Obras completas VI: Ensayos literarios I.

Author:Contreras, Jaime Perales
Position:Book review

Obras completas VI: Ensayos literarios I, by Mario Vargas Llosa. Barcelona: Galaxia-Gutemburg, Circulo de Lectores, 2006.

"I was only able to publish the first edition of 20,000 copies, and that was it," said Spanish publisher and novelist Carlos Barral as he spoke with J.J. Armas Marcelo about Garcia Marquez: Historia de un deicidio [History of a Deicide]. Barral was the co-publisher of this celebrated study about Gabriel Garcia Marquez, written by Mario Vargas Llosa in 1971 (Barral Editores). But this book has been published again by Galaxia-Gutemburg, Circulo de Lectores, as part of the collection of Vargas Llosa's complete works.

Historia de un deicidio is practically the only book written by Mario Vargas Llosa that has not been reprinted or translated into other languages after its original publication. There have been many speculations as to why this is true, and the primary reason seems to be the well-known rupture between the two writers that became particularly evident in Mexico City in 1976.

In 1990, The Paris Review asked Vargas Llosa directly about what happened between the two authors, and he replied: "We were friends. We were neighbors for two years in Barcelona. We lived on the same street. Later we became distanced for personal and political reasons. But the original cause of our distancing was about a personal problem that didn't have any relationship to his ideological convictions--which I do not approve of."

Garcia Marquez: Historia de un deicidio was Vargas Llosa's dissertation for his doctorate in humanities at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The 600-page tome looks at the process of how one particular author--Garcia Marquez--creates narration. It has also turned out to be the first biography of Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

In 1994, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the death of his friend Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa gave a seminar at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. During the seminar someone asked him why Historia de un deicidio had not been reprinted like his other essays and novels, and the writer responded: "Look, that book was published more than twenty years ago when Garcia Marquez had just come out with One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967). He has published many other books since then. I'd have to update it, but you know, I don't really feel like doing that."

Speculation about the reason for the Vargas Llosa-Garcia Marquez feud has continued, however, and at one point Vargas Llosa promised...

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