A group of French intellectuals showed this Thursday their rejection of the entry of the Hispanic-Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa on the French Academy of the Language, because of his political positions close to the extreme right. In a rostrum published in the daily Libération, the signatories express their “astonishment” at the inclusion of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature in the select group of “the immortals”, who must watch over the French language.
“This decision presents serious ethical problems”, indicate the five intellectuals, who recall Vargas Llosa’s recent support for the far-right candidate for the presidency of Chile, Jose Antonio Kast, who they define as “Nostalgic defender of the military dictatorship of Pinochet”. They also indicate their support for the current president of Colombia, Iván Duque, who “ended the peace accords signed in 2016” with the FARC guerrillas and who dissolves demonstrations “with a clean shot.”
The signatories also recall their support for the presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori last April, he did not accept the results of the elections and denied the legitimacy of the winner, Pedro Castillo. Fujimori “campaigns for the removal of the new president. Far-right groups physically attack political figures of the center-left and center-right. Some call for a coup. Vargas Llosa has played an active role in bringing this chaos to Peru by campaigning without reservation in favor of Keiko Fujimori, whom he presents as the last obstacle against communism “they write.
Finally, they note that Vargas Llosa asked in 1995 “Bury the past” in Argentina, in reference to the crimes committed by the dictatorship in that country. The intellectuals point to his involvement in the so-called “Pandora papers”, where it was revealed that he had companies in tax havens to evade taxes. The signatories consider that to include it in the Academy “It tarnishes the image of France in Latin America, where its extremist positions are well known and arouse strong rejection”.
His entry among the defenders of the language “It threatens to legitimize positions that trample on the values of democracy with which France wants to associate itself, such as freedom of expression, acceptance of voting results and the right to defend causes without risking loss of life”they add.
The signatories are the university professor Cesar Itier, the director of research at the Institute for Development Research (IRD) Evelyne Mesclier, the professor at the University of Paris, Valérie Robin Azevedo, the researcher Sylvie Taussig and the anthropologist Pablo del Valle. Varga Llosa was elected on November 25 by a majority of members of the French Academy and should take possession of his seat in a ceremony that will take place in the coming months.
Although he was already chosen by his peers, now the final approval of the so-called protector remains. He is the President of the Republic, Emmanuel macron, who in a hearing will formally welcome the new academic. After this ceremony, Vargas Llosa will be able to take possession of seat 18, also in a private ceremony.
The finale will be a public ceremony in which all academics, including the new one, will attend according to tradition dressed in their green suit and sword. It is known that the new Immortal will read a eulogy to his predecessor in the seat, the philosopher Michel Serres, died in 2019.
The exclusive nature of this academy seems to be made more flexible by opening the doors to the Peruvian Nobel Prize. If it is realized, there is one more rule that would be broken: only people who are not over 75 years old are accepted and Vargas Llosa is 85. Some members of the academy described this requirement as “stupid” and “discriminatory”.
This year is not just one more: December 18 is the bicentennial of Gustave Flaubert, perhaps the best French writer in history and one of the most important in the entire West. Vargas Llosa wrote one of the greatest essays on Flauvert and his book Madame bovary titled The perpetual orgy.
(With information from EFE)
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Mario Vargas Llosa: intellectuals reject his admission to the French Academy and remind him of his support for Keiko Fujimori