Eavves Mario Llosa

One book per week, Week 16: Letters To A Young Novelist, Mario Vargas Llosa.

Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian Writer and a 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature and Atlas Templeton Leadership Fellow. Llosa’s “Letters to a Young Novelist”¬†captured my attention because of its similarities to Rilke’s “Letters to a Young Poet.” It’s easy to see that Llosa has a love for literature and offers so many good references. In one line he mentions that there are no novel-writing prodigies, that all the greatest writers were apprentices who applied themselves with application and dedication. Even Rimbaud, who as a young poet still had to cultivate his talent. As someone once said to me, “If you do not keep writing, the torch will simply pass on to someone else.”

The words from Llosa’s book that stood out the most to me were:

“A writer feels that writing is the best thing that ever happened to him, or could ever happen to him, because as far as he is concerned, writing is the best possible way of life, never mind the social, political, or financial rewards of what he might achieve through it.”

and

“I think that only those who come to literature as they might to religion, prepared to dedicate their time, energy, and efforts to their vocation, have what it takes to really become writers and transcend themselves in their works.”

A good book to read, but not overly technical. Llosa’s guidance and inspiration (a good balance of both) clearly spring from someone who adores the world of literature. It definitely made me want to meet Mario Llosa for tea and hear more of his stories.