Mario Vargas Llosa is a wonderful writer whose ideas have interrupted him Velid El-Astal

Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa says: “Times pass by boring political stances, but the great novel remains influential and timeless.”

In 1993, Mario Vargas Llosa published his novel The Goat Party, a wonderful product of an impressively elaborate narrative technique, put at the service of a strong and clear political vision. The novel immerses us in the heart of the assassination of the Dominican dictator Trujillo in 1961, revealing as a scanner its social and political context.

Every part of reality takes shape and reality through multiple parallel readings. As we read it, we find ourselves moving vaguely, sometimes even in the middle of a sentence, from the objective description of an event to the real-time experience of that event by its various protagonists and then to the point of view given by it. others years later. She who discovers its meaning or confronts it with its consequences.

His historical novel “Feast of the Goat” is more true than the story itself. It draws its strength from its symphonic character and from its multiple dimensions, it also generates an impressive image of this dictatorship, of its leader – smart, cruel and literary – and its methods of governing surrounded by its partners, which is a moving network. of privileges and shame, which he plays sadistically.

Llosa’s most famous novel, The War of the Apocalypse, tells the story of the Canodos War in northeastern Brazil in the nineteenth century. It is an amazing mural of human aspirations in a world where a utopia still holds its place. The reader is taken to unfamiliar places – Saratay – where the poverty of life is largely offset by the hope for a better world, as evidenced by the characters who follow the messianic figure of the “Chancellor”. In my opinion, this novel is the theme of the hour, in which social and religious issues are addressed, through a society obsessed with its reactionary stagnation in the hands of great wealth.

It is a novel that has the primary and essential allure of Jules Verne’s idyllic city and makes me think especially of Jules Verne’s “Survivors of Jonathan” as well as his son Michel. man surrenders to it instead of denial; The characters have the power of reality. In the 1980s, when circumstances often – due to the prevailing culture of presentation – were more important than the message, this novel carried utopia and high hopes. In other words, she said two big words at the time. This is definitely what gives it strength. This novel is an opportunity to continue believing in a small human being.

It is as fascinating as it is embarrassing to read. In it, Llosa pushes us to address the issue of a group of religious fanatics who completely reject Cartesian rationalism and the republican values ​​that form the basis of our society today. The plot, based on a true story, takes place in the late nineteenth century, in a remote part of the nascent Republic of Brazil. Although I have not read this novel for a long time, I still have a special sympathy for its characters who seem to have discovered the truth of the heart, immersed in an ideology that today seems both outdated and perverted.

The contrast between the defenders of the nascent Republic of Brazil and these utopians can not help but remind us of the contrast we are seeing today, with another kind of religious fanatic.

Among Llosa’s great novels are Aunt Julia and the screenwriter, a novel steeped in humor and teenage love, A Jewel That Shakes Lima of the 1950s Trembling, a novel about the magic of a lost city. It is also a ode to literature, a wonderful poem for the act of writing, narrating and honoring narrative experiences initiated by Balzac and Flaubert.

This novel is a kind of autobiography of Vargas Llosa. Her fluid writing, rich and easy, fills me with pleasure and joy and Llosa’s nostalgia for Lima in the 1950s.

It’s also Dogs and the City, which is Llosa’s first work and the second I read about it after Puppies. Written in the 1960s (in an attic in the Latin Quarter of Paris), this novel is startling with its very original rhythm of dialogue, its description of the violent world of cadets in Leoncio Prado’s military school, and its analytical relationship orientation. between characters. The whole presents a picture of Peruvian society in the mid-20th century. The main character “Poet” is clearly inspired by the young Vargas Llosa, so who knows a little about his biography will find it in many of his other works.

There is also the novel “A Conversation in the Cathedral”, which is considered one of the most important books of Vargas Llosa, as it has found great interest and wide echo among Peruvian intellectuals. You will understand why I say this when you read what Llosa has to say about Peru and its political history, it is impossible to avoid changing your perspective on Peruvian society, especially in Lima after reading it. I read this novel ten years ago and was amazed by this writer’s great ability to express human feelings, attitudes and issues.

Lituma in the Andes is a true, intense and fascinating thriller. Andes in the background, serrated and majestic, the last refuge of the “eye-ice” Indians and Sergeant Laetuma, a coastal man, must solve a mystery. This story mixes Berut’s horrific truth, stained with blood shed by bloody terror, with the serene reality of a police investigation.

With the help of his troubled and brilliant assistant, Lituma finds himself facing the most heinous murders, like the murder of two French professors on a bus to Cuzco. Against the backdrop of a burning guerrilla war, popular practices emerged that were haunted by the Inca sacrificial rituals. I passionately liked this novel, either because of its cruel or sometimes ridiculous plot, or because of its political dimension. An image of Berut reappears in a state of complete drowning, while the gods seem to be still powerful. The silence of this story impressed me, as it helped to make the icy winds coming down from the “rough Andean front” palpable.

Henry Miller says, “He who knows how to read a man is good at reading his books,” so I think it is important to touch, even quickly, Llosa’s change of mind.

Llosa’s ideas were changed by the reading of great thinkers such as Adam Smith, Karl Popper, Friedrich von Hayek, Isaiah Berlin and Ortega y Gasset. Where he acknowledged this in his book The Tribal Appeal. Another issue should not be overlooked, which is his seven-year stay in France (1959-1966), during which he was influenced by the ideas of Albert Camus and he admits that his stay in France was a fundamental turning point in the life of his. . Nor can we neglect his reading of the testimonies of dissident intellectuals from the Soviet Union and their profound influence on it.

Llosa’s transition from Marxism to liberalism caused a final rift between him and the great writers (Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez), especially with the owner of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” with whom he had a close friendship. The immortal Cuban Castro is a dictator and his regime is considered one of the worst dictatorships in Latin America, while the three literary names I mentioned were supporters of Castro and his regime.

Finally, I do not miss the reference to Llosa’s candidacy for the 1990 presidency and his failure in it.

The most important thing Llosa taught me is that there is another way to read the novel, as he created in me his love for it and put me on the literary paths in Latin America, so his Nobel Prize in Literature in The year 2010 was not only an important event in his life, but also in my life, because he knew me with him.

This is just a little bit about a great man named Mario Vargas Llosa, who said one day: I write because I’m sad.

Leave a Comment