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

Jackson Cage

I found this book in an old villa in the magical city of Positano, Italy. The story of a girl with long golden hair who contracts rabies and who falls in love with a priest caught my attention, particularly after having recently finished another book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which had some similar themes. This book read like wild fire. I finished it in two days. This story recaptured the magical allure of Marquez for me after the disappointing "One Hundred Years of Solitude". The love and romance that began to catch fire was similar to the love of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza in Marquez's genius book "Love in the Time of Cholera". For such a short book, only 140 pages, Marquez packed a lot in without convoluting the story. This was written by a writer at the top of his game. When I checked the copyright, I was not surprised to find that it had been written in the 1994, late in his career, although not too late, since he published his last book in 2008, "My Melancholy Whores". What inspired me most of all about this book was the short essay the author included before the first page, providing me, the reader, some insight to what inspired him to write such a tale. These short essays, like Israel Horovitz, help bring the books to life to me as well as give me a better understanding of the author. The tragedy of love, parenting, religion, and friendship is all shared in this great novel. To wrap up my honest feelings, the book was strong, not incredible. I was entertained and found it easy to read. But like most books, I will put it on the shelf, remember some of it, but will not miss or long for the characters that I have come to know. They were acquaintances for this short period of time, but they will not live infinitely in my mind as some others I know.

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.


There is something unapologetically romantic about Gabriel Garcia Marquez. He is the most romantic of the male writers I have ever read, and this story has all the lyricism of a Shakespearean tragedy. Why are we constantly drawn to stories like these? I have yet to understand it. I am no expert, while I am lulled by the story telling, the very human characters, the exotic locale for a displaced gentry that fervently longs for a degree of companionship, intimacy and, yes, salvation, I was constantly reminded of the hot blooded passion that drips in Marquez’ prose and how close to the earth it was. How it makes fun of absolutes, our beliefs, while a very fragile existence of one character, like a flower, dies away. He is like your grandmother, or in my case, my own mother, who often tells us stories in the same way, with the same light of imagination in her eyes. Marquez pushes the story telling further, giving it a depth and sensuality where our mothers and grandmothers would censoriously deprive us in normal storytelling circumstances. He validates its presence and understands our need to affirm that it is there. He extends our imagination, exercises it even, to the point that I know that I am satisfied to have reached that heightened space. The beauty of ordinary things, we are his characters. Let us not take ourselves too seriously, flawed as we are.I am happy and tearfully sad with this story, a wistful sadness, but nevertheless satisfied. He has expressed once again, that people, human beings, whether we end up quite proper, quite civilized, quite correct in life with all the etiquette of a lifeless marionette, we are still in fact- given this one life- essentially at the core, very passionate.

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:


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.


this is my favorite book of all time. i really like marquez and how he mixes the fantastic with everyday life. it's like he and his characters are from another planet... one that's very similar to earth, but just a bit off. like a planet you'd find on an episode of sliders. (i feel that recently i've been using sliders to describe a lot of things...)anyway, i can read this book over and over. it's been a while since i read it so i would feel silly giving it a comprehensive review here, but maybe i will after the next time i read it


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.

Pina Varriale

Un piccolo capolavoro di un grande della letteratura.

Bogdan Liviu

Dezamagirea e colosala pentru c-am fost extrem de entuziasmat s-o citesc. Nu m-a captivat absolut deloc, mi-a fost cu neputinta sa ma atasez de vreun personaj. Poate-s prea batran pentru a mai citi cu pasiune despre superstitiile oamenilor "religiosi". Nici relatia bolnava dintre preot si fata respectiva n-a avut impact, dar inteleg de ce unora le-a placut atat de mult, sunt teme interesante abordate, imi pare rau ca am avut atatea asteptari - poate de-asta sunt si atat de drastic in rating, n-am detestat-o, dar nici n-am intrat in lectura NICIODATA. Nu spun ca e o carte proasta (mai degraba as spune ca eu sunt prost), spun doar ca nu-i pentru mine. 1,5!


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.


In Of Love and Other Demons Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells a tragic tale in which the entire cast of characters is haunted by some personal demon, all except Sierva Maria, a young girl who is bitten by a rabid dog and eventually turned over to the nuns of the Convent of Santa Clara because it is believed she is indeed possessed by a real demon. Elegantly written and extremely insightful, Marquez's honesty is admirable. His writing is engaging and thoughtful, while his story and characters are too absurd to be true yet too true to be absurd. By the end of the book, it is all too clear that demons are real and exorcising them is no small feat. There is something almost hypnotic about Marquez's writing that makes you want to read more. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates the art of good writing and good storytelling. If you are already a fan of Marquez, you won't be disappointed, and if not, you are likely to become one.


Cu ceva timp în urmă am avut un vis sau mi-am imaginat – nu pot să îmi dau seama – un castel în a cărui temniţă era închisă o tânără cu părul lung. Ea era vizitată în timpul nopţii de unul care avea capacitatea de a se deplasa pe ziduri, inclusiv în poziţii nefireşti, a la Dracula lui Bram Stoker. Nu aş putea să-mi explic această superpoziţie ciudată cu ideile lui Marquez. Poate că se datorează faptului că ideile nu sunt ale nimănui; zboară primprejur ca îngerii.O fată este muşcată de un câine turbat ceea ce este interpretat ca “semn rău” şi blestem pentru familia marchizului. Fapt este că aceasta nu ia turbarea de la câine şi arată pe tot parcursul naraţiunii că nu este bolnavă. Sierva Maria însă este supusă întâi chinurilor vracilor şi altor superstiţii locale. Apoi este dusă într-o mănăstire unde toată lumea este convinsă că era posedată. Răutatea şi imaginaţia bolnavă a celor de la mănăstire este însă contracarată de doi preoţi care doresc să o scoată pe sărmana fată din ghearele stareţei. Preotul cel tânăr, Cayetano Delaura, se îndrăgosteşte de fată.Cred că punctul culminant al cărţii este atins atunci când Delaura îşi mărturiseşte în faţa episcopului “păcatul” de a se îndragosti. Este diavolul părinte. Cel mai cumplit dintre toţi. Această afirmaţie m-a dus cu gândul la expresia lui Radiquet, Le diable au corps.Îi mărturisi că nu trecea o clipă fără să se gândească la ea, că tot ce mânca şi bea avea gustul ei, că viaţa era ea, la orice oră şi pretutindeni, cum numai Domnul avea dreptul şi puterea de a fi, şi că bucuria supremă a sufletului său ar fi să moară împreună cu ea.Ceea ce nu am priceput a fost motivul pentru care autorul dezvăluie în introducere deznodământul poveştii. Astfel, nu am citit gândindu-mă cum anume va fi sfârşitul ci cum anume va fi el atins.Nu lipsesc dimensiunile gigantice ale spaţiului sud-american: sezonul ploios aduce adevărate deluvii biblice iar personajele (precum marchizul sau episcopul) iau deciziile vieţii lor.


Garcia Marquez has the remarkable ability to take the reader into a surreal world where the decaying remnants of empire, the suffocation of religion, superstition, prejudice and the underbelly of human existence replete with bodily emissions and odours are laid bare. He also reveals the consequences of living in a world without love.In this book, based on a discovery he reported on as a young journalist, of a 200 year-old skeleton with a growing head of copper coloured hair discovered in an old church crypt, Maquez weaves a tragic love story of what might have been.The young girl in question, the daughter of an aging and idle Marquis in Colombia, is bitten by a dog and everyone fears that she will go mad, when all that afflicts her is a lack of love. And when she finally finds love, in the form of the young priest sent to exorcise her, societal, religious and family forces conspire to rob her of that love - a telling indictment against a closed colonial society.In the process, Marquez creates vivid characters: Sierva Maria, the girl, with ankle length hair, who prefers to spend her days in the slaves quarters than with her parents; Bernarda, the matriarch, addicted to fermented honey and cacao and walking around her house naked, screwing the slave Judas Iscariote like a bitch in heat while her husband naps in a hammock in the garden; the old Marquis himself, who is destined to fall in love with insane women and lives next door to a lunatic asylum where his former lover bombards him with letters in the form of paper butterflies; the young priest Fr. Cayetano, obsessed with books and learning and discovering that love can be an equally overpowering experience; his asthmatic bishop and mentor who is at cold war with the Abbess of the Santa Clara convent over a 100 year old misunderstanding; Dr. Abrenuncio the Portuguese-Jew, who is able to predict the exact moment of death of his patients. Abrenuncio brings rationality to this superstitious world by making some interesting observations to counteract the suffocating cloak of the Catholic Church that is firmly draped all over this novel, when he says that there is little difference between exorcism and witchcraft, and advocates that "happiness as the best medicine" for most of what ails us, and that "crazy people are not crazy, if one accepts their reasoning." The narrative style is omniscient and Marquez is firmly in control, making side comments on his characters along the way as well. The only downer for me was that this very short book got a bit bogged down in Church procedure towards the end and concluded with a sudden rush of “telling”, as if Marquez, having set us up with an interesting premise and engaging characters, was anxious to finish this book and get onto the next one.


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.

Maan Kawas

A great novel with magical realism elements, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is enchanting for the first pages! It is a novel about social isolation, neglect, poor relationships, social withdrawal, the need for love, sexual drive, social class and social status, and scientific vs. religious beliefs in approaching disease. The novel tackled different themes and points, which might include basically one’s need to love (and be loved) and social belonging, the significant impact of one’s as well as society’s beliefs on behaviors, emotions, and actions and practices. For examples, metaphysical beliefs of illness and health, which dominated a considerable period of the human history, had affected the health and medical practices (until the development of the scientific approach and medicine). Even in the novel, the girl Sierva was subject to exorcism and maltreatment instead, accused of being demonic, instead of receiving the appropriate and available medical treatments. It is also, painful to see religious people, such as the bishop or the abbess, having a rigid and stern heart due to the impacts of their own beliefs, and instead of helping the patient they ruined her and treated her with cruelty. I loved so much, Marquez depiction of the stolen moments of love between Sierva and the young priest Cayetano, and the masterful description of the emotions. Although the novel is full of superstitious and mystical and enigmatic elements, it tackles real issues, such as the need for love and acceptance as well as belonging to society and the major role of culture and beliefs on individuals and society.

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