Thursday, October 7, 2010

Mario Vargas Llosa Wins the Nobel Prize!

Finally!!! After years of handing out Nobel Prizes to people almost nobody knows and absolutely nobody reads, the Nobel committee conferred the prize to the impossibly talented Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa. Of course, I am convinced that while Juan Goytisolo is living giving the Nobel Prize to anybody else is a joke. But then again, Goytisolo - the most gifted writer of the second half of the XXth century in the world - is way too good for the Nobel.

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!


KT said...

Guess what I did immediately after watching the announcement live this morning, I ordered three books of his on Amazon. (I'm convinced that Amazon is always one of the winners of the Nobel boon every year, considering how many people will buy his books today just because of the announcement.)

The ones I ordered were "The Bad Girl" (it had a catchy title), "The Feast of the Goat" and "The storyteller."

I look forward to relishing this new meal with delight.

sarcozona said...

You are doing terrible, terrible things to my already overwhelming wish list

Clarissa said...

KT: Ah, "The Feast of the Goat" is SO good. You will enjoy it immensely, I promise. If you need the historical background on that, I'm always there. :-)

Clarissa said...

sarcozona: now that I've seen your wishlist, I want most of the items on it as well. :-) So you've had your revenge. :-)

Sue Alteza Real said...

I read your response regarding Vargas Llosa on the "Classical Liberal" blog and posted a response there. In Spanish, the political terms "liberal" and "libertario" are synonymous. MVL identifies as such.

Clarissa said...

I hate "working as a dictionary", but just this once:



liberal: socialdemócrata, demócrata, progresista, independiente, libre, abierto, tolerante.



Libertario: eximente, redentor, anárquico, ácrata, anarquista

Referring to VL with any of these words is kind of ridiculous.

Please, in the future, try consulting a dictionary first.

Sue Alteza Real said...

Not all dictionaries provide all precise and accurate definitions. That's one reason why there is an abundant variety of them. The definitions you provide above without citing the source are flawed and incomplete.

"Liberal" fails to mention the original classical definition of the word as associated with laissez faire capitalism.

The political definitions of "Libertario" only refer to anarchists. There ARE marxist-anarchist "libertario" movements in Latin American that for some unknown reason have borrowed that term from capitalist libertarianism. However, the original definition of "liberario" in European langauges refers to one who essentially advocates limited government; a market economy not politically manipulated by government; secular law and government with social tolerance and equal rights under the law for all; and a neutral, non-interventionist foreign policy with international trade and commmerce.

I suggest you read this if you haven't already:

Clarissa said...

I understand that you know better than Academia Real, but, honestly, nobody here is in need of your uninformed lectures. This is not the kind of a blog where anybody is likely to buy your Teabagger philosophy.

If you want to keep trying to convince yourself that there are other Teabaggers out there and this isn't an exclusively American brand of insanity, that's up to you. But you've got to know that outside the Teabagger coterie nobody is buying this junk.