Mario Vargas Llosa's biography | Peruvian writer, as one of the key figures of the «boom» of Latin-American literature of the 1960s.

(Arequipa, Peru, 1936) Peruvian writer. With the publication of the novel, the city and the dogs (1963), Mario Vargas Llosa was consecrated as one of the key figures of the «boom» of Latin-American literature of the 1960s. Like other members of the same group, his work broke with traditional narrative runways to take the innovations of foreign fiction (William Faulkner, James Joyce) and adopt techniques such as interior monologue, the plurality of points of view or chronological fragmentation, usually in the service of a crude realism.

Mario Vargas Llosa
On the other hand, are due also to the Peruvian novelist important critical contributions and deep reflections on the craft of writing, as his theory of the "inner demons", that attempts to explain the writing as an act of expulsion, by the creator, the elements of consciousness able to incubate disturbance only the fact of writing can exorcise. The award of the Nobel Prize in literature in 2010 crowned an exemplary career.


Mario Vargas Llosa spent his childhood between Cochabamba (Bolivia) and the Peruvian cities of Piura and Lima. Divorce and subsequent reconciliation of parents resulted in frequent changes of residence and College; between fourteen and sixteen years old was internal in the Academy Leoncio Prado Military Academy, scene of his novel the city and the dogs. At age sixteen began his literary and journalistic career with the premiere of the drama the flight of the Inca (1952), part of little success.
Shortly after he joined the University of San Marcos in Lima, where he studied literature. He worked multiple jobs to live without abandoning their studies: from editor of news at a radio station up to Registrar in the General Cemetery of Lima. In 1955, the scandal that led to marry clandestinely with his political Aunt Julia Urquidi (episode that inspired the novel Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter) further aggravated their situation, and had to resort to some friends to relieve their domestic plight.
In the Peruvian capital founded Composition notebooks (1956-1957), together with Luis Loayza and Abelardo Oquendo, and then the Literature magazine (1958-1959), erecting is in these publications as standard-bearer for a group that reacted against the social narrative and documentary filmmaker at the time. At the end of the 1950s he could finally travel and settle in Europe, where started to work in French Television Radio and was a professor at the Queen Mary College in London.

Mario Vargas Llosa
He published his first work, bosses (1959), with twenty-three years just, and with the novel the city and the dogs (1963) won already a prestige among the writers who was then born the imminent «boom» literary Ibero-American. Vargas Llosa would end up appearing between the authors of this publishing phenomenon, and the Mexican Carlos Fuentes or the Argentine Julio Cortázar was because of its relevance in first line, along with writers of the stature of the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez,.
The success of this novel and the anointment was his literary career allowed him to leave behind a stage of precariousness and Bohemian. In the old continent, Vargas Llosa established his residence first in Paris and then in London (1967), where he moved to Washington and Puerto Rico.
The work of Mario Vargas Llosa as a literary critic is reflected in trials as García Márquez: story of a Deicide (1971) and the perpetual orgy: Flaubert and Madame Bovary (1975). In 1976, with José María Gutiérrez, he co-directed the film version of his novel Pantaleón y las visitadoras. In 1977 he was appointed member of the Academia Peruana de la Lengua and Professor Simón Bolívar in Cambridge.
In the political arena, his ideas over the years suffered deep mutations. The visceral rejection any dictatorship and the approach to Christian democracy characterized his youth; in the 1960s he joined the Cuban revolution to a progressive move away from communism and the final rupture with the Government of Fidel Castro (1971) as a result of the so-called Padilla case of explicit support.

Vargas Llosa in 1990 presidential campaign
Over time eventually become a strong supporter of liberalism, although without renouncing the social progress made by progressivism, and in the 1980s came to participate actively in the politics of his country. Promoter of the Democratic Front Party, whose program combined neo-liberalism with the interests of the Peruvian traditional oligarchy, Mario Vargas Llosa presented himself as head of the list in the Peruvian elections of 1990, in which he was defeated by Alberto Fujimori.
He decided then to move to Europe and devote himself entirely to literature; He published opinion articles in newspapers such as El País, La Nation, Le Monde, Caretas, The New York Times and The national. In 1993 he obtained Spanish nationality, and a year later was appointed member of the Royal Spanish Academy. Mario Vargas Llosa has been distinguished, among many other awards, the prize Príncipe de Asturias de las Letras (1986), Cervantes (1994) and Nobel Prize for literature (2010). Universal award came in recognition of "his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images on resistance, revolt and defeat individual".

The work of Mario Vargas Llosa

Formed in the generational frame of fifty (his first book is 1959: collection of stories entitled the heads), Mario Vargas Llosa is one of Latin American novelists of greater worldwide fame, and perhaps the largest number of high-quality novels which has written. As Narrator, Vargas Llosa matured precociously: the city and the dogs (1963) is the first fully "modern" Peruvian novel in expressive resources. The Green House (1966), the Cubs (1967) and conversation in the Cathedral (1969) anointed him as one of the protagonists of the «boom» of the American 1960s novel and more characteristically neorrealista group, with a huge international influence technical virtuosity.
His subsequent novels, except for the most ambitious of all, at the end of the world war (1981, acute portrait of Latin American socio-cultural heterogeneity), abandoned the design styling "total novels" until then so obsessed, and opted for the (ironic or transgressive) reprocessing of forms or genres subliterarios or taken, raising very often a reflection on the limits of reality and fiction that recreates aspects of fantasy literature and the narrative experimentalism without falling into them completely: the farce, Pantaleón y las visitadoras (1973); melodrama, Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter (1977); the politica-ficcion pre-emption, in History of Mayta (1984); the tale of crime and mystery, who killed Palomino Molero? (1986) and death in the Andes (1993); the narrative erotica, in praise of the stepmother (1988) and the notebooks of don Rigoberto (1997); and politics, on the feast of the goat (2000).

Narrative work

There is no doubt that the narrative takes the central place of his abundant production. His masterful technical skill, his ability to make each of them a solid world able to sustain itself and giving a total autonomy to the narrative work is its core virtues. In all his books, including people such as Pantaleón y las visitadoras or Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter could be considered minor, form gains the highest degree of importance.
His narrative production began in 1959 with tales of heads and reached international resonance with the novel the city and the dogs (1963, award short library of 1962), reflection and denunciation of the paramilitary organization of the Leoncio Prado, where the author had made his secondary studies. The closed and oppressive atmosphere of the military school of Lima seems to summarize all the violence and corruption of the world today; the "dogs" of the title are the first year students, subjected to cruel hazing by older.
Leaving aside its social problems and ethics, novel shows an astonishing maturity by the ambiguous and shiftable outline of the characters, by the precise description of urban environments, its winding plot and skillful treatment of narrative time. Far from attenuating, the experimentalism and overlapping times, characters and actions intensified its brutal and shocking realism and the portrait of an explicit or underlying violence.

Mario Vargas Llosa
Its literary consolidation came with Green House (1966), true display literary virtuoso whose prose integrates abundant experimental elements, such as the mix of dialogue and description and the combination of actions and different times. The story, which takes place mainly in a brothel, presents several parallel stories with a montage of extremely complex, juxtaposition of planes of time and changes in point of view.
These resources are also used in part on the Cubs (1967), whose subject, a boarding school, refers in its initial phase to the theme of the city and the dogs; and in conversation in the Cathedral (1969), broad political altarpiece of the Peru (with suggestions of libel against the regime of the Peruvian dictator Manuel Odría) made through the dialogues held between a journalist and the black bodyguard of a dictator. Such dialogues take place in "The Cathedral", name of the modest bar of Lima in which shared their unsuccessful lives.
In the two following novels, Vargas Llosa seemed to give up the big issues to address a more playful way, in search of new possibilities for its narrative. Pantaleón y las visitadoras (1973) is a humorous satire of the military bureaucracy that adds to their always lucid vision of power a brutal, grotesque, emparentable with the grotesque Hispanic component. Aunt Julia and the scriptwriter (1977), perhaps influenced by the stories of the Argentinian Manuel Puig, develops in counterpoint the emotional experiences and the world of the radio serial.
The war of the end of the world (1981), on the other hand, is intended to be a "total" work again. In it he addressed the social and religious problems of Latin America through the story of a revolt of Messianic Fund; the work is inspired by a classic of Brazilian of century journalism, the book Os sertões de Euclides da Cunha, from which rebuilds and prepares the fictional plot.
Writer's craft and tireless worker, who has been awarded numerous awards throughout his career, his prose was acquiring in his later novels a journalistic, or medium tone that perhaps assume certain descent from earlier works, but that has increased its audience among the reading public.
In this direction include History of Mayta (1984), survey on an old companion of the College which, in 1958, he starred in an uprising in an Andean town; ¿Quién mató a Palomino Molero? (1986), which is itself a narrative process under the pretext of a police investigation. and the storyteller (1987), about a meter of stories among primitive tribes of Latin America. This latest work revealed his fascination by the oral tradition of the forest, a region that has always motivated his literary imagination; such communion with indigenous roots in a typically cosmopolitan writer is striking.
His novel death in the Andes (1993) won the Planeta Prize; a year later he collected his journalistic collaborations in challenges to freedom (1994). In 1997 it appeared his erotic novel the notebooks of don Rigoberto, in line with his previous praise of the stepmother (1988). In the tradition of the novel of dictators, Vargas Llosa published also an ambitious work and total, the feast of the goat (2000), in which reconstructs with absolute mastery the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Six years later it gave to the printing-house antics of bad girl (2006), a history between the comic and the tragic in the love shown, owner of a thousand faces. Discreet hero (2013) is his most recent novel for now.

Rehearsal and theatre

Apart from his narrative work, Vargas Llosa has developed a sustained critical work and is the author of original and in-depth studies on various authors and literary issues. Among them are García Márquez: story of a Deicide (1971), dedicated to a singular interpretation of the work of Gabriel García Márquez; The perpetual orgy: Flaubert and Madame Bovarand (1975); The truth of the lies (1990), a collection of essays on twenty-five contemporary novelists; Archaic utopia: José María Arguedas and the fictions of indigenism (1996), where he examines the life and work José María Arguedas; Letters to a novelist(1997), a kind of propaedeutics of the novel, directed especially to young writers, and the journey to fiction. The world of Juan Carlos Onetti (2008), where he analyzes in depth the life and work of the Uruguayan writer.
His foray into the theater, though less successful, has been frequent: the young lady of Tacna (1981), Kathie and the Hippo (1983), La chunga (1986), the madman of the balconies (1993), beautiful eyes, ugly pictures (1996), Ulysses and Penelope (2007) and at the foot of the Thames (2008) are dramatic pieces published until today and that explore, preferably, individual destinations. The three volumes against wind and tide (1983-1990) includes a selection of his Chronicles, articles, and other journalistic work. In 1993 appeared the fish in water, memoir that traces a double story: the adventures of his presidential campaign in 1990 and a count from his childhood until the moment that decides to go to Europe to be devoted to writing.
Extracted from the website: Biografías y Vidas
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