In Praise of Vargas Llosa / Regina Coyula

A laconic note in the newspaper Granma on Friday brought me the news of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2010.

Of course I have not read his complete works. If I’m not mistaken, aside from his story, The Puppies, published by the Casa de las Americas in the sixties, the work of Vargas Llosa remains unpublished in Cuba. A few titles of his massive production have come my way, although not in the order they were published, and not all of equal importance, but I always derive satisfaction from his clean prose and a well-told story. One that made a particular impression on me was Captain Pantoja and the Special Service, the first of his novels that fell into my hands, along with The Feast of the Goat, for its dissection of tyranny, but above all Conversation in the Cathedral, a novel that ranks among my top ten, along with The Tin Drum and The Sound and the Fury.

The note in Granma warns us that because of his political position, if the people had a chance to vote he would have won the Anti-Nobel. A nice touch from the scorpions at Granma.

You see, people better informed than I have told me that Vargas Llosa said that he was reading the Cuban Alejo Carpentier’s Explosion in a Cathedral when he got the news of his award, and had even made a commercial for that novel. I very happy for Vargas Llosa. It’s a triumph for my culture.

And changing the subject, here we have China with the Nobel Peace Prize.

October 12, 2010