Printer Friendly
The Free Library
22,741,889 articles and books

Diatriba de amor contra un hombre sentado.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez Gar·cí·a Már·quez   , Gabriel Born 1928.

Colombian-born writer known especially for his novel One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). He won the 1982 Nobel Prize for literature.
 has sometimes been accused of misogyny misogyny /mi·sog·y·ny/ (mi-soj´i-ne) hatred of women.

Hatred of women.

, but in this mordant mordant (môr`dənt) [Fr.,=biting], substance used in dyeing to fix certain dyes (mordant dyes) in cloth. Either the mordant (if it is colloidal) or a colloid produced by the mordant adheres to the fiber, attracting and fixing the colloidal  one-act play he takes the woman's side. Before the curtain goes up the audience hears the systematic breaking of objects, wwch, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

 the stage directions, conveys both jubilation and rage. After the curtain goes up, Graciela, the only speaking character, strikes a match, and the resulting blaze gradually illuminates the scene -- upper-class bedroom, tastefully decorated, with a sofa on which sits Graciela's husband, "played" by a mannequin with a newspaper in its hands. Before the actress utters one word, the spectator gets the gist: This play will be about a frustrated, wealthy woman, whose marriage to a distant, unresponsive husband has made her life hell.

As she gets dressed for the couple's silver anniversary celebration, Graciela launches into a long monologue directed at her immobile husband, in which she recreates her life during the last twenty-five years. At first, they were happy. She was a poor girl and he, a rebellious kid from a rich family who played at being poor, dressing like a hippie and taking up with Graciela. In spite of her mother's warnings, the girl fell head-over-heels in love with him and spent the rest of her youth trying to become worthy, getting her bachillerato and a slew of higher degrees. But his mother never accepted her. After the marriage he returned to his former role -- that of spoiled son of a rich family. She learned to play the society lady, flaunting her jewels and her fancy clothes. Meanwhile, he grew distant, obsessed ob·sess  
v. ob·sessed, ob·sess·ing, ob·sess·es
To preoccupy the mind of excessively.

 with material wealth and social position.

With his characteristic tongue-in-cheek amassment a·mass  
v. a·massed, a·mass·ing, a·mass·es
1. To gather for oneself, as for one's pleasure or profit: amassed a fortune. See Synonyms at gather.

 of particular, Garcia Marquez creates an idea of the excess that will characterize the anniversary party: "More than a thousand native and foreign guests, four hundred kilos of caviar, sixty artificial oxen oxen

adult castrated male of any breed of Bos spp.
 imported from Japan, the entire national production of turkeys, and enough alcohol to solve the problem of the shortage of housing for the poor."

But none of this can bring back the joy of those early years, in which they both rebelled against their class and found solace in each other's arms. Pacing the stage, changing clothes over and over again, smoking incessantly and hurling insults at the husband who ignores her, Graciela embodies the frustration and rage of the alienated wife. Finally, she takes a match and ignites the room. Her "straw husband "is consumed immediately. But the conflagration symbolizes not only the hell her life has become, but also the passion she still feels. In spite of everything, she continues to love this empty effigy EFFIGY, crim. law. The figure or representation of a person.
     2. To make the effigy of a person with an intent to make him the object of ridicule, is a libel. (q.v.) Hawk. b. 1, c. 7 3, s. 2 14 East, 227; 2 Chit. Cr. Law, 866.
 of a man, and she mourns the loss of that affection they once shared.

One cannot read Diatriba de amor without feeling a tug at the heartstrings. Caustic yet touching, Garcia Marquez's new play is a biting commentary on marriage, but also on the vapid, detached upper class, which has lost the joie de vivre joie de vi·vre  
Hearty or carefree enjoyment of life.

[French : joie, joy + de, of + vivre, to live, living.
 that makes life worth living.

The play opened in March 1994, at the Fourth Latin American Theater Festival, in Bogota, Colombia.

Barbara Mujica is a writer and professor of hispanic literature at Georgetoum University, in Washington, D, C., and a regular contributor to Americas.
COPYRIGHT 1995 Organization of American States
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

 Reader Opinion




Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Mujica, Barbara
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1995
Previous Article:Buoyant in Berlin.
Next Article:The House on the Beach.

Related Articles
El Pollo Loco Presenta Su Nueva Campana Publicitaria Para El Mercado Hispano.
El magnate del negocio multimedia de Polonia: Zygmunt Solorz-Zak.
Isaac P?rez Recao Env?a Mensaje a Los Medios de Comunicaci?n de Venezuela.
Vida nueva: una prueba con celulas madre podria poner a Brasil en la vanguardia de la investigacion. (Bio Tecnologia).
Thalia, Alejandro Sanz, Paulina Rubio, Enrique Iglesias, Lupillo Rivera, Carlos Vives, Celia Cruz, Juanes and a Host of Hispanic Artists Compete for...
Univision Announces Winners of Premio Lo Nuestro 2003.
La pirateria audiovisual en los Estados Unidos.
Comunistas S.A.: atrapados en la crisis economica, los izquierdistas argentinos crean microempresas y marcas. (Microempresas).
Hip, Young Hispanics to Honor Their Idols: `Premios Juventud' First Ever Hispanic Youth Awards to Air Live on Univision Network Sept. 23.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2014 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters