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jueves, octubre 07, 2010

Vargas Llosa Win Nobel Prize

Mario Vargas Llosa has won the Nobel Prize for literature:

Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday as the academy honored one of the Spanish-speaking world's most acclaimed authors and an outspoken political activist who once came close to being elected president of his tumultuous homeland.
Vargas Llosa, 74, has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including "Conversation in the Cathedral" and "The Green House." In 1995, he won the Cervantes Prize, the most distinguished literary honor in Spanish.

"I am very surprised, I did not expect this," Vargas Llosa told Spanish National Radio, adding he thought it was a joke when he received the call.

"It had been years since my name was even mentioned," he added. "It has certainly been a total surprise, a very pleasant surprise, but a surprise nonetheless."

But, of course, there's then the inside baseball:

Vargas Llosa is the first South American winner of the prestigious 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) Nobel Prize in literature since Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez won in 1982.
The two have long been rivals, and after the announcement Garcia Marquez tweeted: "cuentas iguales" — "now we're even" in Spanish.

And, of course, the gossip:

Vargas Llosa has feuded with Venezuela's leftist President Hugo Chavez and often tosses barbs at Cuba's Fidel Castro. He reportedly has not spoken in decades with Garcia Marquez, a former friend who remains close to Castro.

He even irritated his centrist friend Octavio Paz, the late Mexican Nobel literature laureate, by playfully describing Mexico's political system — which was dominated at the time by a single party — as "the perfect dictatorship."

In a famous incident in Mexico City in 1976, Vargas Llosa punched out Garcia Marquez, whom he would later ridicule as "Castro's courtesan." It was never clear whether the fight was over politics or a personal dispute.

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