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Making Waves: Essays
ISBN 0374200386 / 9780374200381 / 0-374-20038-6
Publisher Farrar Straus Giroux
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Mario Vargas Llosa's lively mind alights in all kinds of places, both expected and unexpected: at the 1982 World Cup in Spain; on the Cuban revolution; in Berlin, where the son he meets at the airport has become a Rastafarian. But winding through this engaging collection is an exploration of something closer to the Peruvian novelist's (and one-time presidential contender's) core: his thoughts on the politics of literature and the literature of politics. In the United States, novelists aren't thought of in terms of their contribution to the national good; For Llosa, as for many Latin American writers, these acts most public (politics) and private (the writing of literature) are inextricably linked. "A writer," he says, "has no better way of serving his country than by writing with as much discipline and honesty as he can.... If he writes better in his country, he must stay there; if he writes better in exile, he must leave." And for those who think fiction is divorced from real life, think again: "A nation," writes Llosa, "is a political fiction imposed on a social and geographic reality almost always by force, for the benefit of a political minority." [via]