Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Grabriel García Márquez LOVE in the TIME of CHOLERA

TRANSLATED FROM THE SPANISH BY EDITH GROSSMAN

Alfred A. Knopf New York 1988

THIS IS A BORZOI BOOK PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF, INC. Copyright © 1988 by Gabriel García Márquez All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York, and simultaneously in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Distributed by Random House, Inc., New York. Originally published in Colombia as El amor en los tiempos del cólera by Editorial Oveja Negra Ltda., Bogotá. Copyright © 1985 by Gabriel García Márquez. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data García Márquez, Gabriel, [date] Love in the time of cholera. Translation of: El amor en los tiempos del colera. I. Title. PQ8180.17.A73A813 1988 863 87-40484 ISBN 0-394-56161-9 ISBN 0-394-57108-8 (lim. ed.) Manufactured in the United States of America BOMC offers recordings and compact discs, cassettes and records. For information and catalog write to BOMR, Camp Hill, PA 17012.

Contents

CHAPTER ONE ............................................................................................. 9 CHAPTER TWO .......................................................................................... 25 CHAPTER THREE ...................................................................................... 42 CHAPTER FOUR......................................................................................... 62 CHAPTER FIVE .......................................................................................... 82 CHAPTER SIX............................................................................................. 99 A Note About The Author .......................................................................... 122 A Note On The Type .................................................................................. 123 About the e-Book........................................................................................ 124

For Mercedes, of course

The words I am about to express: They now have their own crowned goddess. LEANDRO DÍAZ

Love in the Time of Cholera

CHAPTER ONE

IT WAS INEVITABLE: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love. Dr. Juvenal Urbino noticed it as soon as he entered the still darkened house where he had hurried on an urgent call to attend a case that for him had lost all urgency many years before. The Antillean refugee Jeremiah de Saint-Amour, disabled war veteran, photographer of children, and his most sympathetic opponent in chess, had escaped the torments of memory with the aromatic fumes of gold cyanide. He found the corpse covered with a blanket on the campaign cot where he had always slept, and beside it was a stool with the developing tray he had used to vaporize the poison. On the floor, tied to a leg of the cot, lay the body of a black Great Dane with a snow-white chest, and next to him were the crutches. At one window the splendor of dawn was just beginning to illuminate the stifling, crowded room that served as both bedroom and laboratory, but there was enough light for him to recognize at once the authority of death. The other windows, as well as every other chink in the room, were muffled with rags or sealed with black cardboard, which increased the oppressive heaviness. A counter was crammed with jars and bottles without labels and two crumbling pewter trays under an ordinary light bulb covered with red paper. The third tray, the one for the fixative solution, was next to the body. There were old magazines and newspapers everywhere, piles of negatives on glass plates, broken furniture, but everything was kept free of dust by a diligent hand. Although the air coming through the window had purified the atmosphere, there still remained for the one who could identify it the dying embers of hapless love in the bitter almonds. Dr. Juvenal...
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