2010 Nobel Prize: Mario Vargas Llosa
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Mario Vargas Llosa, the Peruvian novelist has won the Nobel Prize for literature.
I agree! Bravo! One of my all-time favorites.
As for where to start, both of his (in my opinion) masterpieces are difficult, because of the interweaving of different characters and different stories, although completely worth it. They are The War at the End of the World (my favorite) and Conversation in the Cathedral (other people's favorite). I haven't read all the other Vargas Llosas that are in my library, but of the ones I have read I think I liked Death in the Andes the best.
Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter is semi-autobiographical and pretty funny as well.
I loved Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Conversation in the Cathedral (my favorite, but I haven't read The War at the End of the World yet), The Time of the Hero and The Feast of the Goat. All are quite different novels, though; The Feast of the Goat is a historical novel about the last days of Rafael Trujillo, the former dictator of the Dominican Republic, and it's a chilling and breath taking read; The Time of the Hero, Vargas Llosa's first novel, describes a scandal at a Peruvian military school that was quite controversial when it was originally published; Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, as Jane mentioned, is based on the young Vargas Llosa, in his days as a student and burgeoning writer, and his relationship with his older and recently divorced aunt; and The Conversation in the Cathedral looks at Peru in the 1950s, during the dictatorial rule of Manuel Odría, and the devastating effects that Odría's rule had on people in all levels of Peruvian society.
For something different his work Pantaleon y las visitadoras (Captain Pantoja and the Special Service) is fantastic! My first work for him and I can't stop recommending it to people. Love love love.
So happy he won the Nobel Prize.
#4-to-8 - Great suggestions, and Murr thanks for the link. So many choices... If I'm feeling brave I might look for The War at the End of the World.
Fortunately for all of us MVL has a large body of work and he continues to write. His latest novel, El sueño del celta (The Celtic's Dream), will be published in Spanish on November 3rd; it's an "adventure that begins in the Congo in 1903 and ends in a jail in London in 1916."
Today's online edition of the Guardian has a preview of an article about Mario Vargas Llosa by the novelist William Boyd that will appear in tomorrow's Guardian Review. I especially enjoyed and agreed with his comparison of Vargas Llosa to Gabriel García Márquez:
Vargas Llosa is very hard to classify and pin down as a writer: he has written short novels and very long novels, comic novels and deeply serious novels, straightforward realistic novels and recognisably South American "magic-realist" novels. Perhaps this unclassifiability has been seen as a disadvantage. Indeed, when one compares Vargas Llosa to his great South American literary rival Gabriel García Márquez one is reminded of Archilochus's old fox and hedgehog adage: "The fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows one big thing." Márquez, a hedgehog novelist if there ever was one, received his Nobel in 1982 at the age of 55. Vargas Llosa received his at the age of 74. Almost 30 years later the day of the fox has arrived – it inevitably comes around, even if it takes a little longer.
Mario Vargas Llosa: an unclassifiable Nobel winner
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