Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vargas Llosa and The Politics of Literature

In the pantheon of Latin American literature, Nobel Prize laureate Mario Vargas Llosa is an outlier, a Cuban Revolution apostate transformed into an evangelist for free markets, a writer who had a controversial foray into electoral politics and who doesn't mince words when attacking the ideological stance of many of his colleagues:
You remember what [Albert] Camus wrote, that a very intelligent man in some areas can be stupid in others. In politics, intellectuals have been very stupid in many, many cases. They don’t like mediocrity. And democracy is an indication of mediocrity; democracy is to accept that perfection doesn’t exist in political reality. Everybody must make concessions in order to coexist peacefully and the result of this is mediocrity. But this mediocrity, history has demonstrated, is the most peaceful way to progress, prosperity, and to reduce violence. And intellectuals are much more prone to utopias.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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