“Borges never forgave me that in an article, which was full of admiration for him, it occurred to me to mention that there was a leak in his house,” he confessed Maria Vargas Llosa during the presentation of the still gaze (Alfaguara), a book about the Spanish writer Benito Perez Galdos, in the José Hernández room of the Book Fair. “Yesterday a Peruvian came who must work in a real estate company,” the Argentine writer ironically, deeply offended with the author of Conversation in the Cathedral, who in the eighties interviewed what he considers to be the “best prose writer in Spanish”. Vargas Llosa’s admiration for Borges “remains intact, despite his bad jokes,” acknowledged the Nobel Prize for Literature aged 86 in dialogue with journalist and writer Jorge Fernández Díaz, but clarified that the author of fictions he had “some blindness” and that on a social level “he did not understand Latin America.”
The main hall of the Fair was full: a thousand people listened to the Peruvian writer talk about literature and politics. “I have not been able to read Proust, I have finished his books with great difficulty,” admitted Vargas Llosa. I think he is a frivolous, superficial writer, I do not understand the admiration that the French profess for him”. It was not his first participation in the La Rural estate. On Friday he presented the Ibero-American Short Story Contest, organized jointly by the Mario Vargas Llosa Chair and the El Libro Foundation (FEL), the institution that organizes the Fair. Of the 14 councilors that make up the FEL, 5 opposed the signing of this agreement due to the influence of the Fundación Libertad, an institution that invited the Nobel Prize for Literature to the Fair and which is “the political instrument of the right and neoliberalism ”. On Saturday, he shared a lunch at the Los Abrojos estate with former president Mauricio Macri, in which the PP deputy, the Spanish Cayetana Álvarez de Toledo, also participated.who was sitting in the first row of the José Hernández room.
“I have little confidence in the Latin American left and I say this for my country. It is a fanatical, dogmatic left, closed to new ideas, with a distorted view of reality,” said Vargas Llosa, who at one point specified that “Marxist” was only one year of his life, when he was in college and was a member of the the Communist Party. “Mr. Putin attacks a small country and the left does not condemn. The Latin American left responds automatically to the slogans and thus there is no possibility of change. Hopefully in Argentina it is a more flexible left, but in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador it is inflexible, ”said the Peruvian narrator and essayist who had breakfast on Sunday morning with Juan José Sebreli, whom he defined as“ a person of the left ”.
“Latin America is doing much worse; the situation could not be more tragic -added the Peruvian writer-. It is very difficult to be optimistic in the face of a Latin America that is paralyzed by the new dictatorships or about to sink again into a period of violence, which is what can happen in Central America, in Colombia or in Brazil. It’s hard to be optimistic, which doesn’t mean you don’t have to fight. Latin America is in its worst political moment”. The Peruvian writer suggested reading Karl Popper more “to better understand” what is happening in the region. “Latin America is sinking little by little, partly due to the responsibility of the left in the past, a past that is sinister and unjust. Injustice is present in most Latin American countries; we face a kind of systematic deafness. It is not pessimism, but a call to conscience to modernize ourselves once and for all”.
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Mario Vargas Llosa, apocalyptic: “Latin America is sinking little by little” | He presented at the Book Fair “The quiet gaze”, his work on Benito Pérez Galdós