— Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Cholera (via liquidnight)
That was how the first of seven boys and four girls was born in Aracataca on March 6, 1927, in an unseasonable torrential downpour, while the sky of Taurus rose on the horizon. I was almost strangled by the umbilical cord, because the family midwife, Santos Villero, lost her mastery of her art at the worst moment. But Aunt Francisca lost even more, for she ran to the street door shouting, as if there were a fire, “A boy! It’s a boy!” And then, as if sounding the alarm, “A boy who’s choking to death!”
There was rum that the family assumed was not for celebrating but for rubbing on the newborn to revive him. Miss Juana de Freytes, a great Venezuelan lady who made a providential entrance into the bedroom, often told me that the most serious risk came not from the umbilical cord but from my mother’s dangerous position on the bed. She corrected it in time, but it wasn’t easy to revive me, and so Aunt Francisca poured the emergency baptismal water over me. I should have been named Olegario, the saint of the day, but nobody had the saints’ calendar near at hand, and with a sense of urgency they gave me my father’s first name, Gabriel, followed by José, for Joseph the Carpenter, because he was the patron saint of Aracataca and March was his month.
—Gabriel García Márquez, “Serenade,” Personal History, February 19 & 26, 2001
Translated, from the Spanish, by Edith Grossman.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I don’t know any writer who can do character sketches quite like Garcia Marquez; they’re so unique and breathless that the closest analogs I can think of are in film. This passage, as evocative a description of alienation as you’re likely to find, reminds me particularly of Lost in Translation and Drive.
—Album by Girls
- Jan and Dean meets Elliott Smith
- It’s not exactly a unique take to point out the cognitive dissonance between the sunny surf rock layers of Album and its melancholy subject matter, but it’s such a defining aspect of the album that you can’t ignore it. It’s an album of disillusioned late summer, when tans turn leathery, when flings turn into breakups, when warmth becomes suffocating heat. If you can take Christopher Owens’ Elvis-Costello-after-a-night-of-speedballs vocals and you have half the appreciation for surf music that I do, then you’ll find Album as lovely and moving as I have.
—All Mod Cons by The Jam
- Elvis Costello meets The Who
- The Jam is apparently massively successful in its native England, but that fame never translated across the Atlantic. I think this is partly because, unlike the Clash’s genre-hopping or the one-of-a-kind coked-up mania of Elvis Costello’s Attractions, the Jam combined the Angry Young Man discontent of late-70’s England with a distinctly English sound: specifically, the Who in full Mod mode. The sound is less immediately appealing to me—I don’t know if I’ll ever be de-punked enough not to be annoyed by solos again—but the album’s got more than enough critical respect and obvious potential to let it grow on me.
— Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I Love Winnie Cooper
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“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found…”— John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
“[It could mean something.
It could mean everything.]
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.”— Mary Oliver, from “...