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MARIO VARGAS LLOSA, RENOWNED LATIN AMERICAN WRITER, IN RESIDENCE AT BARD COLLEGE DURING OCTOBER AS PART OF THE CONTEMPORARY MASTERS SERIES Vargas Llosa gives public talk on October 12; teaches open class on October 14
Emily M. Darrow
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.—As part of Norman Manea’s “Contemporary Masters” series, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa—whose career has ranged from fiction to criticism to politics—will give a public talk titled, “Cervantes and Don Quijote” at Bard College on Thursday, October 12, at 7:00 p.m. in Olin Hall; and teach a public “Open Class” on Saturday, October 14, at 10:00 a.m. in room 115 of the Olin Language Center. All events are free and open to the public.
“I am very pleased to have him as my guest,” says Norman Manea, Francis Flournoy Professor in European Studies and Culture and writer in residence at Bard. “It is almost 30 years since I first wrote about him while I was in Paris, and I am an old admirer of his work. We first met in person in 1990 in Mexico City, at a very important conference about the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. This is a very good opportunity to have him as an interlocutor. During his classes at Bard, he will discuss his literary and political essays and their connection to his novels The War at the End of the World, Conversation in the Cathedral, and The Feast of the Goat.”
“He is one of our greatest and most influential novelists,” states the Los Angeles Times of Vargas Llosa. “In the world of fiction his continued exploration of the often-perilous intersection of politics and life has enriched 20th-century literature.” He is also the author of A Fish in the Water—a memoir of his foray into Peruvian politics when he lost a bitter 1990 presidential election to Alberto Fujimori, whose authoritarian and scandal-ridden rule lasted for 10 years. In 1995, Vargas Llosa was awarded two of the world’s most distinguished literary honors, the Cervantes Prize and the Jerusalem Prize.
Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1936. He studied literature and law at the University of San Marcos in Lima from 1955–57 before attending graduate school in Spain at the University of Madrid, where he received his Ph.D. in 1959. He wrote his dissertation on his soon-to-be Colombian literary peer, Gabriél García Marquéz, and his first collection of short stories, Los Jefes, appeared the same year he received his doctorate. Vargas Llosa’s first novel, The Time of the Hero, was published three years later to instant acclaim. He went on to write The Green House (1966), The War of the End of the World (1981), and The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta (1984), among other works.
A journalist since his days at the university in Lima, Vargas Llosa now uses his biweekly, syndicated column, Piedra de Toque (Touchstone), to reach readers throughout Latin America, Europe, and Japan. Both the public and working journalists read Vargas Llosa’s column, with its topics ranging from Chavez’s policies in Venezuela, to the murder of a Guatemalan bishop by a right-wing death squad, to a series of articles on daily life in Iraq during the summer of 2003. Vargas Llosa has also written about the practice and nature of journalism in the Americas in his piece titled Contra la Amnesia.
For further information about the lecture or open class, call 845-758-6822.
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This event was last updated on 10-30-2006