Memories of My Melancholy Whores
The 77-year-old Nobelist ends a 10-year fiction drought with a purely intentioned but emotionally hollow novella, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, about a 90-year-old newspaper columnist and lifelong bachelor who discovers ”uncorrupted love” with a 14-year-old would-be prostitute. Gabriel García Márquez humanizes his sex-addicted protagonist — a man who’s never not paid for sex — with affectionate, unbiased care. But that fleshed-out intimacy hardly extends to anyone else, least of all the beautiful, muted catalyst of the narrator’s transformation. ”I preferred her asleep,” he admits. Are we to forgive such creepy callousness and self-absorption because he’s a very old man? That would be like giving García Márquez a free pass just because he is García Márquez.