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Happy Birthday to Mario Vargas Llosa

March 28, 2011

Today is the 75th Birthday of Mario Vargas Llosa, the current Nobel Laureate in Literature. Born in 1936, the Peruvian writer, politician, and journalist Mario was chosen for the Nobel Prize in Literature for “his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt and defeat.”

Vargas Llosa perhaps the most celebrated Latin American writers since Gabriel García Márquez. Some of his most famous novels are The Time of the Hero, Conversation, Green House, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, and he also penned one of my favorite novels, The Feast of the Goat. He is particularly known for the political themes in his novels, and The Feast of the Goat speaks about the horrors of the dictatorship of Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. His works have inspired not only the people of Latin American people, but people around the world.

When he received the Nobel Prize, Vargas Llosa said: “It’s very difficult for a Latin American writer to avoid politics. Literature is an expression of life, and you cannot eradicate politics from life.” He is right. It is hard for a Latin American writer to avoid politics, especially since politics is such a broadly discussed theme in our literature. As much as I say I dislike the theme, I cannot help but to think about it, and any kind of literature that has to do with dictators absolutely fascinates me. It was Vargas Llosa’s writing that inspired this interest.

Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the most memorable and significant figures in the Latin American world of literature. He has become the inspiration of hundreds. Hence, I dedicated this post to him today, because even though I write mostly in English, I have been greatly influenced by figures of the Latin American world, and I am sure I am not the only writer out there who has received these influences.


Bibliographical information and quotes taken from:
Bosman, Julie and Romero, Simon. “Vargas Llosa Takes Nobel in Literature.” The New York Times. New York Times, Oct. 7, 2010. Web. 25 Feb. 2011.
“Mario Vargas Llosa – Biographical”. Web. 25 Feb 2011.
One Comment
  1. March 31, 2011 3:24 am

    How true it is that life and writing cannot be divorced.

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