Read The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and "Les Miserables" by Mario Vargas Llosa Free Online
Book Title: The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and "Les Miserables"|
The author of the book: Mario Vargas Llosa
ISBN 13: 9780691131115
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 662 KB
Edition: Princeton University Press
Date of issue: May 1st 2007
Read full description of the books The Temptation of the Impossible: Victor Hugo and "Les Miserables":It was one of the most popular novels of the nineteenth century and Tolstoy called it "the greatest of all novels." Yet today Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is neglected by readers and undervalued by critics. In The Temptation of the Impossible, one of the world's great novelists, Mario Vargas Llosa, helps us to appreciate the incredible ambition, power, and beauty of Hugo's masterpiece and, in the process, presents a humane vision of fiction as an alternative reality that can help us imagine a different and better world.
Hugo, Vargas Llosa says, had at least two goals in Les Misérables:to create a complete fictional world and, through it, to change the real world. Despite the impossibility of these aims, Hugo makes them infectious, sweeping up the reader with his energy and linguistic and narrative skill. Les Misérables, Vargas Llosa argues, embodies a utopian vision of literature: the idea that literature can not only give us a supreme experience of beauty, but also make us more virtuous citizens, and even grant us a glimpse of the "afterlife, the immortal soul, God." If Hugo's aspiration to transform individual and social life through literature now seems innocent, Vargas Llosa says, it is still a powerful ideal that great novels like Les Misérables can persuade us is true.
Read information about the authorMario Vargas Llosa, born in Peru in 1936, is the author of some of the most significant writing to come out of South America in the past fifty years. His novels include The Green House, about a brothel in a Peruvian town that brings together the innocent and the corrupt; The Feast of the Goat, a vivid re-creation of the Dominican Republic during the final days of General Rafael Trujillo’s insidious regime; and Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, a comedic semi-autobiographical account of an aspiring writer named Marito Varguitas, who falls in love with Julia, the divorced sister-in-law of his Uncle Lucho.
He is also a widely read and respected essayist, writing everything from newspaper opinion pieces to critical works on other writers, including The Perpetual Orgy on Flaubert.
Vargas Llosa is also active outside the literary arena, and was a serious contender for the presidency of Peru in 1990 (eventually losing to the now disgraced Alberto Fujimori), an experience he documented in his memoir, A Fish in the Water.
On the controversial nature of some of his work he said, “The writer’s job is to write with rigor, with commitment, to defend what they believe with all the talent they have. I think that’s part of the moral obligation of a writer, which cannot be only purely artistic. I think a writer has some kind of responsibility at least to participate in the civic debate. I think literature is impoverished, if it becomes cut from the main agenda of people, of society, of life.”
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 2010, "for his cartography of structures of power & his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat".
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