Mario Vargas Llosa and the importance of “keeping written Spanish alive”

Vargas Llosa with the Chilean writer Jorge Edwards (left) and in the center, Toni Cantó, director of the Office for the Spanish language of the Community of Madrid

Today it took place An encounter for the culture of freedom in the Spanish municipality of San Lorenzo de El Escorial full of culture, education, politics, economics and journalism. They organized the Vargas Llosa Chair and the International Foundation for Freedom. Mario Vargas Llosa was present, who stated that the Chair that bears his name, created ten years ago when he received the award, “by some friends without telling me anything”, will work “to keep written Spanish alive through periodic meetings and a constant communication between those who believe in this language ”.

The writer confessed that he seeks “to bring Spanish-language writers closer together so that there is constant communication, friendship and, above all, very constant literary exchanges”. A task that has been entrusted to “three outstanding people from the Ibero-American cultural world”, who will be the ones who will direct the Chair in this new stage: Raul Tola, from Peru, Ramiro Villapadierna, from Spain, and Darío Loperfido, from Argentina. Of them he has said that “they will lead the efforts so that the Chair grows and fulfills its objectives”.

Representatives from the world of culture, education, academics, businessmen, politicians and journalists participated in the cycle held in El Jaral de la Mira by Mario Sandoval, “people from 22 countries on both sides of the Atlantic,” he said. Gerardo Bongiovanni, member of the Board of Directors of the International Foundation for Freedom.

Mario Vargas Llosa During his speech, he also highlighted the work carried out by the Chair since its creation: the awards, the agreements with the universities, the promotion of literature, and he predicted that its activity will be more ambitious by the hand of an institution such as the Foundation International for Freedom, chaired by him and created 19 years ago to coordinate “the activities of the liberal institutions of Spain, North America and South America.”

Isabel Preysler and Mario Vargas Llosa
Isabel Preysler and Mario Vargas Llosa

His son Álvaro, who inaugurated the central part of the day, has insisted that it is an event with the ambition of “permanence in time, institutionalized each year, which is, at the same time, a celebration of freedom and freedom. culture, and also a private fundraising act to give the Vargas Llosa Chair autonomy, moral, political and financial independence ”.

For their part, the three directors, apart from thanking the entrusted task, have shown themselves willing to promote “work with universities, with different associations that are committed to culture and a very close work with the Guadalajara International Book Fair” , in the words of Raul Tola. What Ramiro Villapadierna has added the “moral commitment in a time in which we live a recession of freedoms”. Something that has seconded Darío Loperfido, which, in addition, has stated that “the two slogans of culture and freedom are essential for me”, and that the Chair, by linking both, has to promote literary activity and offer a space for reflection.

Culture, the commitment to promoting freedom and the gastronomy of Spain and Latin America have merged on the agenda of the day. The Hispanic-Peruvian bullfighter Andrés Roca Rey made a temptation to a bull behind closed doors before the intervention of the Nobel Prize for Literature. On the other hand, the meal consisted of an Ibero-American lunch prepared by the chef Mario sandoval with which the Peruvian chef collaborated Jose Olave. In addition, the first edition of the ‘Escribidores’ Literature Festival was presented, organized by the Vargas Llosa Chair and the ‘La Térmica’ cultural center in Malaga.

The Vargas Llosa Chair plans to organize a similar annual day with the aim of promoting culture and literary creation, supporting writers, intellectuals and journalists, as well as contributing to promoting art and intercultural exchange, stimulating reading and promoting scholarships and innovative projects, among many other initiatives.


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Mario Vargas Llosa and the importance of “keeping written Spanish alive”