Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Sunday, October 12, 2003  

"Oscar de la Espriella, who was a sterling carouser, agreed with William Faulkner that a brothel is the best residence for a writer, because the mornings are quiet, there is a party every night, and you are on good terms with the police. Our friend Carlos Aleman, an attorney, who had been elected deputy to the departmental assembly, took this in a literal way and made himself our full-time host. One night, however, an old boyfriend of Mary Reyes, the madam of the house, knocked down the door to take away their son, a child of five, who lived with her. Her current boyfriend, who had been a police officer, came out of the bedroom in his shorts to defend the honour and goods of the house with his regulation revolver, and the other man greeted him with a burst of gunfire that resounded in the dance hall like a shot from a cannon. The frightened sergeant hid in his room. When I came out of mine, half-dressed, the transient tenants were contemplating the boy from their rooms as he urinated at the end of the hallway, while his papa smoothed his hair with his left hand and held the still smoking revolver in his right. All you could hear in the house were Mary's insults as she reproached the sergeant for not having any balls.

"That night I repented of having believed in Faulkner's illusions."

-- From an edited extract of the first volume of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's memoirs, Living To Tell The Tale, the first of three extracts set to be serialised in the UK Guardian. (And I'm back in the pages of Love In The Time Of Cholera all over again....)

posted by Jonathan | 1:47 AM 0 comments


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