I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I bought the first book over a decade ago as an end of year gift to my kid’s second grade teacher. In the days when local entrepreneurs dared open a small business and be successful – before there were Borders and Waldenbooks, I walked into the town’s bookstore and looked for Love in the times of Cholera under G for the author Garcia Marquez.

The librarian told me I would find it under M as books were filed by last name. Explaining with no reason to explain why I was in the wrong place I said his last name is Garcia– “No, it is not”, she argued, “his last name is Marquez”. I explained that in the Spanish culture last name is followed by the mother’s maiden name, therefore Garcia is his last name and Marquez his mother’s maiden name, those who only have one last name were not recognized as legit children by their father (a sad but true discrimination technique of my culture)…She handed me the book and praised its quality but I knew she did not believe me. Maybe she thought my accent was fake, what would I know about a Colombian writer? Just like I get corrected in Mexican restaurants when I properly pronounce the name of foods. But I get sidetracked.

Back on track.

Only knowing of the book’s reputation I didn’t read it for years refusing to read the translated version until I finally got my hands on an original copy. It became my or one of my all time favorite books.

The book relays the enduring power of true love following the life of the main character whose love is portrayed at times seriously and at times humorously absurd. Whoever has truly loved can identify with both adjectives.

As with all Garcia Marquez books, the language is rich and the metaphors so clear that the reader can see with no effort the world -as bizarre as it may be - that the author creates. Yet, it is left up to the imagination to bring images to the fantasy of Garcia Marquez.

When I heard that Love in the times of Cholera was brought to the big screen I was leery and excited. Difficult to do but maybe possible after all they brought Batman and Superman to life.

I missed its short life on theaters – no surprise there - and had to wait until it came on DVD. I bought the copy on line (the only way to get it) and carried it in my bag for months waiting for just the right moment to watch it.

I finally found that time and watched it. One of the very few times I have agreed with the critics. The movie literally sucks.

Trying to follow it and finding interest is difficult even after having read the book, more difficult yet for the one who has not.

The making of the book into a movie proves that some things are better left alone, untouched. Trying to turn something into what is not losses its essence and its beauty and the end result is less than satisfying.

Keep the essence, keep the original.

Good things are better left alone.