It is astounding this happened, considering how very much on the right Vargas Llosa is.
Additionally, I have, for well over a decade, proudly been teaching Vargas Llosa, especially in the context of western civilization. Specifically, I’ve always been impressed with his understanding of the importance of the western tradition (and specifically the Dominicans) in promoting human dignity and freedom against Leviathan.
Dominican Friar Bartolomeo de las Casas, Vargas Llosa wrote
was the most active, although not the only one, of those non-conformists who rebelled against the abuses inflicted upon the Indians. They fought against their fellow men and against the policies of their own country in the name of the moral principle that to them was higher than any principle of nation or state. This self-determination could not have been possible among the Incas or any of the other pre-Hispanic cultures. In these cultures, as in the other great civilizations of history foreign to the West, the individual could not morally question the social organism and because for him the dictates of the state could not be separated from morality. The first culture to interrogate and question itself, the first to break up the masses into individual beings who with time gradually gained the right to thank and act for themselves, was to become, thanks to that unknown exercise, freedom, the most powerful civilization in the world.
In recent works of art, one sees such a struggle most clearly in The Mission.
Amen. And, congratulation to the Nobel Prize committee for getting something very right.
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