December 13, 2006

The Other Shore

Gabriel García Márquez on marriage in Love in the Time of Cholera:

"Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore."

posted at 01:03 AM by raul

Filed under: noted

TAGS: marriage (2) Márquez (1)


12/13/06 07:05 AM

nice. you don't have it in spanish, do you? i'd love to show my ex those lines.

12/13/06 11:01 AM

I own not one but 2 copies of the book in Spanish, I'll try to dig them up tonight... they're buried somewhere. We double stack.

12/13/06 06:44 PM

Found it! Me costó pero lo encontré. Curiously enough, the translation seems to me almost better than the original, perhaps due to a typo. Here it goes for spanish speakers:

Habían sorteado juntos las incomprensiones cotidianas, los odios instantáneos, las porquerías reciprocas y los fabulosos relámpagos de gloria de la complicidad conyugal. Fue la época en que se amaron mejor, sin prisa y sin excesos, y ambos fueron mas conscientes y agradecidos de sus victorias inverosímiles contra la adversidad. La vida había de depararles todavía otras pruebas mortales, por supuesto, pero ya no importaba: estaban en la otra orilla...

The typo would be a missing "the". "It was the time when", instead of "It was time when" which I hurriedly read as "It was a time when". "It was THE time when" is slightly more pessimistic, since it could imply that they reached a pinnacle of love, during that time, which was probably followed by some kind of descent, although they were, basically, on the other shore.

I am not an English native speaker, but I think I would rewrite it as: It was a time when they both loved each other's best. Fue una época en la que se amaron mucho mejor. O bien: Fue una época en la que ambos amaron lo mejor del otro. Es decir: se concentraron y potenciaron lo bueno e ignoraron los defectos.

That's what I think anyway. Also: moral trials sounds better than pruebas mortales.

12/13/06 08:53 PM

I was just about to look for it... thanks for finding it for me. I've read the book both in English and Spanish and have always said the English translation is lyrical and does a great job of capturing the lyricism of the original. I've heard Marquez speak about the translations of his work, and he has always noted Love in the Time of Cholera as a standout... Thanks for your insights.

12/13/06 10:54 PM

Interesting. I have found that the translator was Edith Grossman and here is a revealing speech she gave at a PEN club tribute to García Marquez, three years ago.

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