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
Or
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.

Continue reading “The Book Vargas Llosa Dares Not Re-Read”

The World According to Tolstoy (El mundo según Tolstói)

Over a year ago I read an article by Mario Vargas Llosa, who was at the time engaged in re-reading War and Peace by Tolstoy. It was so damnably well-written that not only it made me re-read War and Peace myself but it also made me to read Mario Vargas Llosa.

El año pasado leí un artículo por Mario Vargas Llosa (enlace al final del post), quien en aquel momento se dedicaba a releer la Guerra y paz de Tolstói. Y estaba tan condenadamente bien escrito, que no sólo me causó volver a leer Guerra y paz, sino también me animó leer el proprio Mario Vargas Llosa. 

Continue reading “The World According to Tolstoy (El mundo según Tolstói)”

Death in the Andes

As soon as the old woman entered the miserable hut, Lituma knew what she was going to say. And sure enough, she says it, although Lituma can’t understand a word because she’s speaking in Quechua. But even while he waits for his adjutant, Tomás Carreño to translate, he knows what’s being said: that a third man has gone missing from the village – if you can designate the place as such – of Naccos.

Continue reading “Death in the Andes”

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (of 2015)

The end of the year (the beginning of the new year in the case of the late and lazy, like myself) is invariably a time of stock-taking: in the case of shopkeepers, literally. The rest of the world, not being shopkeepers, makes lists with boring titles like The Best Whatever of 2015. I flatly refuse to write The Best Whatever of 2015… so stealing the title of a well-known spaghetti western instead, please see below The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2015. At least it will be… novel.

(And as the first year of Waterblogged was only a half-year, you’re in luck; this post is only going to be half as long as everybody else’s.)

Continue reading “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (of 2015)”

Why Did Mario Punch Gabriel?

My daughter came down to dinner the other day and by way of initiating conversation (it was the first time I saw her that day), asked me, “Did you know that Mario Vargas Llosa punched Gabriel García Márquez?” As this probably strikes you as an odd conversation starter on meeting up, I should explain that she does A-level Spanish and they are reading Crónica de una muerte anunciada – which she likes very much by the way. So did I when she passed it on.
Continue reading “Why Did Mario Punch Gabriel?”

Tolstoy, Mario Vargas Llosa, My Grandmother and Me (On War & Peace)

In my experience, no one likes Tolstoy. Not ordinary people, at any rate. Some people like Dostoyevsky, and the rest daren’t confess to never having read Crime and Punishment. But Tolstoy, like Homer, is a persona non grata at the average middle class dinner table. If you like Tolstoy or Homer, you’re in the category of a weirdo, or, if you live in England, where they pride themselves on their tolerance, you’re an eccentric.

Continue reading “Tolstoy, Mario Vargas Llosa, My Grandmother and Me (On War & Peace)”