Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mario Vargas Llosa on politics, and how writing can change the course of history.

This morning's Wall Street Journal includes an interview with Mario Vargas Llosa.

Among other things, He tells us, "The woman is almost always the first victim of a dictatorship." He explores this truth in his novel about Trujillo's Dominican Republic, The Feast of the Goat (La Fiesta de Chivo).

How universal is this truth? Emily Parker writes, "'I went to Iraq after the invasion,' he tells me. 'When I heard stories about the sons of Saddam Hussein, it seemed like I was in the Dominican Republic, hearing stories about the sons of Trujillo! That women would be taken from the street, put in automobiles and simply presented like objects. . . . The phenomenon was very similar, even with such different cultures and religions.' He concludes: 'Brutality takes the same form in dictatorial regimes.'"

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