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Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of Cholera


by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Alexis Carrel, Man, the Unknown (1.107). Carrel was a French surgeon, biologist, and eugenicist. In Man, the Unknown, published in 1935, Carrel recommends a plan of forced euthanasia to rid society of undesirable members. His ideas were subsequently employed by the Nazis. Man, the Unknown is the book that Dr. Juvenal Urbino is reading right before his death.
  • Axel Munthe, The Story of San Michele (1.107). Munthe was a Swedish physician and psychiatrist known for his philanthropic and humanitarian work. He often treated the poor for free in his clinics, and advocated the use of euthanasia only in cases where it would prevent a painful death. His biography, The Story of San Michele serves as a counterpoint to Dr. Juvenal's other reading material – Man, the Unknown, by eugenicist Alexis Carrel. What do you think of Dr. Juvenal's choice to read Carrel instead of Munthe on the day of his death?
  • Dante Alighieri, Inferno. The inscription carved on the bridge leading to the colonial cemetery, Lasciate ogni speranza voi ch'entrate, is a quote from Dante's Inferno. It translates, "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here" (3.15).
  • "The great novelist" whose father Dr. Juvenal Urbino studies with in Paris is Adrien Proust (3.22).
  • Le Figaro (3.167)
  • Revue des Deux Mondes (3.167)
  • Anatole France (3.167)
  • Pierre Loti (3.167)
  • Rémy de Gourmont (3.167)
  • Paul Bourget (3.167)
  • Emile Zola (3.167)
  • Oscar Wilde (3.169, 3.170)
  • Victor Hugo (3.169)
  • "Alice had gone through the looking glass," is a reference to Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, a novel by Lewis Carroll (5.12).
  • Anatole France, L'Ile des pingouins [Penguin Island], 1908. (5.43)
  • Gabriele D'Annunzio, poet (5.94)

Historical References

  • Jeremiah de Saint-Amour's dog is named Mister Woodrow Wilson.
  • The Liberator is a reference to Simón Bolívar, leader of Colombia's independence movement and first President of Colombia. (1.30, 5.86, 5.124)
  • Marco Fidel Suárez, President of Colombia from 1918-1921 (1.55)
  • The Cuban José Raúl Capablanca was the world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. (1.85)
  • Dr. Rafael Nuñez (3.149)
  • Trappists are a Roman Catholic religious order of contemplative monks who follow the Rule of Saint Benedict. (4.25)
  • The War of a Thousand Days (5.124)
  • Charles Lindbergh (6.81)
  • Joseph T. K. Korzeniowski, a.k.a. Joseph Conrad (6.130)

Pop Culture References

  • All Quiet on the Western Front, a 1930 film based on the book by Erich Maria Remarque (1.35)
  • Yvette Guilbert and Aristide Bruant (1.55)
  • Mozart's "La Chasse" (1.98)
  • Don Giovanni is an opera with music by Mozart. Tannhaüser is an opera by Wagner. (1.98)
  • Schubert's "Death and the Maiden" (1.98)
  • French composer Gabriel Fauré (1.99)
  • Isolde and Siegfried are characters in two operas by Wagner; Otello and Aïda are characters from two operas by Verdi. (1.117)
  • The Tales of Hoffman (3.169)
  • Famous Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (4.3)
  • Carlos Gardel, the Argentine tango singer (4.75)
  • Cortot-Casals-Thibaud trio (4.76), a European piano trio established in 1905
  • Folies-Bergere (4.46), a music hall in Paris that was popular between the 1890s and 1920s
  • Cabiria (5.94)

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