Mario Vargas Llosa, the renowned Peruvian writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize, has declared that his literary journey of seven decades is concluding and his most recent novel will be his final one.
In the epilogue of his latest novel, Le dedico mi silencio (I Give You My Silence), the 87-year-old writer states: “I believe I have completed this book. I am now interested in composing an essay on [Jean-Paul] Sartre, my mentor in my youth. It will be my final piece of writing.”
I dedicate my silence is a tribute to Peru and its música criolla, a unique fusion of European waltzes with Afro-Peruvian and Andean elements.
The author stated in interviews with Spanish media that he believed he didn’t have enough time to complete his 21st novel, but he remained determined to continue writing and complete his essay on Sartre.
I am 87 years old and, although I have a positive outlook, I do not believe I will have enough time left to write a new novel. It typically takes me three to four years to complete one. However, I am determined to continue working and I hope to have the endurance to do so until the end of my life.
Vargas Llosa, currently residing in Madrid with dual citizenship of Peru and Spain, is the sole remaining member of the Latin American literary movement called “el boom.” This cultural explosion, which took place in the 1960s and 1970s, brought the works of notable authors such as Gabriel García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Julio Cortázar, and others to international attention.
After releasing his initial novel, La ciudad y los perros, in 1963, Vargas Llosa has continued to explore the themes of power and its various forms, including political, military, racial, economic, social, and sexual, through his writing. This novel portrayed the Lima military academy where he had once studied as a representation of the larger issues plaguing Peru, such as racial and socioeconomic divides.
Vargas Llosa expressed that although there was a lot of curiosity about his personal life, specifically his long-term relationship with socialite Isabel Preysler, he was not bothered or offended by it.
According to the individual, the novels, essays, culture, and liberal ideals that he has tirelessly defended over the years are what truly matter to him. He believes that those who are steadfast in their priorities will not be bothered by the baseless rumors and fabrications written about his personal life by certain members of the media.
The individual, who lost the 1990 presidential election in Peru to Alberto Fujimori, has continued to express their opinions on political matters.
In the past, he hesitantly supported Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of his discredited and incarcerated former enemy, in her unsuccessful bid for presidency in Peru. He stated that she was the better option compared to her opponent, the leftist and traditionalist union leader and educator, Pedro Castillo.
Before Brazil’s 2018 election, he stated his support for Jair Bolsonaro instead of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
“I find the Bolsonaro situation to be quite challenging,” he stated. “As a liberal, it is difficult for me to accept Bolsonaro’s jokes and antics. However, if I had to choose between Bolsonaro and Lula, I would definitely choose Bolsonaro. Despite his foolish behavior, he is still better than Lula.”
In 2010, the Nobel prize for literature was given to Vargas Llosa. The committee stated that they selected the writer for his depiction of power structures and impactful portrayals of individual struggles against resistance, rebellion, and failure.