Friday, January 9, 2015

Anticipation: Magical Realism

 Just one glance at her face was enough for Maria to know that no amount of pleading would move that maniac in coveralls who was called Herculina because of her uncommon strength. She was in charge of difficult cases, and two inmates had been strangled to death by her polar bear arm skilled in the art of killing by mistake.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez 
from "I Only Came to Use the Phone"
in Strange Pilgrims

Skilled in the art of killing by mistake. How delicious is that, particularly those of you -- us -- who loathe the world of medicine for reasonable and unreasonable reasons.


  1. Reminds me of my days doing clinicals at Chattahootchie. At the mental hospital there. State mental hospital. They still had rooms with things to tie people to the beds. Restraints. Yeah. It was hell. We were baking cookies once with some of the patients (inmates) and we asked this one seemingly totally normal chick why she was there. She hemmed and hawed a bit and then said, "Well, I killed someone at the last place I was at."
    We offered her an extra cookie.
    But that wasn't a nurse and that quote was perfect and I've never read that book and I should.

  2. I hadn't quite considered that I loathe the world of medicine, but now that you mention it....

  3. Definite love hate thing here...

  4. Ahh, Marquez! Ahh, Cuckoo's Nest (book and film). Love this quote. I haven't read this collection. It's now on my list. Thanks, Elizabeth!



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