One Hundred Years of Solitude
How we cite our quotes:
Fernanda carried a delicate calendar with small golden keys on which her spiritual adviser had marked in purple ink the dates of venereal abstinence. Not counting Holy Week, Sundays, holy days of obligation, first Fridays, retreats, sacrifices, and cyclical impediments, her effective year was reduced to forty-two days that were spread out through a web of purple crosses. Aureliano Segundo, convinced that time would break up that hostile network, prolonged the wedding celebration beyond the expected time. […]
[W]hen the period was over, she opened her bedroom with a resignation worthy of an expiatory victim and Aureliano Segundo saw the most beautiful woman on earth, with her glorious eyes of a frightened animal and her long, copper-colored hair spread out across the pillow. He was so fascinated with that vision that it took him a moment to realize that Fernanda was wearing a white nightgown that reached down to her ankles, with long sleeves and with a large, round buttonhole, delicately trimmed, at the level of her lower stomach. Aureliano Segundo could not suppress an explosion of laughter. "That's the most obscene thing I've ever seen in my life," he shouted with a laugh that rang through the house. (11.12-13)
This novel generally opposes those who stand in the way of human nature and animalistic urges. Fernanda's elaborate attempt to avoid sex is mocked and shown to have the complete opposite effect: her extremely modest nightgown crosses over into the realm of pornography with its pelvic-area hole.
[Remedios the Beauty] did not understand why women complicated their lives with corsets and petticoats, so she sewed herself a coarse cassock that she simply put over her and without further difficulties resolved the problem of dress, without taking away the feeling of being naked, which according to her lights was the only decent way to be when at home. They bothered her so much to cut the rain of hair that already reached to her thighs and to make rolls with combs and braids with red ribbons that she simply shaved her head and used the hair to make wigs for the saints. The startling thing about her simplifying instinct was that the more she did away with fashion in a search for comfort and the more she passed over conventions as she obeyed spontaneity, the more disturbing her incredible beauty became and the more provocative she became to men. […] Until her last moment on earth she was unaware that her irreparable fate as a disturbing woman was a daily disaster. Every time she appeared in the dining room, against Úrsula's orders, she caused a panic of exasperation among the outsiders. It was all too evident that she was completely naked underneath her crude nightshirt and no one could understand that her shaved and perfect skull was not some kind of challenge, and that the boldness with which she uncovered her thighs to cool off was not a criminal provocation, nor was her pleasure when she sucked her fingers after eating. What no member of the family ever knew was that the strangers did not take long to realize that Remedios the Beauty gave off a breath of perturbation, a tormenting breeze that was still perceptible several hours after she had passed by. Men expert in the disturbances of love, experienced all over the world, stated that they had never suffered an anxiety similar to the one produced by the natural smell of Remedios the Beauty. (12.7)
What is it with this girl? She's another example of the novel's natural-is-best theme. Here she has removed all of the socially imposed markers of proper femininity: complicated and restrictive undergarments, long hair, modest behavior and manners. But the absence of these things ends up making her even more alluring.
Although [Gaston] was at least fifteen years older than his wife [Amaranta Úrsula], his alert determination to make her happy and his qualities as a good lover compensated for the difference. Actually, those who saw that man in his forties with careful habits, with the leash around his neck and his circus bicycle, would not have thought that he had made a pact of unbridled love with his wife and that they both gave in to the reciprocal drive in the least adequate of places and wherever the spirit moved them, as they had done since they had begun to keep company, and with a passion that the passage of time and the more and more unusual circumstances deepened and enriched. Gaston was not only a fierce lover, with endless wisdom and imagination, but he was also, perhaps, the first man in the history of the species who had made an emergency landing and had come close to killing himself and his sweetheart simply to make love in a field of violets. (19.5)
Wow, that's some commitment to getting it on, no?