Literature: Love In The Time Of Cholera

1985 novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez, originally titled El amor en los tiempos del cólera.

In a port city near the end of the 19th century, the blossoming love between teenagers Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza is cut short when Fermina's father Lorenzo persuades her to reject her poor suitor in favour of the distinguished Dr Juvenal Urbino.

Florentino resolves to wait for a second chance with Fermina, and when her husband dies in a freak accident, he turns up at her home to once again profess his undying love - 51 years, 9 months, and 4 days after their last contact.

This novel contains examples of:

  • Bi the Way: Andrea Verón, a prostitute who is given the nickname "Our Lady of Everyone".
  • Determinator: Despite his poetic tendencies and his head in the clouds, when Florentino Ariza sets his mind to something, he never, ever relents.
  • Driven to Suicide: America Vicuña commits suicide as a consequence of Florentino's abuse.
  • How We Got Here: The story opens on the day of Dr Urbino's death, and subsequently recounts the history of Florentino and Fermina.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Florentino.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Fermina claims this about airplanes, saying that very few people will want to travel in such an unnatural way.
  • Love Triangle: Type 4. Florentino is pining after Fermina, who is married to Juvenal.
  • Magic Realism: Though not as pronounced as other Marquez novels. There are infrequent ghosts, a frightening, growing doll, and rosebushes planted on the graves of Florentino Ariza's mother and one of his many lovers, which grow with such profusion that they take over the cemetery within a few years.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Despite Florentino's many trysts, he is so discreet that he is widely believed to have "strange tastes".
  • No Communities Were Harmed: The novel is largely set in an unnamed port city which is quite obviously Cartagena.
  • Slice of Life: The plot meanders slowly, and the novel as a whole resembles this, examining a culture and a place, and the souls who examine it, in a turbulent and changing time.