Had we but world enough, and time . . . we’d read all the books on our reading lists.
Last week I contemplated the classics of political liberty and a book I hadn’t read. After that, the days of the week clicked off, as they do, and a writer I was familiar with (but had never read) won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
I wonder: Will I ever make time to read his books?
They don’t exactly look like my cup of tea. But, perusing the list of novels of Mario Vargas Llosa, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature, there seems to be something for nearly everyone.
What I knew Vargas for, mostly, was his notorious move away from trendy communism and towards an appreciation of freedom. Individual freedom. Liberty. He even ran for the presidency of his country on a limited-government platform, and raised quite a lot of interest, only to be beaten by a sly, dark horse of a candidate who went on to stay in the news for quite some time.
Success or no, by standing up for constitutional limitations and private property and civil liberties as one coherent package, Vargas made an important contribution to world culture that almost deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. Too often, literary types feel (like his friend-enemy-frenemy Gabriel Garcia Márquez obviously feels) destined to ally themselves with “the Left.”
Mario Vargas Llosa broke that tradition.
So, congratulations to an eminent man of letters . . . and liberties.
Too bad he lacks a North American counterpart.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.