Friday, November 11, 2005

In Love with Latin America- Essays by Mario Vargas Llosa

A review of the new collection of essays by Mario Vargas Llosa (google translation in English, original in French link via the Literary Saloon). The book is not available in English. It is a pity that the English language world is bereft of many of the writings of this great Peruvian storyteller.

Marquez, his rival of sorts, finds mention in the collection:
Marquez is treated for what he is: a writer able ... to realise in memory, the imagination or the control of the men a "multiple and oceanic" world.
Even in bad, machine translation, the words ("multiple and oceanic") are mesmerizing.

a previous post,here.

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Alok said...

you seem to be a big fan of mario vargas llosa too!

his novel the war of the end of the world is one of my favourite novels of contemporary times, certainly the favourite latin american novel, even ahead of one hundred years of solitude. i think it gives great insight into the religious terrorism and madness that we see around these days and not only makes us understand it but also empathise with it, in a way.

I am yet to read lots of his other books and his non-fiction.

I love aunt julia and the scriptwriter, the feast of the goat, in praise of the step mother too. these are the only other books by him that i have read.

also it is interesting because he is stridently anti-left in his politics. how do you see him overall as a writer in light of his politics.

bhupinder singh said...

You have touched a raw nerve :-)

I am indeed a big fan of Llosa whom I consider to be even superior to Garcia Marquez (I could be wrong since I read Marquez about 13 years back, and Llosa only in the last 4 years). But he is defintely of a very high stature.

His output is highly uneven, unlike in case of Garcia Marquez. The only books I have not read fully are Conversations in the Cathedral and The Green House (both are half read as yet), but The Storyteller is one great work along with The War of the End of the World. My personal favourite is The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta.

Your point on his writing wrt his anti- left politics is something that I have been contemplating of devoting a whole post on, but I am still very much in awe of him and need some distance to evaluate better.

As of now, like Sub Commandante Marcos whose comment introduced me to Llosa in the first place- I admire his fiction “despite his ideas”.