The Book Vargas Llosa Dares Not Re-Read

Picking up where I left off on Monday night… that is, the problem of re-reading books.

The Dangers of Re-Reading
The Book Vargas Llosa Dares Not Re-Read

A few days ago on Zenda Libros I read the transcript of a group interview with three authors: Mario Vargas Llosa, Arturo Pérez-Reverte and Javier Marías. One of these I’d follow to hell, another won the Nobel Prize and the third one is still on my to be read pile.

The one I’d follow to hell, Pérez-Reverte, said:

Es que hay autores que te dejan puertas entornadas que tú tienes que abrir. Por eso releer es tan importante, porque cada vez que lees un libro tu corazón y tu cabeza han cambiado y el libro es nuevo.

It’s just that there are authors who leave you half-closed doors that you have to open. That’s why re-reading is so important; because every time you read a book your heart and head have changed and the book is new.

Marías (still on the to be read pile) replied:

Hay muchos libros que yo no me atrevo a releer, porque hay ciertos peligros…

There are many books that I daren’t re-read because there are certain dangers…

Upon which Vargas Llosa (I’m not going to insult you with explaining who he is) admitted:

Yo, por ejemplo, nunca he podido releer la trilogía de Los tres mosqueteros. No me he atrevido, fíjate, porque fue una lectura tan absolutamente fundamental que tengo miedo de que no sea ya lo que fue para mí. ¡Me cambió la vida! ¡Viví la historia de los mosqueteros!

I, for example, never have been able to re-read the trilogy of The Three Musketeers. I didn’t dare, listen, because it was such an absolutely fundamental reading that I’m afraid that now it wouldn’t be what it used to be for me. It changed my life! I lived the story of the musketeers!

(On the margin: The more Vargas Llosa comments
on his favourite reads, the more I like him.)

Which book daren’t you re-read for fear of being disappointed?

You may also like / Quizá también te gusta:Marías, Vargas Llosa y Pérez-Reverte: “Somos más brutales en las novelas que en las columnas” (Zenda Libros, 27 May 2017)
⇒ The Pleasures of Rereading (The Observer, 8 April 2012)
⇒ Why Reread Books? The Pros and Cons of Rereading (for those of you who want to approach the subject in an academic fashion)
⇒ I'd have loved to put a picture of the three - incidentally, all academicians of the Real Academia Española, the Spanish Royal Academy (seats L, T and R) and seem to meet often - on the blog for you but all the pictures I could find are under copyright: so see the trio here. (Better known as 'Google is your friend'.)


2 thoughts on “The Book Vargas Llosa Dares Not Re-Read

    1. Oh the classic teenage book! I know exactly what you mean. I haven’t re-read that yet either- although i am curious to see whether I would still like it! (So maybe I’ll brave it someday.)

      Liked by 1 person

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