Nobel Prize winner on writing, Peruvian politics | Peru |

At some point writing a novel becomes “rather like a monster,” Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature, said.

“Once in an essay, I tried to compare the creation of the novel with having a tapeworm—the presence of a fanatical master who devours everything within us,” Vargas Llosa said.

Despite his numerous literary awards, Mario Vargas Llosa said writing is an all-consuming, insecurity-inducing labor for him. He discussed his writing process and literary career in Clayton Hall’s standing-room only auditorium during Thursday’s speech “A Writer and His Demons,” which was part of the university’s “Transnational Encounters” visiting author’s series.

Provost Domenico Grasso opened the night by explaining the purpose of the Transnational Encounters series is to bring “brilliant minds” to campus.

“Our campus is immeasurably enriched by experiences like these, and as lovers of great literature, we, too, are personally enriched by talent like his,” Grasso said.

Cynthia Schmidt-Cruz, Spanish and Portuguese professor, said the university was able to contact Vargas Llosa through Spanish professor Angel Esteban, an old friend of the poet. Schmidt-Cruz introduced Vargas Llosa by explaining his belief that writers have an obligation to participate in the civic debate.

“He’s not afraid to take on social issues directly and decisively, so decisively, in fact, he ran for the presidency of Peru in 1990,” Schmidt-Cruz said.

Via Charles Tiayon