Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 goes to political literature

My post on Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine has generated traffic - I'd like to thank you for reading that. IVF was such an important invention that allowed continuation of humanity.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010 trended on Twitter after its announcement. What's special about the winner? He must have touched the various walks of life with his achievement.

The prize went to Mario Vargas Llosa.

Mario Vargas Llosa nobel prize in literature 2010 laureate


Citation for his award reads

"for his cartography of structures of power and histrenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat"

He's a Peruvian author born to Ernesto Vargas Maldonado and Dora Llosa Ureta on March 28, 1936 in Arequipa, Peru. Against a backdrop of sweeping waves of creativity that turned Latin America into an engine for global change, Mario is one of the key figure in this renaissance.

He rose to fame with his novels, starting with The Time of the Hero (1963), which brought an immediate impact. Drawing from his schooling experience in a military academy and attacking both Peruvian military traditions and the rigidity of Peruvian society, the novel remains one of the controversial piece. In response, the army organised a book burning at his alma mater.

A politically committed writer, he has always remained a controversial figure. Initially a Marxist, throughout his life he shifted his stance to centre-right but his works remained with a consistency of hostility to authoritarianism, commitment to freedom and individuality that made him skeptical to collective identities. His works explored on the interrelationship between politics and individual and private histories of nations.

He ran for the President of Peru in 1990 unsuccessfully. No longer interested in professional politics, he continued to take part in politics through his pen. He has always been experimental in his writing, from The Conversation in the Cathedral (1969), characterized by its seriousness and darkness; to a playful, comic one - Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (1977). He moved to the historical genre in The War of the End of the World (1981).

His works has been translated into multiple languages, making him an international success. Besides being a novelist, he's also a noted journalist and essayist.

What will I say about him in short? He's a champion for freedom of speech in politics.

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