Of Love and Other Demons


  'In the name of God: Who are you?' he asked.

  'A soul in torment,' she said. 'And you?'

  'I am Cayetano Delaura,' he said, 'and I have come on bended knee to beg the Senor Marquis to listen to me for a moment.'

  Dulce Olivia's eyes flashed in anger.

  'The Senor Marquis is not interested in listening to a scoundrel,' she said.

  'And who are you to speak with so much command?'

  'I am the queen of this house,' she said.

  'For the love of God,' said Delaura. 'Tell the Marquis that I have come to talk to him about his daughter.' And with his hand on his heart, he came to the point and said, 'I am dying of love for her.'

  'One more word and I will turn loose the dogs,' said Dulce Olivia in indignation, and she pointed to the door, 'Get out of here.'

  The power of her authority was so great that Cayetano backed out of the house in order not to lose sight of her.

  On Tuesday, when Abrenuncio entered his cubicle at the hospital, he found Delaura devastated by mortal vigils. He told the doctor about everything, from the real reasons for his punishment to his nights of love in the cell. Abrenuncio was perplexed.

  'I would have imagined anything about you except these extremes of lunacy.'

  Cayetano, bewildered in turn, asked, 'Have you never gone through this?'

  'Never, my son,' said Abrenuncio. 'Sex is a talent, and I do not have it.'

  Abrenuncio tried to dissuade him. He said that love was an emotion contra natura that condemned two strangers to a base and unhealthy dependence, and the more intense it was, the more ephemeral. But Cayetano did not hear him. He was obsessed with fleeing as far as possible from the oppression of the Christian world.

  'Only the Marquis can help us with regard to the law,' he said. 'I wanted to get down on my knees and plead with him, but I did not find him at home.'

  'You never will,' said Abrenuncio. 'He heard rumors that you attempted to abuse the girl. And now I see that from a Christian's point of view, he was not mistaken.' He looked into Cayetano's eyes. 'Aren't you afraid you will be damned?'

  'I believe I already am, but not by the Holy Spirit,' said Delaura without alarm. 'I have always believed He attributes more importance to love than to faith.'

  Abrenuncio could not hide the wonder caused in him by this man so recently freed from the shackles of reason. But he made no false promises, above all when the Holy Office loomed.

  'You people have a religion of death that fills you with the joy and courage to confront it,' he said. 'I do not: I believe the only essential thing is to be alive.'

  Cayetano raced to the convent. In the light of day he walked through the service door and crossed the garden, taking no precautions, convinced he had been made invisible through the power of prayer. He climbed to the second floor, walked down a solitary corridor with low ceilings that connected the two sections of the convent, and entered the silent, rarefied world of those interred in life. Without realizing it, he had walked past the new cell where Sierva Maria wept for him. He had almost reached the prison pavilion when a shout at his back stopped him.

  'Halt!'

  He turned and saw a nun with a veil covering her face and a crucifix held high against him. He took a step toward her, but the nun placed Christ between them. 'Vade retro!' she shouted.

  He heard another voice behind him: 'Vade retro.' And then another, and another: 'Vade retro.' He turned around several times and realized he was in the middle of a circle of phantasmagoric nuns with veiled faces who brandished their crucifixes and pursued him with their cries:

  'Vade retro, Satana!'

  Cayetano had reached the end of his strength. He was handed over to the Holy Office and condemned at a public trial that cast suspicions of heresy over him and provoked disturbances among the populace and controversies in the bosom of the Church. Through a special act of grace, he served his sentence as a nurse at the Amor de Dios Hospital, where he lived many years with his patients, eating and sleeping with them on the ground, and washing in their troughs with water they had used, but never achieving his confessed desire to contract leprosy.

  Sierva Maria waited for him in vain. After three days she stopped eating, in an explosion of rebelliousness that exacerbated the signs of her possession. Shattered by the downfall of Cayetano, by the indecipherable death of Father Aquino, by the public resonance of a misfortune that went beyond his wisdom and his power, the Bishop resumed the exorcism with an energy that was inconceivable, given his condition and his age. This time Sierva Maria, confined in a straitjacket, her skull shaved by a razor, confronted him with satanic ferocity, speaking in tongues or with the shrieks of infernal birds. On the second day the immense bellowing of maddened cattle could be heard, the earth trembled and it was no longer possible to think that Sierva Maria was not at the mercy of all the demons of hell. When she returned to her cell, she was given an enema of holy water, which was the French method for expelling any devils that might remain in her belly.

  The struggle continued for three more days. Although she had not eaten for a week, Sierva Maria managed to extricate one leg and kick her heel into the Bishop's lower abdomen, knocking him to the ground. Only then did they realize she had been able to free herself because her body was so emaciated that the straps no longer confined her. The ensuing outrage made it advisable to interrupt the exorcism - an action favored by the Ecclesiastical Council but opposed by the Bishop.

  Sierva Maria never knew what happened to Cayetano Delaura, why he never came back with his basket of delicacies from the arcades and his insatiable nights. On the twenty-ninth of May, having lost her will to endure any more, she dreamed again of the window looking out on a snow-covered field from which Cayetano Delaura was absent and to which he would never return. In her lap she held a cluster of golden grapes that grew back as soon as she ate them. But this time she pulled them off not one by one but two by two, hardly breathing in her longing to strip the cluster of its last grape. The warder who came in to prepare her for the sixth session of exorcism found her dead of love in her bed, her eyes radiant and her skin like that of a newborn baby. Strands of hair gushed like bubbles as they grew back on her shaved head.

  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD

  COLLECTED STORIES

  IN EVIL HOUR

  INNOCENT ERENDIRA AND OTHER STORIES

  LEAF STORM

  LIVING TO TELL THE TALE

  LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES

  NEWS OF A KIDNAPPING

  NO ONE WRITES TO THE COLONEL

  ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE

  STRANGE PILGRIMS

  THE AUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH

  THE GENERAL IN HIS LABYRINTH

  THE STORY OF A SHIPWRECKED SAILOR

  www.penguin.com

  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD

  'My favourite book by one of the world's greatest authors. You're in the hands of a master' Mariella Frostrup

  'On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar got up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on ...'

  When newly-wed Angela Vicario and Bayardo San Roman are left to their wedding night, Bayardo discovers that his new wife is no virgin. Disgusted, he returns Angela to her family home that very night, where her humiliated mother beats her savagely and her two brothers demand to know her violator, whom she names as Santiago Nasar.

  As he wakes to thoughts of the previous night's revelry, Santiago is unaware of the slurs that have been cast against him. But with Angela's brothers set on avenging their family honour, soon the whole town knows who they plan to kill, where, when and why.

  'A masterpiece' Evening Standard

  'A work of high explosiveness - the proper stuff of Nobel prizes. An exceptional novel' The Times

  'Brilliant writer, brilliant book' Guardian

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  GABRIEL G
ARCIA MARQUEZ

  COLLECTED STORIES

  'The stories are rich and unsettling, confident and eloquent. They are magical' John Updike Sweeping through crumbling towns, travelling fairs and windswept ports, Gabriel Garcia Marquez introduces a host of extraordinary characters and communities in his mesmerising tales of everyday life: smugglers, bagpipers, the President and Pope at the funeral of Macondo's revered matriarch; a very old angel with enormous wings. Teeming with the magical oddities for which his novels are loved, Marquez's stories are a delight.

  'These stories abound with love affairs, ruined beauty, and magical women. It is essence of Marquez' Guardian

  'Of all the living authors known to me, only one is undoubtedly touched by genius: Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Sunday Telegraph

  'Marquez writes in this lyrical, magical language that no one else can do' Salman Rushdie

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  IN EVIL HOUR

  'A masterly book' Guardian

  'Cesar Montero was dreaming about elephants. He'd seen them at the movies on Sunday ...'

  Only moments later, Cesar is led away by police as they clear the crowds away from the man he has just killed.

  But Cesar is not the only man to be riled by the rumours being spread in his Colombian hometown - under the cover of darkness, someone creeps through the streets sticking malicious posters to walls and doors. Each night the respectable townsfolk retire to their beds fearful that they will be the subject of the following morning's lampoons.

  As paranoia seeps through the town and the delicate veil of tranquility begins to slip, can the perpetrator be uncovered before accusation and violence leave the inhabitants' sanity in tatters?

  'In Evil Hour was the book which was to inspire my own career as a novelist. I owe my writing voice to that one book!' Jim Crace 'Belongs to the very best of Marquez's work ... Should on no account be missed' Financial Times

  'A splendid achievement' The Times

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  INNOCENT ERENDIRA AND OTHER STORIES

  'These stories abound with love affairs, ruined beauty, and magical women. It is the essence of Marquez' Guardian

  'Erendira was bathing her grandmother when the wind of misfortune began to blow ...'

  Whilst her grotesque and demanding grandmother retires to bed, Erendira still has floors to wash, sheets to iron, and a peacock to feed. The never-ending chores leave the young girl so exhausted that she collapses into bed with the candle still glowing on a nearby table - and is fast asleep when it topples over ...

  Eight hundred and seventy-two thousand, three hundred and fifteen pesos, her grandmother calculates, is the amount that Erendira must repay her for the loss of the house. As she is dragged by her grandmother from town to town and hawked to soldiers, smugglers and traders, Erendira feels herself dying. Can the love of a virgin save the young whore from her hell?

  'It becomes more and more fun to read. It shows what "fabulous" really means' Time Out

  'Marquez writes in this lyrical, magical language that no-one else can do' Salman Rushdie 'One of this century's most evocative writers' Anne Tyler

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  LEAF STORM

  'Marquez writes in this lyrical, magical language that no-one else can do' Salman Rushdie 'Suddenly, as if a whirlwind had set down roots in the centre of the town, the banana company arrived, pursued by the leaf storm'

  As a blizzard of warehouses and amusement parlours and slums descends on the small town of Macondo, the inhabitants reel at the accompanying stench of rubbish that makes their home unrecognizable. When the banana company leaves town as fast as it arrived, all they are left with is a void of decay.

  Living in this devastated and soulless wasteland is one last honourable man, the Colonel, who is determined to fulfil a longstanding promise, no matter how unpalatable it may be. With the death of the detested Doctor, he must provide an honourable burial - and incur the wrath of the rest of Macondo, who would rather see the Doctor rot, forgotten and unattended.

  'The most important writer of fiction in any language' Bill Clinton 'Marquez is a retailer of wonders' Sunday Times

  'An exquisite writer, wise, compassionate, and extremely funny' Sunday Telegraph

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  LIVING TO TELL THE TALE

  'A treasure trove, a discovery of a lost land we knew existed but couldn't find. A thrilling miracle of a book' The Times

  Living to Tell the Tale spans Gabriel Garcia Marquez's life from his birth in Colombia in 1927, through his emerging career as a writer, up to the 1950s and his proposal to the woman who would become his wife. Insightful, daring and beguiling in equal measure, it charts how Garcia Marquez's astonishing early life influenced the man who, more than any other, has been hailed as the twentieth century's greatest and most-beloved writer.

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA

  'An amazing celebration of the many kinds of love between men and women' The Times

  'It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love ...'

  Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza's impassioned advances and married Dr. Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half century, Florentino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again.

  When Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?

  'A love story of astonishing power and delicious comedy' Newsweek

  'A delight' Melvyn Bragg

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  MEMORIES OF MY MELANCHOLY WHORES

  'A velvety pleasure to read. Marquez has composed, with his usual sensual gravity and Olympian humour, a love letter to the dying light' John Updike 'The year I turned ninety, I wanted to give myself a gift of a night of wild love with an adolescent virgin ...'

  He has never married, never loved and never gone to bed with a woman he didn't pay. But on finding a young girl naked and asleep on the brothel owner's bed, a passion is ignited in his heart - and he feels, for the first time, the urgent pangs of love.

  Each night, exhausted by her factory work, 'Delgadina' sleeps peacefully whilst he watches her quietly. During these solitary early hours, his love for her deepens and he finds himself reflecting on his newly found passion and the loveless life he had led. By day, his columns in the local newspaper are read avidly by those who recognize in his outpourings the enlivening and transformative power of love.

  'Marquez describes this amorous, sometimes disturbing journey with the grace and vigour of a master storyteller' Daily Mail

  'There is not one stale sentence, redundant word, or unfinished thought' The Times

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  NEWS OF A KIDNAPPING

  'A story only a writer of Marquez's stature could tell so brilliantly' Mail on Sunday

  'She looked over her should before getting into the car to be sure no one was following her ...'

  Pablo Escobar: billionaire drugs baron; ruthless manipulator, brutal killer and jefe of the infamous Medellin cartel. A man whose importance in the international drug trade and renown for his charitable work among the poor brought him influence and power in his home country of Colombia, and the unwanted attention of the American courts.

  Terrified of the new Colombian President's determination to extradite him to America, Escobar found the best bargaining tools he could find: hostages.

  In the winter of 1990, ten relatives of Colombian p
oliticians, mostly women, were abducted and held hostage as Escobar attempted to strong-arm the government into blocking his extradition. Two died, the rest survived, and from their harrowing stories Marquez retells, with vivid clarity, the terror and uncertainty of those dark and volatile months.

  'Reads with an urgency which belongs to the finest fiction. I have never read anything which gave me a better sense of the way Colombia was in its worst times' Daily Telegraph

  'A piece of remarkable investigative journalism made all the more brilliant by the author's talent for magical storytelling' Financial Times

  'Compellingly readable' Sunday Times

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  GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

  NO ONE WRITES TO THE COLONEL

  'An imaginative writer of genius, the topmost pinnacle of an entire generation of Latin American novelists of cathedral-like proportions' Guardian

  In a decaying Colombian town the Colonel and his sick wife are living from day to day, scraping together funds for food and medicine. Each Friday the Colonel waits for a letter to come in the post, hoping for the pension he is owed that will change their lives. While he waits the Colonel puts his hopes in his rooster - a prize bird that will make him money when cockfighting comes into season. But until then the bird - like the Colonel and his ailing wife - must somehow be fed ...

 
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