27 June 2006

Vargas Llosa on Faulkner

Mario Vargas Llosa on the creation of context:
"I consider writing a kind of adventure," he says. "I don't want to repeat myself, doing things that I have already done. No, because that would impoverish something for me that is very fresh, very new always. And that's why my books are very different, one from the other ... Even the writing is different because it depends very much on what you want to tell ... You have to find the way it is with each story." [...]

When asked how he discovers how each story must be told, he invokes another writer he invariably cites (along with Sartre and Flaubert) as a seminal influence.

"There was the way in which [William] Faulkner transformed stories that otherwise would have been unacceptable, no?" he says, going on to describe a scene from "The Hamlet," a novel Faulkner published in 1940.

"If I tell you, 'well, I know a man who became in love with a cow.' So you smile. That's a stupid story! But when you read Faulkner, this story becomes something so tragic, so tragic. It's not the story. It's the way in which the story's presented, the way in which he creates a context that can transform this stupid thing into something very tragic in which the human condition is expressed.

"That is something that I learned reading Faulkner, that anything can become the most important, the most deep human experience, if you have the ability to reach this story or this situation, linking it with the human condition in general."
(via The Literary Saloon)

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