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By Mario Vargas Llosa

The 1st number of essays by way of the world-renowned Peruvian novelist explores the connection of literature and politics, the factor of Latin American independence, and the magic realist form of his books, between different topics."

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9 Art critic, football commentator, film buff, polemicist, political essayist, literary critic, chroniqueur, autobiographer, short story writer: Making Waves illustrates these many facets of the work and personality of Mario Vargas Llosa. John King Warwick, 29 February 1996 The Country of a Thousand Faces The city where I was born, Arequipa, is located in an Andean valley in the south of Peru. It is well known for its clerical and rebellious spirit, its lawyers and volcanoes, its clear sky, the flavour of the prawns and its regionalism.

P. 151) When Vargas Llosa is in a remote Amazon settlement, researching his epic novel The War of the End of the World, he finds himself witnessing experiences similar to those shared by the inhabitants of Yoknapatawpha County: violence, heat, greed, untameable nature, unrestrained instincts. Faulkner’s South is also recognizably Latin America. It was Faulkner’s particular genius, for Vargas Llosa, to be able to tell these ferocious stories in formally innovative ways: Faulkner was the first writer he read with pen and paper in hand in order to decipher the structural complexities of the narrative.

Apart from the direct political involvement between 1987 and 1990 (which in the event was very soon transformed into a massive political memoir), writing and reading dominate his life. He makes clear the exclusive nature of the literary vocation in his Sartrean study of his friend and mentor, the writer Sebastián Salazar Bondy, and he is speaking of himself when he refers to the discipline shown by Hemingway: ‘Because literature is a passion and passion is exclusive … Hemingway is in a café and by his side there is a young woman.

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