Del amor y otros demonios

ISBN: 0307350444
ISBN 13: 9780307350442
By: Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

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Classics Favorites Fiction Latin America Latin American Literature Magical Realism Novel Romance To Read

About this book

Premio Nobel de Literatura“Una obra atrevida y cautivadora… García Márquez retiene una voz admirable y vital, y la pluma de un ángel”.—Los Angeles Times Book Review El 26 de octubre de 1949 el reportero Gabriel García Márquez fue enviado al antiguo convento de Santa Clara, que iba a ser demolido para edificar sobre él un hotel de cinco estrellas, a presenciar el vaciado de las criptas funerarias y a cubrir la noticia.  Se exhumaron los restos de un virrey del Perú y su amante secreta, un obispo, varias abadesas, un bachiller de artes y una marquesa. Pero la sorpresa saltó al destapar la tercera hornacina del altar mayor: se desparramó una cabellera de color cobre, de veintidós metros y once centímetros de largo, perteneciente a una niña. En la lápida apenas se leía el nombre: Sierva María de Todos los Ángeles.  Cuenta el propio García Márquez: "Mi abuela me contaba de niño la leyenda de una marquesita de doce años cuya cabellera le arrastraba como una cola de novia, que había muerto del mal de rabia por el mordisco de un perro, y era venerada en los pueblos del Caribe por sus muchos milagros. La idea de que esa tumba pudiera ser la suya fue mi noticia de aquel día, y el origen de este libro".

Reader's Thoughts

Christina Wilder

Take the disturbing tale of Lolita, add in the spiritual soul-searching of The Bridge of San Luis Rey, the horror of The Exorcist, as well as gorgeous prose, and you have this book. A man abandons his lover for another woman, who is struck by a lightning bolt and killed. His scorned lover, who used to communicate to him by way of leaving notes in paper folded into the shape of birds and left in a nearby tree, leaves "a storm" of paper birds, all written with the ominous message "That lightening bolt was mine."A holy man, tortured by his love and desire for a young girl thought to be possessed, seeks solace with a notorious atheist. "Do not torture yourself in vain...perhaps you have come only because you needed to talk about her," the nonbeliever soothes, to which the priest replies, "I could talk to you without stopping until the next century."(view spoiler)[When the priest begans to meet with the girl in secret, he confesses his love to her. He takes her hand and places it over his heart, and "she felt the internal clamor of his suffering." He tells her "I am always in this state."She pushes him, daring to do strange things to prove his love, the way a child naturally would. He is a slave to her and his own lack of faith. There are no happy endings. (hide spoiler)]The recognition of obsession, as well as the pitfalls of denying it and embracing it, come to life in this small gem of a novel.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>


I don't regret having delayed completing Of Love and Other Demons for several years as I don't think I would have appreciated this novella half of much when I first started. My impression then was that this was a slow-moving story with much description but little happening. How wrong I was!The title is so apt as this is an exploration of how obsessions can take precedence over basic humanity. The enigma that is Sierva Maria is the catalyst for upheaval in a coastal Colombian town (a fictionalised Cartagena) of a couple of centuries ago: bitten by a rabid dog but surviving against the odds, her very existence seems to infect all she comes into contact with. Many of these individuals then exhibit a rabidity that has nothing to do with a physical ailment and everything to do with diseases of the mind: irrational superstition, jealousy, inhumanity and, yes, love, but obsessive love akin to that of a stalker. Young Sierva Maria gets taken by her father to the convent of the Santa Clara nuns where she is imprisoned before her exorcism, an exorcism that is deemed necessary because she speaks various African languages and appears different, from her long unshorn hair to her unconventional behaviours. Marquez exposes several human frailties in the local populace, from xenophobia to snobbery and from drug addiction to political expediency. After her incarceration and the witnessing of the eclipse of the sun the downfall of Sierva Maria is sealed by the reverberations her mere existence has occasioned: the unexplained deaths of the innocent and not-so-innocent, the collapse of the interrogating bishop, the leading astray of the studious young priest. In amongst it all are the magical events that one can almost accept as real, epitomised by the belief that hair continues to grow after death when the young girl's tomb is opened in the mid-twentieth century. Such examples of so-called magical realism are of course metaphors, for Marquez is indicating that stories and rumours also grow even and especially after death. In all of this the one truly rational voice is that of the atheist Spanish Jew who, though he has escaped to the colonies, is still the subject of suspicion and hatred. In this scholarly and gruff medical man we can dimly make out an authorial figure, an outsider whose observations point out the absurdities of conventional thinking and living.My first Marquez tale, Of Love and Other Demons is beautifully narrated, certainly in this translation by Edith Grossman, with memorable characters and profound questioning of the status quo. As the tragedy moves towards its inevitable conclusion, with a shocking short burst of violence, Marquez still manages to infuse the tale with a sense of optimism despite its critique of human nature. If he manages to avoid any real suggestion of paedophilia (one of the charges levelled recently by the Russian Orthodox Church against his writings) it is done with enough subtlety and ambiguity to escape the notice of all but a few suspicious minds and certainly with no suggestion of approval. The real tragedy is that so few people visit Sierva Maria with the love that all humans need and want, and that those who do, like her father, are often too late.The original convent which inspired the news story which inspired the novella is still standing and still functioning as a hotel, and Gabo readers make literary pilgrimages to stay there and marvel at the crypt where Sierva Maria de Todos Los Angeles was buried in a niche. For me her real memorial is this beautifully crafted fable.

Pina Varriale

Un piccolo capolavoro di un grande della letteratura.

Carmo Santos

Pobre Sierva Maria; odiada pela mãe e ignorada pelo pai, cresceu rebelde no meio dos escravos, com poucos vislumbres de carinho ou amor.Quis a sua pouca sorte que uma dentada de cão raivoso ditasse o seu futuro e a atirasse nas malhas da ignorância. Não foi a raiva felina que a derrotou, foi a intolerância de quem a devia ter defendido. Apavorada pela perseguição reage da única forma possível:dissimula o medo com selvajaria e dá razão a quem a acusa. Não fossem as contrariedades do destino, e a dedicação e amor do padre Delaura tê-la-iam salvo (mas isso seria um final feliz para livros banais).Morreu consumida de amor,vitima da imbecilidade e da superstição.Contado com a perícia habitual do autor e com a dose certa de magia e de sobrenatural, traz-nos personagens ricas e insólitas - cada uma delas presa na sua solidão inviolável - numa história a que me rendi desde a primeira página e que termina com uma sensação de tristeza.Já leio García Márquez há algum tempo, mas fico sempre fascinada com a sua capacidade de composição textual. É incrível como pega em palavras que todos conhecemos (com exceção de algum vocabulário típico da América do Sul, que por vezes nem o dicionário reconhece) e compõe frases com um sentido e profundidade que tantas vezes me desnorteia. Têm a honestidade de chamar as coisas pelo nome sem rodeios ou paninhos quentes, é direto e acutilante, mas com um sentido de humor incomparável.Dentro do segmento dos seus livros mais pequenos, 100/200 páginas, foi sem duvida o que gostei mais.


This is my first experience reading Marquez and, I suspect, not my last. Marquez begins the tale with a prologue detailing his coming upon the destruction of an old church to make way for new construction. Within that old structure were chapels and burial vaults of bishops, nuns and the remains of a young girl with copper hair 2 meters long. That finding led to this story.How the story unveils is for each reader to discover but it is a wonderful read. I guess I do like magical realism---I wasn't always sure. Or perhaps, like everything else in this world, I like some examples of it.


Almost a fairytale, this book is an incredible bed time story. Makes you wonder if Garcia Marquez was told this story by his Grandmother or another elder woman in his village. It is dark and sad and ultimately love becomes a demon. A demon that you can't live with or without. Despite it's depressing denouement Garcia Marquez is one of my favorite writers for his lyrical and romantic sense of plot. The barriers between the living and the dead are sheer at best and the extreme power and control of love is truly everlasting.

Христо Блажев

Смъртоносна страст в “За любовта и други демони” на МаркесКак зачитам книга от автора на унищожителната “Любов по време на холера”? Първо – трябва ми нощ, нощ ми трябва и нищо по-малко. После – тишината на щурците, комбинирана със синя луна и тиктакането на часовника на стената, за да запазиш връзка със света (мнозина са се губили). Сваляш кожата на книгата и оголваш беззащитната синева с черен кант отдолу. Отваряш, вдъхваш и не забравяш да издишаш. Сънят сам ще дойде по някое време, сам ще избере страницата си…Виж още:


I must admit that while I enjoyed this immensely, I did not enjoy it as much as most other Marquez. It isn't just that I have grown tired of his pedophilia storylines, though that doesn't help, but rather that this story doesn't do as interesting job of blending the real and the fantastic and the moment that opens the story, so beautiful in its absurdity, seems to bear little resemblance to the story that follows, which is a shame because a concentration on the fantastic, rather than the mundane with a tint of the strange, would have helped this.Nonetheless, this novel does sparkle. It tells the story of a family, of a father who had loved in insane woman, but who was forced to marry another, of how his love for her blossomed until it was full before she died and how he was then tricked into marriage with another woman and how the daughter of that liaison was despised. It is the story of demon possessions and illicit priestly love and it is, all around, the kind of love that destroys, that rends and sunders, and there is something frightening and beautiful in that.


I have absolutely no idea on what to say about this book , i only read one book by garcia and i really loved it , but this one ,i don't quite know what is my opinion of it.Just like the other book i've read by him ,garcia start's his books by telling us almost everything about the story , though we keep reading it , expecting something more from it .. which is found actually .. i just don't tolerate some ideas through the book and i hate the way he makes wrong things become right to the point that we sympathize with the people doing those horrid things , and it actually only proves how a good writer he is ..


Of Love and Other Demons is Marquez's magic realism at its best, it gives you a historical context of the turbulent time in a small town of Colombia, and when the raw reality of its work get just a little overwhelming he turns and adds a touch of the "mystical and supernatural" so ingrained in these people to explain the calamities in their lifes.

Lynne Norman

I honestly cannot put into words what it is I love about Marquez - perhaps that's why I read books, rather than write them! But, for the sake of the review, I will have to try... His beautifully written prose, colourful descriptions and very distinct form of magic realism honestly do transport the reader to another world. When working through a GGM novel, I have to confess that I get so caught up in the pure joy of reading that I forget to think about the metaphors and the messages behind the words. Once the reading's done though - the book lingers on for days in my head...'Of Love and Other Demons' is another excellent piece of fiction from the great Marquez. It's an extremely sad tale of love and obsession that is made all the more poignant by the author's introductory note, explaining that he was inspired by a real-life experience. In a relatively short novel, Marquez deals with many different subjects, including religious hysteria and the demonising of innocence and pure love by the corrupt Catholic church. The characters are all wonderfully well drawn and the tragic young heroine commands the readers' sympathy.


Ogni tanto sento il bisogno di leggere Marquez, autore che non riesco ad affrontare sempre perchè ho bisogno di essere ben predisposta per dedicarmi ai suoi temi. Qui l'introduzione cattura più di tutto il resto: il ritrovamento del cadavere di Sierva Maria De Todos Los Angeles dal cui cranio crescono ancora metri e metri di capelli rossi fiammanti. Da qui, parte tutta la storia che vi porterà a conoscere questa bambina che, in seguito al morso di un cane rabbioso, verrà rinchiusa in un convento perchè creduta posseduta dal demonio. I personaggi sono tanti, diversi e ben caratterizzati e il linguaggio di Marquez è persuasivo e avvolgente. In definitiva, una buona lettura.


Freshman year in high school we were assigned Marquez's "No One Writes to the Colonel", which was not exactly an easy read (a description from Wikipedia: "the story of an impoverished, retired colonel, a veteran of the Thousand Days War, who still hopes to receive the pension he was promised some fifteen years earlier.") The experience turned me off to reading Marquez until I was forced to read "100 Years of Solitude" a few years later. It's too bad "Of Love and Other Demons" wasn't available back in 1990 (it came out in 1995), because it's a much better introduction to Marquez. It's kind of a distillation of all his favorite themes- ruined colonial estates, alluring virgins, the hallucinatory magic of the tropics, the hypocrisies of Catholicism- and it weighs in at slightly less than 150 pages. In fact, the only Marquez trope it seems to lack is an abundance of wise whores- they've been replaced here with a a bunch of wise slave-women. So in short, it's what "The Crying of Lot 49" is for Pynchon- find a precocious 14 year old and give them this book.


Не е шедьовър, но е всичко, заради което, тези които го обичаме, четем Маркес. Много цвят, много аромат, подмолна тъга, пълзяща разруха, вибрациите на неминуемото бедствие. И красота. И любов.

MizCreatrix NY

I so wanted to love this book. Touted as a captivating, enchanting and even "edgy" work of storytelling hinged with elements of magical realism, "Of Love and Other Demons" seemed like a promising novel that would haunt me psychologically and emotionally.Instead, I ended up dreading everything about it.Quick plot review (spoilers contained): Young girl gets bit by a supposed rabid dog. Said girl is subsequently believed to be possessed by a demon. Girl is sent off to a convent to be "healed"? exorcised? Many strange occurrences seem to follow in the wake of the girls arrival at the convent. There is an overarching theme of assigning evil to that which is not clearly or scientifically understood. Some adult priest becomes enraptured by the young girl and their relationship hints at pedophilia. Eventually, everyone dies. Maybe I missed the deeper meaning of the story because I got so impatient with the long-windedness and near overwhelming number of characters thrown into the mix (which was rather difficult to keep straight). Or maybe I've just become shallow in my old age and need a little more gratuitous action in my novels to hold my attention. In any case, I found myself constantly distracted by the never-ending introduction of the newest Marquis, Bishop, Dominga or person-from-some-Holy-Office. I felt like I needed a character guidebook to accompany the reading of this novel because after a while, I couldn't remember who was who and what their relevance to the story was supposed to be.The prose in which Marquez writes is admittedly gorgeous, but that wasn't enough to save this piece from the depths of the infernal flames in which I felt like I was burning during the entire read. "Of Love and Other Demons" is a short book, (less than 150 pages in my edition), yet it took me an entire month to get through it. I just didn't find myself caring much about the characters and never felt swept away by the plot (*was* there one?). It is highly likely that the essence of the story was lost in the English translation from its original Spanish text; I will allow the benefit of the doubt for that. Nonetheless, I found this novel a painful read that left me unmoved.

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