Campus News

Peruvian Novelist, Santagata Lecturer Mario Vargas Llosa Wins 2010 Nobel Literature Prize

Story posted October 07, 2010

Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, who once came to campus as an invited speaker, has been awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature.

Vargas Llosa, whose best known novels include The Green House and The War of the End of the World, was honored for what the Nobel Prize Committee calls "his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat."

"Vargas Llosa is probably the greatest Latin American novelist in the tradition of realism," says Assistant Professor of Romance Languages Gustavo Faveron-Patriau.

"His novels are thoroughly ambitious explorations of Latin American history, and especially Peruvian history, from many different perspectives. Each one of them is an attempt at attaining what he calls "the total novel," which is an ideal fictional work able to represent the world on a number of different levels — a fiction that is at once a psychological novel and a social or sociological narrative, a historical account of the public sphere, and a memoir of private lives, a critique of the status quo and its parodic reformulation."

Vargas Llosa delivered Bowdoin's Santagata Memorial Lecture, "Fiction: The Power of Lies," in November 1992.

The Santagata Memorial Lecture Fund was established in 1982 by family and friends of Kenneth V. Santagata, Bowdoin class of 1973, to provide one lecture each semester from among the fields of arts, humanities, or social sciences. The lecturers are recognized authorities in their fields who present new, novel, or non-conventional approaches to their subjects.

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