Friday, October 08, 2010


It all started somewhere in high-school. I didn't read much at that time: I remember the Romanian language teacher asked us in the first class in ninth grade who is our favourite writer and most of us were completely puzzled, choosing in the end between Jules Vernes and Alexandre Dumas. Then a colleague passed me the Sven Hassle series and then I discovered the SF series of Asimov and Dune. But another group of my colleagues had some higher standards and were reading serious literature. And someday (in the tenth grade I guess) a "cult" novel started to circulate in this group of friends and they urged me to read it (remember everybody reading The Alchemist in 2001 or The Da Vinvi Code in 2004?). This was "The Storyteller" of Llosa. The style was new to me, I had to focus to follow the story line, but I liked the magical sensation created by the book and its message. Then "Conversation at the Cathedral" followed and I was already hooked. "Lituma in the Andes", "The War of the End of the World" (the revolution book), "In Praise of the Stepmother" (the wicked book), "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" (the hilarious book), "The Feast of the Goat", I would read these books time and again. So do I have a favourite writer nowadays? Yes, it is Mario Vargas Llosa, with or without the Nobel prize.

P.S. I sometimes regret I didn't attend his lectures at George Washington University in the fall of 2003. It was after all only a couple of metro stations away from College Park...
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