In Praise of Reading and Fiction The Nobel Lecture

Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Edith Grossman

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

0374175756

9780374175757

Hardcover

48 Pages

$16.00

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On December 7, 2010, Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His Nobel Lecture is a resounding tribute to fiction’s power to inspire readers to greater ambition, to dissent, and to political action. “We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist,” Vargas Llosa writes. “Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute—the foundation of the human condition—and should be better.” Vargas Llosa’s lecture is a powerful argument for the necessity of literature in our lives today. For, as he eloquently writes, “literature not only submerges us in the dream of beauty and happiness but alerts us to every kind of oppression.”

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Praise for In Praise of Reading and Fiction

Praise for Mario Vargas Llosa:
 
“The bold, dynamic and endlessly productive imagination of the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the writing giants of our time, is something truly to be admired . . . As with any great writer, [he] makes us see clearly what we have been looking at all the while but never noticed.”—Alan Cheuse, San Francisco Chronicle

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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IN PRAISE OF READING AND FICTION (Begin Reading)

I LEARNED TO READ AT THE AGE OF FIVE, in Brother Justiniano’s class at the De la Salle Academy in Cochabamba, Bolivia. It is the most important thing that has ever happened to me. Almost seventy years later, I remember clearly how the magic of translating the words in books into images enriched my life, breaking the barriers of time and space and allowing me to travel with Captain Nemo twenty thousand leagues under the sea, fight with d’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis against the intrigues threatening the queen in the days of

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Mario Vargas Llosa; Translated by Edith Grossman

  • Mario Vargas Llosa is the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature “for his cartography of the structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.” Peru’s foremost writer, he has been awarded the Cervantes Prize, the Spanish-speaking world’s most distinguished literary honor, and the Jerusalem Prize. His many works include The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The War of the End of the World, and The Storyteller. He lives in London.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa Morgana Vargas Llosa
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