Thursday, October 7, 2010
Mario Vargas Llosa Wins the Nobel Prize!
Vargas Llosa is an amazing writer. Among the writers of the Latin American Boom, he is definitely my favorite. Vargas Llosa simply doesn't know how to write a bad sentence. His novels are complex and beautifully structured. He is even a lot less machista than other writers from Latin America. Of course, male chauvinism is still there in his books. However, unlike Garcia Marquez, who is a virulent and unrepentant woman-hater, Vargas Llosa has gone to great lengths over the years to reduce the degree of male chauvinism in his work.
Now, of course, everybody will rush to buy his books. (Maybe they will appear in Kindle format in the original). I feel extremely jealous of those who will now get a chance to read Vargas Llosa's books for the very first time. As one of my professors once said, "I really wish I get Alzheimer's when I grow old. Imagine the joy of re-dicovering all these amazing books as if you had never read them before."
If you are among the lucky readers who are about to discover Vargas Llosa, I recommend that you start with his beautiful novel The War of the End of the World. It will give you a taste of what Vargas Llosa is capable of but, at the same time, this is not one of his most difficult novels, so it will ease you into his way of writing.
In case you want to read something more recent - but still absolutely amazing - by this author, I recommend you read his The Bad Girl: A Novel. Written in 2006, this novel is an attempt by the writer to analyze the roots of male chauvinism and address machismo as a way of being that has dominated Latin America for centuries. Among the male writers of Latin America, Vargas Llosa, I believe, is the only one who at least made an effort to recognize his own machismo and look at it critically.
Congratulations to Mario Vargas Llosa and to all of us who have loved and followed his work for years!