Vargas Llosa Keeps the Passion in His Marriage with Literature Alive
By Dialogo January 22, 2009Soon to be 73 years old, half a century after his foray into the literary world, the award-winning Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa stated in an interview published this Thursday by the Uruguayan press, that his “marriage” with literature is still “alive and passionate.” The Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti “said that his relationship with literature was adulterous, and mine was matrimonial. And that’s true, but my relationship never provoked yawning or became routine. It is a marriage that has stayed very alive and passionate,” said Vargas Llosa to the weekly Búsqueda. After finishing the essay “El Viaje a la Ficción,” set in an imaginary world in which Onetti sought refuge, the award-winning Peruvian writer, who holds 40 honorary degrees from universities all around the world, including the Sorbonne, Harvard, Yale, and Oxford, is in his homeland preparing his next work. “I am working on a novel inspired by a historical character. The protagonist is Roger Casement, an Irishman who was British Consul in the Congo at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century,” he said. “Then, during the “rubber boom,” he was in the Amazon, and wrote a devastating report about the atrocities that were committed there” against the indiginous population. He also stated that it is about “a character who lives an adventurous life, and who was a friend of the (British) writer Joseph Conrad”. In order to prepare his book, last October Vargas Llosa visited the Democratic Republic of Congo for two weeks. “It was a trip into human cruelty, a trip of which I will talk another time,” he said. The author of “La Ciudad y los Perros,” “La Guerra del Fin del Mundo,” “La Tía Julia y el Escribidor,” and “Conversación en la Catedral,” among other novels, expects to arrive in Montevideo around the middle of this year to present “El Viaje a la Ficción,” during ceremonies in memory of the centennial of Onetti's birthday (1909-1994).