from the waist down? Oh right, sex. The obligatory, raw sex, depleted of all sensuality, carrying nothing but the weight of bearing an offspring. Oh maybe the fact Florentino used condoms with the 622 women made him so different that his infidelity can be cleansed. Oh poor baby, he’s just having sex with different women every night to forget about Fermina Daza. Just as how Fermina Daza is picking up her childhood’s intangible fantasy after her husband’s death to get the dead man out of her mind. Reason enough.
I think the reason I’m having such a hard time accepting Florentino and Fermina’s love exile (oh how funny, Florentino ends one exile with another exile!) is not because sex at the age of seventies depletes all senses of romanticism (why do I watch dramas? Oh because I’m such a hopeless romantic that I need my heavy dose of duh, romance.) It’s not about Florentino being such a unfaithful sex-maniac either. But the fact that Márquez makes an obsession more than an obsession: Florentino’s narcissism evolves into something profound – love – against, even old age (gasp!). But, an illusion is supposed to be no more than an illusion. The anticipation, the sufferings, the yarning, all of the alluring features of an illusion dissipate the moment it’s obtained!
Florentino should realize his passion, “devotion”, and longing for Fermina is nothing but a shadow in the water so he can turn around coldly and reject Fermina with a first and final “poor woman”.
There, I’ve just written my own ending.