Deal Me In Reading Challenge: I drew the two of spades.
Story: Eva is Inside Her Cat, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (it can be read online here)
Comments: Marquez, who died earlier this year, is one of those very well-known authors (One Hundred Years of Solitude; Love in the Time of Cholera) whom I’ve never read. I didn’t know what to expect here, but guessed from the title that it would be no ordinary tale. And it isn’t.
“Magic realism” is the genre (see any commentary on Marquez for more about this). “Eva”, the protagonist, is a woman who suffers from both insomnia and a surfeit of beauty. The story takes place outside of time, so that Eva is both alive and has been dead for three thousand years. She committed suicide, perhaps… She now is reincarnated in her cat, perhaps…
– There is Eva, an orange, and a tree, reminiscent of Eve, an apple, and a tree in the Genesis story. Am I supposed to make a connection, with Eva’s extraordinary beauty pointing to the primeval beauty of creation? But no, because this Eva has inherited her beauty from her ancestors, and Eve was the original mother-figure. Some kind of re-telling of the Genesis story?
– I am suspicious of a man writing about a woman being “cursed” by being too beautiful. Would a woman write thus? Would she not rather write about being cursed by ugliness? – Or am I supposed to be suspicious of it, and to read it some other way? I don’t know.
– There are elements of the story that I don’t “get” at all, particularly the significance of “the boy” buried under the tree. Adam???
– Some commentators suggest that there is a political message in Marquez’ “magic realism”. If so, I am too far removed from the scene to understand it.
All in all, I am left in a foggy place. It does not encourage me to pick up any of Marquez’ longer works.