A Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa

A Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa

Sabine Köllmann

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This Companion offers an overview and assessment of Mario Vargas Llosa's large body of work, tracing his development as a writer and intellectual in his essays, critical studies, journalism, and theatrical works, but above all in his novels.
This companion to the work of Peruvian Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa traces his fictional and non-fictional writing throughout the different phases of a career spanning more than fifty years. His lifelong dedication to literature goes hand in hand with his commitment as a public intellectual, a role that frequently involves him in controversy. Against the backdrop of Vargas Llosa's political and intellectual development, this study brings out the continuities and interrelations that give unity and coherence to a diverse body of work. It highlights the thematic concerns that re-emerge at different points in his writing and link Vargas Llosa's journalism and essays with his fiction: the effects of social ills on the individual, the nature of fiction, and the importance of literature for society. The novels at the centre of his work combine passionate storytelling with technical complexity and an often playful experimentation with genres. This book not only provides a comprehensive overview of Vargas Llosa's writing in the context of his intellectual biography, but looks in detail at each individual work, summarizing contents and analyzing the interplay of form, language, and meaning. A bibliography and suggestions for further reading complement this Companion, which will serve the general reader as much as the undergraduate and scholar.

Sabine Köllmann is an independent academic writer living in London.

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Table of Contents

Two sides of a vocation: writer and intellectual
Truth and lies: literary theory and criticism
Journalism and essays: from art to politics
Prelude: Los jefes (1959)
Experimenting with form and language: narratives of the 1960s and 1970s
Towards the total novel: La guerra del fin del mundo (1981)
Experimenting with genres: novels of the 1980s and after
Interlude: the demons of literature and politics (El pez en el agua, 1993)
The return of the grand design: La Fiesta del Chivo (2000), El Paraíso en la otra esquina (2003) and El sueño del celta (2010)
Life's Dreams: the Storyteller on Stage
Suggestions for Further Reading


[A]n impressive compendium of all of Vargas Llosa's oeuvre and its thorough analyses make it an indispensable resource in understanding the continuity inherent in his thought and craft. REVISTA DE ESTUDIOS HISPÁNICOS

Köllmann's unique approach to her topic, enhanced by exhaustive trenchant research, results in an exceptional work offering amazing insight into this singular figure. Highly recommended. CHOICE

[F]or the great variety of sources it offers, Köllmann's study is appropriate for anyone interested in deepening the debates aroused by the work and person of Vargas Llosa, whether at particular moments or in the whole of his public career.A Companion to Mario Vargas Llosa, far from avoiding different perspectives to validate a point of view, offers the tools necessary for his readers to form their own criteria around the work and figure of one of the most important and controversial writers of contemporary Hispanic literature. NUEVA REVISTA DE FILOLOGIA HISPANICA

Author Bio

Independent academic writer living in London.

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