Mario Vargas Llosa gets the Nobel, at long last!

A Swedish academy, long specialized in awarding obscure writers, on occasion gets it right even if late.  Mario Vargas Llosa should have gotten the literature prize at least a decade ago, but I suppose better late than never.  As such he joins Garcia Marquez, my own favorite even if his political views are distasteful to say the least.  On this respect Vargas Llosa has embraced modernity and democracy which in a way might have delayed his award since the Swedish academy has a tendency to favor more engaged writers though the engagement of Vargas Llosa leaves no doubt.

I have come late to Vargas Llosa.  Years ago I tried to read Pantaleon y las Visitadoras and dropped it after 20 pages.  However I read most of his articles and assays in papers for his unapologetic defense of democracy, individual responsibility and material and moral progress for all, no excuses, no silly political correctness.  No wonder he has become one of the greatest international enemies of the Chavez regime who stands unapologetically for mediocrity and living at the expense of others.

I had to wait for my dengue moment last December to read La Fiesta del Chivo.  Constantly tired I could not read it fast even though it was griping.  It was better that way because the speed made me realize how much I had missed.  Truly, if you have not read this book about the description on how absolute power corrupts absolutely, do not wait any more: it is now Nobel certified.  And it will bring home many aspects of the Chavez nature, by the way.

But I am tickled pink also because finally the Nobel recognizes Latin American literature as the best one of the second half of the XX century.  I mean it.  I will give a very honorable second place to US literature for that period, but from 1960 until La Fiesta del Chivo, too many world masterpieces are this side of the border (France has stopped counting long ago and the other have on occasion a good shine here and there but no language can beat the production of the Spanish language since 1960).  It is just too bad that the Nobel has lasted so long to fess up, and we will always wonder why Borges did not get it.  Spain is quite proud by the way and El Pais gives you 10 essential links to Vargas Llosa.  Of course they are, Vargas Llosa adopted the double nationality 20 years ago.