Mario Vargas Llosa, fully Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa

Mario Vargas
Llosa, fully Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa
1936

Peruvian-Spanish Writer, Politician, Essayist and Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature

Author Quotes

It isn't true that convicts live like animals: animals have more room to move around.

Since it is impossible to know what's really happening, we Peruvians lie, invent, dream and take refuge in illusion. Because of these strange circumstances, Peruvian life, a life in which so few actually do read, has become literary.

It?s easy to know what you want to say, but not to say it.

That is one thing I am sure of amid my many uncertainties regarding the literary vocation: deep inside, a writer feels that writing is the best thing that ever happened to him, or could ever happen to him, because as far as he is concerned, writing is the best possible way of life, never mind the social, political, or financial rewards of what he might achieve through it.

Life is a shit-storm, in which art is our only umbrella.

The secret to happiness, at least to peace of mind, is knowing how to separate sex from love. And, if possible, eliminating romantic love from your life, which is the love that makes you suffer. That way, I assure you, you live with greater tranquility and enjoy things more.

Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute ? the foundation of the human condition ? and should be better. We invent fictions in order to live somehow the many lives we would like to lead when we barely have one at our disposal.

The sort of decision arrived at by saints and madmen is not revealed to others. It is forged little by little, in the folds of the spirit, tangential to reason, shielded from indiscreet eyes, not seeking the approval of others?who would never grant it?until it is at last put into practice. I imagine that in the process?the conceiving of a project and its ripening into action?the saint, the visionary, or the madman isolates himself more and more, walling himself up in solitude, safe from the intrusion of others.

Lima frightened him, it was too big, you could lose yourself in it and never find your way home; the people on the street were total strangers.

There is an incompatibility between literary creation and political activity.

Literature creates a fraternity within human diversity and eclipses the frontiers erected among men and women by ignorance, ideologies, religions, languages, and stupidity.

We all believe in the regulations, but you have to know how to interpret them.

Maintain democracy or go to dictatorship: that is what is at stake in these elections.

We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exist. Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that life as it is does not satisfy our thirst for the absolute ? the foundation of the human condition ? and should be better. We invent fictions in order to live somehow the many lives we would like to lead when we barely have one at our disposal.

No matter how ephemeral it is, a novel is something, while despair is nothing.

When you start having bad luck, there isn't an end to it.

Now we have Peronism that is everything: it's the far right and it?s the center, it's left centrist and is also extreme leftist, it is democracy and is also terrorism, its demagogy is also insanity... Peronism is everything.

Why would anyone who is deeply satisfied with reality, with real life as it is lived, dedicate himself to something as insubstantial and fanciful as the creation of fictional realities? Naturally, those who rebel against lie as it is, using their ability to invent different lives and different people, may do so for any number of reasons, honorable or dishonorable, generous or selfish, complex or banal. The nature of this basic questioning of reality, which to my mind lies at the heart of every literary calling, doesn't matter at all. What matters is that the rejection be strong enough to fuel the enthusiasm for a task as quixotic as tilting at windmills ? the slight-of-hand replacement of the concrete, objective world of life as it is lived with the subtle and ephemeral world of fiction.

One can't fight with oneself, for this battle has only one loser.

Writers are the exorcists of their own demons.

Prosperity or egalitarianism -- you have to choose. I favor freedom -- you never achieve real equality anyway: you simply sacrifice prosperity for an illusion.

Writing a book is a very lonely business. You are totally cut off from the rest of the world, submerged in your obsessions and memories.

Reading changed dreams into life and life into dreams.

Writing fiction is the best thing there is because absolutely everything is possible!

?Reading good literature is an experience of pleasure... but it is also an experience of learning what and how we are, in our human integrity and our human imperfection, with our actions, our dreams, and our ghosts, alone and in relationships that link us to others, in our public image and in the secret recesses of our consciousness.

Author Picture
First Name
Mario Vargas
Last Name
Llosa, fully Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa
Birth Date
1936
Bio

Peruvian-Spanish Writer, Politician, Essayist and Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature