Historical Figures

Mario Vargas Llosa

Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa , was born on March 28, 1936 in the city of Arequipa. His parents were Ernesto Vargas, flight operator of the Panagra airline, and Dora Llosa, a lady from Arequipa. Mario Vargas Llosa began his primary studies at the La Salle school in Cochabamba (Bolivia). In 1945 his maternal family traveled to Piura and Mario was enrolled in the Salesian school. Two years later, as a teenager, he had to face the reappearance of his father, whom he believed dead, and the subsequent move of the family to the capital. He initially studied at the La Salle school and was later interned at the Leoncio Prado military school, an experience that -according to his own testimony- defined his literary vocation from his conflictive confrontation with the rigid institutional discipline and the multicultural and multiethnic reality represented by his classmates. He finished his secondary education in Piura at the San Miguel school and at the San Miguel school and in 1953 he entered the University of San Marcos, where he studied Literature and some Law courses . By then he was already collaborating in some newspapers and had written poetry and plays. He married his aunt-in-law Julia Urquidi, a lady born in Chile, in 1955, getting various jobs to cope with his new responsibilities. One of these was the one in charge of the literary column in the Sunday Supplement of El Comercio . The Revue Française convened in 1957 a short story contest. whose biggest prize was a trip to Paris. Vargas Llosa sent the story "The challenge", which would later appear in his first book, The bosses . As the winner of the contest, he traveled to France the following year, where he stayed for a month, being interviewed in the City of Light by the newspaper Le Fígaro . Back in Peru, he devoted himself to completing his university thesis Bases for an interpretation of Rubén Darío .

Publication of his books

Initiating a prolonged self-exile he returned to Europe in 1959, working as a journalist for French Radio Television. The storybook of him The bosses That year he won the Leopoldo Alas award. In 1963 he published his first novel, The City and the Dogs , which had won the contest Brief Library of the publisher Seix Barral , and the Spanish critics award. During those years, like many other writers and intellectuals, he declared himself in favor of the Cuban revolution led by Fidel Castro, from which he would distance himself in the following decade. Mario Vargas Llosa married Patricia Llosa for the second time (1965), with whom he had three children :Alvaro, Gonzalo and Morgana. That same year he was a member of the jury for the Casa de las Américas award, later traveling to London, where he taught at Queen Mary College. He published in 1966 his novel The Green House , awarded the following year with the Spanish critics' prize and the Rómulo Gallegos prize for the best novel in the Spanish language. After publishing the story The Puppies , he released his third novel Conversation in the Cathedral (1969), later moving to the United States, where he served as writer-in-residence at Washington State University. Around that time he also taught at the University of Puerto Rico. In 1970 he settled in Barcelona and the following year he published Gabriel García Márquez:history of a deicide and he presented his doctoral thesis at the Complutense University of Madrid. From 1974 he lived alternately between Europe and Peru, ceaselessly publishing works of literary creation as well as essays and journalistic articles. His novel, The war of the end of the world , the only one not set in Peru, won the Ritz Paris Hemingway Award in 1985. The following year he was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature and two years later the Gold Medal of the Americas.

Mario Vargas Llosa and politics

In 1986 Mario Vargas Llosa returned to establish his residence in Peru. On July 28 of the following year, the then President of the Republic, Alan García Pérez, decreed the nationalization of the financial system. Vargas Llosa led a demonstration in opposition to this measure, which was called "Encounter for freedom", held on August 21 in San Martín square. Along with Miguel Cruchaga and other collaborators he subsequently founded (March 15, 1988) the Freedom Movement. For the general elections of 1990, this movement, together with Popular Action and the Popular Christian Party, formed the Democratic Front (Fredemo) , which registered the candidacy of Mario Vargas Llosa for the presidency of the Republic. The writer managed to capture the support of a large part of the electorate, which allowed him to emerge victorious in the first round of elections for the presidency in Peru. However, on June 10, 1990, he surprisingly lost the final election to Alberto Fujimori. Mario Vargas Llosa moved to Europe, establishing his residence between Madrid and London.

Back to Europe

In 1993 Mario Vargas Llosa assumed Spanish nationality, while he has continued writing without pause and has added new awards to his career, for example the degree of commander of the Order of Arts and Letters awarded by the French government.; the 1993 Planeta Award for his novel Lituma en los Andes; the Miguel de Cervantes Award 1994; the 1995 Jerusalem Prize; and the 1996 German Book Fair Peace Prize for his efforts to promote the culture of freedom. In January of this last year he was solemnly incorporated into the Royal Spanish Academy of Language, being the only Hispanic American in the 20th century who has achieved a seat in said institution . The recognitions received by Vargas Llosa have been the Jorge Isaacs prize, awarded by the Cali Art Festival, and the honorary doctorate from Harvard University, both in 1999.

Other works by Mario Vargas Llosa

Other works of his are Pantaleon and the visitors (1973), a novel whose argument has served as the basis for the film of the same name filmed by Francisco Lombardi in 1998; The perpetual orgy:Flaubert and Madame Bovary (1975); Aunt Julia and the writer (1977); The lady from Tacna (1981), a play published and premiered in Buenos Aires; Between Sartre and Camus (essays); Kathie and the hippo (1983), which is published and premiered in Caracas, during the International Theater Festival; Against all odds (1983), a collection of political and literary essays; Mayta's story (1984); The chunga (1986); Who killed Palomino Molero? (1986); The talker (1987); In Praise of Stepmother (1988); The truth of the lies, essays (1990); The fish in the water (1993); Pretty eyes, ugly pictures (nineteen ninety six); The archaic utopia. José María Arguedas and the fictions of indigenism (nineteen ninety six); Don Rigoberto's notebooks (1997); The Feast of the Goat (2000).

Vargas Llosa is awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature

Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature on October 7, 2010. The acceptance speech, entitled In Praise of Reading and Fiction , gave it in the Great Hall of the Swedish Academy on December 7. Three days later King Carl XVI Gustaf awarded this prize.
He currently lives in Madrid (Spain) and occasionally travels to Peru.

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