Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Time of the Hero by Mario Vargas Llosa

The Time of the Hero was published in 1961 when Llosa was 25- it was immediately burned by the authorities for exposing the perversities of the Military Academy that was supposed to churn out candidates who would then hopefully join the military.

The novel is tedious in the first half, and begins to make better sense after the first 250 pages. The patience is worth it- all the elements of the future Llosa are there, even as the impact of William Faulker is very much evident.

There are multiple narratives, shifts in time and space, and in the battle between the reader and the writer, the initial incursive strides of the reader in the first 250 pages are shortlived.

The triumph of the writer thereafter is rapid, and unassailable.

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