Demons in Love

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And as he let him go, he began to roar. A great and terrible shriek, that rained ashes on the little boy, a howl made of all suffering, like an ocean trapped in a heart. Only he did not weep at the boy, or at me. He wept at the demon. And then, slowly, he put a great wing around the demon, covering him whole. The demon shook and raged and hissed and spat and convulsed, beneath the feathers, which were as white as winter, shaking and trembling.

And then, at last, the demon knelt, until there was just a gentle quaking there within. The demon was there, his face hidden from the sun, weeping, too. In great and wracking sobs. It was as if all the pain that had ever been was leaving him at last. His tears were as black as midnight. I looked down at him, and saw him for the first time. He was not a boy at all. His skin was young, but his eyes were older than dust. That was why the demon had roared at him. And at last, just for a moment, I saw. My father had been wrong. And his father before him, and his father before him, just like the hermit, the doctor, and the priest.

My angels were not meant to conquer, and my demons to tempt, nor both to fight one another, one ever pitted against the other. The more that any being tried to fight this battle, the less they could ever win it, for it was never meant to be in the first place. I had been made, born, created right, true, and just all along, just as every being is. My angels had cried, and my demons had loved. I had thought this was all wrong, and needed to be changed, just as we all do.

I had spent my whole life misunderstanding life. I had thought my angels were weeping for me, and my demons roaring at me. But that was never true at all. My demons roared at death, the creator. The creator of suffering and grief and time. And my angels wept for my demons. Because death was the creator of love, beauty, and truth, in that way, too. Only I, only any being, had to let all that be, just as it was. To have the courage and grace and impossibility to let it unfold just as it should.

To let my demons roar bitterly at death. To let my angels put their white wings around those very demons. And for them both, together, to weep. For the pain in the beauty and the beauty in the darkness. Then, at last, there was happiness. The only happiness that there needed to be.

Not the end of suffering. When the plague starts, the Church takes an interest and begins to investigate whether Maria is actually possessed by demons. Cayetano, a gifted young priest, is assigned to her case and he comes to understand that the Devil is actually pretty weak when compared to two great forces: The disease of rabies has always been loaded with myths and otherworldly references. As it is transmitted by animal bites, it has been associated with creatures from all fantasy spectrums, from werewolves and vampires to the Devil himself.

Furthermore, the psychological implications of the virus and the way in which victims were dying helped in elevating rabies to the sphere of the metaphysical and the unexplainable. The atmosphere of magic and exoticism is further emphasized by the setting of the story. The port is ripe with commerce, slavery is still going strong.

These factors comprise a multicultural society, an amalgam of ethnicities, languages, religions and common beliefs. Religion can be seen either as a refuge or as an excuse to exert power on the helpless. A Bishop who would like to show how open-minded he is when he only aims at imposing his beliefs on everyone.

An Abbess that cannot see in front of her nose, serving the malicious fundamentalism of the monasteries. And a priest that tries to fight against madness to save a girl who moves between two worlds, a presence full of secrets and contradictions.

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A fable, an exotic allegory that shows how human beings can do the worst evil imaginable. Not any demon, not any devil but men. View all 22 comments. This book starts off very slowly and almost slyly, as if someone has started telling a long-winded story and you're really not paying attention, and then, halfway through the story you realize that you're hanging onto every word. If Garcia Marquez explored the metaphor or love as a disease in "Love in the Time of Cholera", then here he centers his story around the metaphor of love as madness and demonic possession.

I think the metaphor actually works better than the cholera one. This book feels This book starts off very slowly and almost slyly, as if someone has started telling a long-winded story and you're really not paying attention, and then, halfway through the story you realize that you're hanging onto every word. His writing is so exquisite that it appears effortless, and it feels effortless to read. Also, this book focuses on one incident during a very short period of time and therefore reads very differently than Garcia Marquez's more famous extensive sagas. I think this form shows off his writing even more.

One of the other reasons why I particularly liked this book is that I actually liked the main male character, Cayetano Delaura. There's something very sincere and genuine about him. I highly recommend this book -- it's not a long read, and it's a very enjoyable one. View all 10 comments. This girl was an alleged miracle-worker. I really enjoyed this one in particular. A trigger-warning for torture and pedophilia. View all 4 comments. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. When they informed his father there was nothing to do and she would soon die. The girl became ill and was very ill because of what was thought to be possessed by a demon and the bishop recommended taking her to the convent of Santa Clara to be exorcised.

The bishop ordered Father Cayetano Delaura to take charge of the exorcisms of the girl, but he ended up obsessed with her and the bishop removed him from convent and sent him to care for lepers. In spite of that, Maria and Cayetano were seen every night secretly in the convent and they fell madly in love wrapped in an indescribable ecstasy.

Cayetano and Mary continued to see each other secretly until the nuns discovered and sent Cayetano to take care of the lepers for the rest of his life. Mary never knew why Cayetano never returned and was exorcised by the bishop, who cut her long hair and kept her locked because the signs of demonic possession only increased.

Mary stopped eating and died, always wondering why Cayetano never returned. Instead of writing a review by jotting down my bleak understanding of the glorious book by Gabo I thought of weaving a little tale based on it and using the characters along with the principle symbolism in the book- 'Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses' As always I,Father Delaura lost focus and stumbled on my way to the Bishop's room where I was invited to witness an eclipse. In the cloistered silence I found the bishop in a pensive mood holding a smoked Instead of writing a review by jotting down my bleak understanding of the glorious book by Gabo I thought of weaving a little tale based on it and using the characters along with the principle symbolism in the book- 'Disbelief is more resistant than faith because it is sustained by the senses' As always I,Father Delaura lost focus and stumbled on my way to the Bishop's room where I was invited to witness an eclipse.

In the cloistered silence I found the bishop in a pensive mood holding a smoked glass in his hand for looking at the sun. I wanted to tell him I have fallen for the possessed girl I was supposed to exorcise. I wanted to shriek at him, implore him, beg at his feet to condone my misgivings on faith in spite of being an eminent priest and a renowned Father and a dutiful librarian. But I couldn't come to terms with my own imbecility and indecision. The sun has always been the sigil of a pristine presence, a God,an indomitable focus of energy.

The Bishop could see the eclipse through the smoked glass and said that wherever he looked he could still the see the eclipse. His faith in God was undoubted and his arguments supporting his faith were insurmountable. He always came up with the most cleverest and undeterred of arguments favouring his position. He had faith, he had focus, he closed one of his eyes and through the smoked glass could relish the sight of the Eclipse. He requested me to look at the eclipse but with focus and using only one of eyes as the eclipse will go away in a few hours.

In my state of perpetual distraction I looked at the eclipse with both my eyes without using the smoked glass and ended up nearly burning my retinas in the process. I covered my afflicted eye with a dark patch. I tried telling the Bishop of my doubts regarding the satanic possession of the girl and maybe rabies was the true reason behind the girl's instability and the girl should be left in the deft hands of doctors or physicians to come up with a cure.

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Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez

As we proceeded with the discussion,I tried to reason with him but he came up with an invincible ambiguity which left me more perplexed than defeated. I had always loved reading books ranging from the religious ones in Latin to the forbidden 'books of chivalry' until one day I was deprived of my decrepit copy of 'Amadis of Gaul' and was coerced to devote my absolute faith in God rather than immersing myself in frivolities of chivalry. Mustering my aspirations to save the girl, I went to the physician who was the first person outside the immediate noble family of the Marquis who was made aware of the Girl's instability ,which as his scientific capacity of a doctor would decree, said that the dog bite might be the the cause of the Girl's distress.

The physician,a man of scholarly disposition with a chaotic and a dubious past invited me in devoid of any apprehension. He was not a bit disconcerted to allow a man of religion to enter his house.

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I was fascinated with the amount of books on his shelves. I was impressed by his Latin speaking skills and he showed me the forbidden book I was deprived of in my younger days-'the four volumes of Amadis of Gaul'. I gave a glance of awe over the precious edition and I could feel my other half of my being, my sunburnt eye plunging into the throes of ephemeral recuperation. We discussed about books and scientific things which were deemed prohibited and leaned over the line of heresy. I shared my heartfelt concern of the affected Girl with the physician.

I inadvertently confessed my love for her. I was ready to accept science as the only mechanism of curing the Girl. I was left alone with my chaotic conscience. I was enmeshed with an unconquerable quandary, an eternal paradox of religion and science; my pair of eyes which helped me visualize and drink in the beauty of the world in tandem yet I was made to choose between the two in order to save the girl I loved.

I lacked focus in science, held a wavering devotion towards God. It was written in the destiny of the Girl and in our fate of wishful togetherness that she would be saved only by one of the two,as seen through one of my eyes. The Girl was everything to me, the love of my life, the burning sensation in my loins, the apple of my eye and the Indomitable Sun. My cravings drove me back and forth between the erudition of the Physician and the unflinching faith of the Bishop.


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I was lost in distraction in the whirlpool of the eternal question-Science or God? Rabies or Demonic possession? Maybe the demon really possessed her or maybe she really had rabies. Distraught and vexed I tried looking at the Sun, I tried to savour the beauty of the eclipse with both my eyes gifted by God and backed by science, then I heard the ululating chants of 'Vade Retro' beating mercilessly on my ear drums, I felt the whirlpool taking me along it's dreadful path as the sun seared my eyes with a betrayed pain of faith and the treacherous agony of science.

View all 11 comments. Marquez fans, lovers of beautiful language. This was not the first book of Marquez's that I have read. I read Love in the Time of Cholera when I was in my late teens. I found it so utterly surreal and unlike anything I had ever experienced before.


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  8. I wasn't sure if I liked it, precisely, but I knew that I wanted more. I was gripped by it, possessed by it, which was not quite the same experience as 'liking' a novel, exactly. The next one I picked up after that was this one. Of Love and Other Demons. I can safely say that I felt the same way This was not the first book of Marquez's that I have read. I can safely say that I felt the same way about this one, but with a deeper familiarity that allowed me to experience it on a deeper level than the first.

    I feel like I am suspended in space while reading his novels, in some world where standards and morality and interpretation don't really matter all that much. It is deeply enchanting. As magical realism, it succeeds brilliantly. The subject matter is rather heavy, but I didn't feel heavy while reading this in the slightest. It takes a special writer to produce that effect, in my opinion.

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    She receives attention from a priest, Father Cayetano, who is kind to her and initially believes she doesn't need to be exorcised. Father Cayetano falls in love with Sierva Maria and declares her his love; he soon begins visiting Sierva in her cell in secret, climbing up from the sewer that in future is fixed. They eat, sleep, and recite poetry together, even though it doesn't appear that they are sexually involved. Later Father Cayetano is sent away to a leper hospital where he hopes to get the disease but never does.

    Sierva Maria in the meantime is last summoned to be exorcised and she eventually dies 'of love' wondering where Father Cayetano is and after having her hair cut. After her death her hair magically grows back on her skull. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification.

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