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University of Texas Press

Conversacin con Mario Vargas Llosa sobre: La ta Julia y el escribidor / A Conversation with Mario Vargas Llosa about: La ta Julia y el escribidor Author(s): Mario Vargas Llosa and Jos Miguel Oviedo Reviewed work(s): Source: Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 19, No. 4, An Issue Devoted to the Work of Mario Vargas Llosa (WINTER 1977), pp. 546-559 Published by: University of Texas Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40754514 . Accessed: 11/12/2011 23:35
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JoseMiguelOviedo con MarioVargas Llosa sobre Conversacin La ta Julia y el escribidor

de A mediados marzo 1977,la Universidad Oklahoma la de de y World Literature BooksAbroad) revista Today(antes organizaron dedicada Mario a unaConferencia Llosa,parala que invitaVargas de al ronespecialmenteescritor y peruano a un grupo crticos y de se como Esta estudiosos su obranarrativa. Conferencia realiz a del para por parte cicloestablecido los auspiciadores honrar imdel escritores mundo y hispnico, en l se hanpresenportantes Octavio y Julio Paz Cortzar. tado,entre otros, Borges, el habl Durante dos semanas las a previas esa reunin, autor su en seminariosconferencias supropia sobre obra, experiencia y de vinculados su situacin novelista a de escritor otros y problemas su Aprovechando presencia el hechode que y hispanoamericano. el de los habatrado novela, paradarle consigo original su nueva de ltimos en toquesantes su publicacin Barcelona posiblemente de un estemismo accedia grabar fragmento la obra ao,el autor de de la Biblioteca Condel el Archivo Literatura Hispnica, para l en de Mientras hacasu lectura los estudios la Universigreso. con la se dad,surgi ideade que esa grabacin complementase unaentrevista, su novela. Estees conducida m,sobre nueva por el origen textoque se lee a continuacinque se publica del con y del a autorizacin escritor de la mencionada Biblioteca, y gracias de mi la gestin la seora Dorn,a quienexpreso reconoGeorgette cimiento. de Llosadebehaber concedido centenares reportajes, Vargas los ms Si sobre temas variados, seguir concedindolos. algo y la es una de justifica publicacin ste, que contiene exposicin fide desarrollo resultado muy completa detallada la gnesis, y y nalde su ltimo El novelstico. lector trabajo luegocompodr con estasdeclaraciones la novela misma sacarsuspropias y parar conclusiones.

JosMiguelOviedo A Conversation MarioVargas Llosa about with La ta Julia y el escribidor

of and of the About middle March 1977,theUniversity Oklahoma BooksAbroad)organized Syma World Literature Today(formerly of the to dedicated thework Mario Llosa,to which Vargas posium of of and as writer wellas a group critics students his Peruvian of This was were invited. conference one oftheseries conwork Litof and ferences established theUniversity Oklahoma World by writers theSpanish-speaking of to erature Today honor prominent conferences havepreviously that featured Octavio world, Borges, others. Cortzar, Paz,andJulio among the to Mario previous theconference, Vargas During twoweeks and seminars abouthiswork, abouthis Llosalectured conducted his as and Amerias experiences a writer, about situation anHispanicDue and he that hadbrought canwriter. to hispresence to thefact of which wasrevising he the for along manuscript hisnewnovel, in this later year, Llosaagreed to Vargas publication Barcelona of of the Literatapea reading a fragment hisnovelfor Hispanic of of While tapedhisreadture Archives theLibrary Congress. he the studio, idea aroseto complerecording ingat theUniversity to ment tapewith interview, be conducted me,about the an by of Thisis theorigin thefollowing which hisnewnovel. is text,1 here the of of reproduced with permission theLibrary Congress, of I thanks theassistance Mrs. to to Dorn, whom exGeorgette press gratitude. my Llosamust havebeeninterviewed hundreds times, of Vargas of But abouta variety subjects. ifone needsa justification for let this thatitcontains dea publishing interview, itbe thefact of account thegenesis, and of tailed results his development, final achievement. reader later ableto comThe novelistic will latest be comments thenovel with and his itself, to draw own parethese conclusions.

Jos Oviedo 548 Miguel ahoraque tienes novela tu JMO:Bien, Mario, y muyavanzada en de me final revisin, gustara echases mirada una que proceso en cmosurgi t la ideade escribir haciaatrs mecontases y cmofuetomando estelibro.Cmose defini, forma histola riaque contiene? cundocomenzasteescribirla? a Y nacicomocasitodolo que he escrito, basede MVL1: a Bueno, En del ciertos recuerdos. estecaso,recuerdos ao que pastraen en bajando RadioPanamericana Lima,o sea el ao 1953 o a 54. Yo recordaba esta siempre pocavinculada unpersonaje no en donde que trabajaba, exactamente RadioPanamericana de de sino yo meocupabade los servicios noticias, los boletines, del en unaradiocontigua, RadioCentral, eraadems mismo que Y de propietario Panamericana.se eraunpersonaje pintomuy todoslos radioteatros eranel platofuerresco escriba que que Era te de RadioCentral. un boliviano habasidoimportado que de los porlos dueos la radio, hermanos DelgadoParker, porque descubierto estehombre un "as" en Bolivia era de haban que todolo que fuera e incluso radioteatros teatro melodramtico. Entonces ocupabaen Limade todoslos radioteatros esa se de escriba tambin sino e emisora, no solamente que diriga interY comogaln. eraun personaje realmente pintopretaba muy comoun galeote, tenaunaextraordirescoque trabajaba que naria conciencia imbuido su papel de profesionalestabamuy y de de escritor, artista, al mismo pero tiempo, juzgadodesdeun de era o de literario, punto vista digamos, unespecie parodia de de un de caricatura, versin pedestre, deformada, poco pattica, Y lo que podaserunescritor. tenarealmente mucha popularidad.Entiendo susradioteatros unxitoen RadioCeneran que A tral. m mediverta hastamefascinaba, era mucho, porque una cadavezmsfuerte la justamente pocaenla que yo senta de En vocacin la literatura. la que realmente que lo que crea msmegustaba en la vida, serun escritor. creoque el ser Y era nico escritor yo conocaen esosaos,que realmente que poda merecer nombre el tiempo ese a por consagradosu oficio, por el pblico segua apoyaba trabajo, estacaricatura su era que y de la literatura,autor radioteatro el de RalSalmn. boliviano, le entre una a Bueno, ocurri historia jocosay trgica Ral Salmn: volvi se loco. Perola forma comose descubri que estaba loco fuerealmente fue de regocijante porque a travs los oyentes su radioteatro. da RadioCentral de Un comenz a recibir llamadas protestas oyentes descubran de cartas, y que en incoherencias susradioteatros. Pergruesas incongruencias, de o de sonajes cambiaban profesin cambiaban nombre, que o que incluso saltaban unradioteatrootro.En fin, de a empeza-

with Llosa 549 Conversation Vargas JMO:Well, nowthat novel practically is Mario, your completed andinfact final I'd undergoing revision, likeyouto lookback andtellmehowtheideaofwriting bookcameto you. this Howdiditsstory Andwhen youstart did takeshape? writing it? MVL1:Well, tookshape, almost it like I've everything written, In from old memories. this of case,memories theyearthat my I worked RadioPanamericana Lima, for in that 1953,or '54. is, I've always remembered period linked a manwhoused this as to to work, forRadioPanamericana not where wasincharge I of thenews but a radio Radio bulletins, for neighboring station, which alsoowned theowners RadioPanamerwas of Central, by icana.Thisfellow quitea colorful was whowrote the all person for which were highlight Radio the of scripts thesoapoperas Central He and programming.wasBolivian, hadbeenbrought to Limabytheproprietors theradiostation, Delgado of the Parker in because Bolivia wasan "ace" in all that he brothers, concerned radiosoapoperas. wasincharge all thesoap He of of radiostation, onlywriting scripts not the but operas that alsodirecting acting maleleads.He wastruly picturand the a who like whohadan extraesquecharacter worked thedevil, sense professional of and ordinary responsibility, whowasvery absorbed hisroleas writer performer. at thesame and But by him a let's time, judging from literary perspective, say,he was a sort parody caricature,pedestrian of or a twisted and version, somewhat of the pathetic, a "writer." Still, manwasquitepopular.I understand hissoapoperas that were realsuccess a on He RadioCentral. greatly amused evenfascinated beme, me, causeitwasprecisely this at time thatI wasfeeling stronger a andstronger to become writer a I urge myself;wasthinking that what wanted I in most mylifewasto be a writer. I And think theonlywriterknew that that I at timewhocouldbe calleda "writer" because theamount time of of dedicated really to writing, because thepublic and of which followed appreand ciated work- this his was the of caricature, writer the literary Bolivian RalSalmn. soapoperas, Well, something happened to RalSalmn, between comicandthetragic: the something he went insane. thewayin which insanity revealed But his was wasrather becauseitwasthrough listeners. his One amusing, to day,RadioCentral began receive letters, telephone calls,and all sorts protests of from of listeners thesoapoperas whowere and in discovering incongruities incoherences thescripts: gross the wouldchange names proor suddenly, soapoperacharacters fessions would or evenskiparound from soapoperato anone

Oviedo 550 Jos Miguel en descomunales los bana contarse y disparates extravagancias de descude radioteatros RalSalmn, as,los dueos la radio y Hablaron l. Entoncon sufra crisis. una brieron esteseor que toda a comenz introducir clasede catsnervioso, ces,l,muy a en trofes susradioteatro liquidar suspersonajes poder y para a las de comenzar nuevo historias se le habanempezado que tuvo RalSalmn la Al confundir. final, cosa no tuvosolucin: me a a Siempre queddando que irse descansar un hospital. de en vueltas la cabezala historia RalSalmn siempre pens y vez con en escribir alguna algoque se relacionara esto.... En Por ms de se realidad es el origen remoto estanovela. supuesse pueest en milibro todaestahistoria muy transformada, to, he de de de reconocer ellaslounaespecie embrin. Adems, otra a de aadido la historia estepersonaje, que haceunaespecie de contrapunto, es comounlastre, verosmil, terreno, que de de de a esemundo puraimaginacin, purafantasa, locura, de del es el mundo los radioteatros protagonista. que el ese entre JMO:Muybien.Y cmohastrabajado contraste delpersonaje el munmundo totalmente delirante, y imaginario, has do mslastrado la realidad? qu manera estructupor De esto? radonarrativamente estahistoria tuve la de mucho como MVL1: pensarporque Despus emcomote deca,durante bastante cuando tiempoproyecto, de de a una una pecmso menos tratar darle estructura, forma se a esa materializacin historia, meocurri paraque no que en excesivamente fuera abstracta, que no ocurriera un munpara de de do puramente juegomental, delirio fantstico, podraser ms unahistoria es decir, unahistoria real, por por contrapesada o msdirecta; historia vivida fantaseada una ms terrestre, que se lo Entonces meocurri siguiente: qu esa imaginada. por de no historia RalSalmn se entreveraba unahistoria con perde fue la sonal?La pocaen que ocurri historia RalSalmn, en primer untiempo bastante importante m, para lugar, porque a ms comoya te dije,corresponde o menos los aosen que se desdeaosatrs, defini vocacin venapugnando una pero que del no a hastaentonces mehabaatrevido asumir todo. que yo vez es En segundo lugar, la pocaen que mecasporprimera fue forma actosumamente un teese matrimonio en cierta y metrajo tena18 aosy adems merario, porque yo porque en e muchos muchos problemas la vidaprctica incluso probleY se delimasfamiliares.entonces me ocurri lashistorias que del una rantes protagonista escribe radioteatrosque tiene y que con quizspodamezclarse unahistoimaginacin perturbada, riaque fuera exactamente contrario, absolutamente lo obalgo en cierto. historia la que yo conUna y jetivo absolutamente

with Conversation Vargas Llosa 551 Andso,because other. bizarre extravagant and enormously in the to scripts, owners things began happen RalSalmon's discovered he wasundergoing that some oftheradiostation him nercrisis. Salmn Theyspokewith aboutit. As a result, started conjure inhisscripts series catastroto a of vously up to those characters were who phesdesigned killoff becoming even confused inhisownmind, that couldbegin so he anew with cleanslate. in theend,there no solution: a But was Raul Salmn to go off a hospital recuperate. story had to to His alstuck me with andI kept that ways thinking I wouldsomeday write related it. ... Actually, story the to is that something most remote of novel. is all origin this Naturally, this quitetransin formed mybook,andone cansee only of vestiges that story. I have of another Furthermore, addedto thestory RalSalmn that as of in that story serves a kind counterpoint, anchors the verifiable world purely the tangible, imaginary, purely fantastic, of madworld theprotagonist hissoapoperas. and JMO:Howhaveyouachieved contrast this between totally the delirious world theprotagonist themore of and real imaginary, Howdidyouhandle within narrative world? this the structure? MVL1: After it because novel been this has giving a lot ofthoughtof like a project mine, I said,for longtimea when began I to to form this to it to it, try shape to give story, occurred methat in order itnotto be excessively for for abstract, it notto take of mental of it placein a realm purely games, delirious fantasy, should balanced a realistic be that bya more ordiby is, story, more direct more lived of than one;-a story nary, experience offantasy imagination. I thought this:why or Then of couldn't thestory RalSalmn intermingled personal of be with exTheRalSalmn a very imperience? story happened during in time mylifebecause, thefirst in it wasat that portant place, after the time that for was feeling urge years, vocation demy I until it cided, although then hadnotdaredto pursue totally. it thatI gotmarried thefirst for and Secondly, wasthen time, was that I marriage incertain waysa very act, daring because wasonly18,andalsobecause causedmemany it practical problems evenfamily and Thenit occurred methat to the problems. delirious stories theprotagonist writes melodramas of who the andwhohasa disturbed couldperhaps interbe imagination with story a which precisely opposite, twined was the someand true. thing absolutely objective absolutely I wouldnarrate

Oviedo 552 Jos Miguel de unos de taraexactamente episodios mividaa lo largo unos el en meses: tiempo trabaj RadioPanamericana, cocmo que lo noca la que fuemimujer, que fuemimatrimoniotodo y en lo que eso signific miexperiencia etc. personal, Intercalar esasdos historias unpoco comopresentar reverso el era el y de anverso unarealidad, parte una y objectiva unaparte subjecuna de Trat hacer estoen tiva, caraverdica otrainventada. y la novela. Alternar captulo, un de digamos, imaginacin pura o casipura, uncaptulo historia con de dopersonal autntica, cumental. que pases que tambin estecaso,comoa m Lo en meocurre el a a la siempre, proyecto empez desbaratarse hora de llevarse la prctica. decir, episodios los que yo a Es los en solamente cosasque estaba querano sersinoveraz contar y absolutamente seguro habanocurrido eran que as, completamente la es imposibles, porque memoria engaosa, se contay de mina fantasa porque el momento en de mismo escribir ese y elemento se se irremeimaginario filtra, instala se incorpora y diablementelo que unoescribe. al mismo a Y en tiempo, los cao o sntesis parfrasis los de ptulos sonsupuestamente que radioteatros protagonista,purainvencin del la existe. tampoco unosingredientes Haytambin intrusos, diramos, proceden que de la realidad objectiva, se vaninfiltrando a poco.De que poco talmanera yo creoque la versin de la novela algo final es que bastante distinto lo que habaplaneado, de aunqueen realidad fueconstruida sobre estaideabsica. de JMO:Megustara ahora preguntarte si el personaje principal entra relacin en de estanovela, estrecha unconjunto percon o en crecido, si es unanovela se concentra un muy sonajes que comoenPantalen. digamos protagonista, Dejasque los perhistorias complejas? unanovela vayan sonajes tejiendo muy Es o dndete reduces mrgenes a narrativos estrechos,msbien, a de e ms correspondeese tipode novelas ejecucin ambiciosa comoLa Casa Verde? intencin plenaria, MVL1: es el casode Pantalen, el sentido que no hayun No en de nicoprotagonista, varios. varios pueden consino ser Hay que de siderados lo centrales. Ahora, que pasaes que haypersonajes dos categoras. personajes diramos, a Hay que, corresponden esenivel en de "real,"dondeestel narrador la historia, este dondeestel autor mismo los radioteatros de casoyo mismo, de el el y dondeesttodoel mundo las radios, de la universidad, Y de la familia narrador. luegoestn personajes fordel los que de de manparte ese otronivel realidad, realidad o la imaginaria Y inventada. esospersonajes porsupuesto, mucho nums son, merosos adems de otranaturaleza. medida avanza son A y que

Conversation Vargas with Llosa 553 some of several months: accurately episodes myownlife, covering thetime which worked RadioPanamericana, I for how during I metmywife, howmymarriage andall that whole the was, in beetc. meant mypersonal experience, To alternate thing the and two was like these stories a little presenting front tween an backofreality, objective anda subjective a real part, part in one. to to faceanda made-up I tried do this thenovel, alteror with natea chapter totally almost totally imagined, a chapter What was ofpersonal documented. authentic, happened history, in with always, project me that, case,as happens my again this when Thatis,it wastobegan disintegrating putintopractice. to the in I to tally impossible write chapters which wanted be truthful tellonlyofthings and which wasabsoluteI absolutely had is so, lysure happened precisely because memory tricky contaminated fantasy, because even one andgets with and as is writing, element imagination in,takes of an holdand seeps becomes ofwhat is writing. at thesame one And inevitably part in that or time, thechapters aresupposedly syntheses paraphrases of ofthesoapoperas theprotagonist, is no "pureinventhere are tion." which There, there foreign too, ingredients comefrom which infiltrate bylittle. I think little that reality, So, objective of thefinal version thenovel quitedifferent what had is from I even it on basicidea. originally planned, though wasbuilt that novel comes of character this JMO:I'd liketo askyouifthemain of or with intocloserelationship a goodnumber characters, if on as in,say, Panis thenovel concentrated a single protagonist, talen. youallowthecharacters weave Do to very complex in marIs narrative stories? ita novel which havenarrow you oris itinstead typeofnovel more of ambitious a design gins, like andbroader scope, La Casa Verde? in It that there no single is MVL1: is notlikePantalen thesense several. There several are characters but, protagonist, rather, is "central." that be considered can Now,what happens that of are there characters are there twocategories characters: that to where narrator in this the is, belong that"real"dimension, where author thesoapoperas andwhere the of casemyself, is, from the and everybody theradiostations, university, thenarAndthen rator's there thecharacters are that family belong. levelofreality, imaginary invented make thatother the or up much who more and "reality," are,ofcourse, numerous, ofa As different nature. thenovel the disturbance develops, mental

O Jos Miguel video 554 se la novela, profundizaagrava perturbacin escritor; la del y los su van simultneamente,personajes perdiendo individualidad, de no se vanconfundiendo s. Cambian solamente nombre entre Van las sinode funciones. borrndose fronteras los separan. que de a Miideaeramostrartravs estetipode episodios de feny un del cada menos, tratamiento vezmsirrespetuoso, diramos, Esto ms tiempo del espacionarrativos. fuehaciendo precisa y de en narrada el otronivel realidad. la historia en JMO:El elemento melodramtico tuobraestmuy presente En a haber desdesuscomienzos. Pantalen pareces llegado una de vas que peroaqu parece todava a exceder especie apoteosis, la eselmite. correcta impresin tengo el captulo por que Es que acabasde leer? debe MVL1:Yo creoque s. Ese elemento efectivamente haber en fui estadosiempre presente miobra, porquesiempre muy o a mucho sensible l. Durante disimularloentiempo procur en Peroyo Pero cubrirlo. cadavezmenos los ltimos libros. la creoque stees el primero dnderealmente constituye madel No del teria el profunda relato. solamente porque mundo el de al radioteatro,mundo esa subliteratura produce proque de as sinoporque novela la misma trata mostagonista lo exige, cmotodoese mundo es sinola magnificacin seno o la trar leccin unasuma experiencias, sonprofundamente de de que melodramticas en de y sensibleras los personajes la vidareal. JMO:Inclusive personaje inicialmente serel que enel iba que carnaba experiencias personales tuyas? la es MVL1:Bueno, idea,msque eso,el resultado libro, desdel en en tambin esa vidareal, esaversin unavidacorriende cubrir del El existe tan all te,el melodrama radioteatro. melodrama tan comoen el mundo la imaginacin de profunda, vividamente y la fantasa. JMO:El tonode la novela, el pasajeque he escuchado, resulta por de tambin interesante comparar lo que haslogrado con anteen riormente. decir, estecasoparece tu estilo ha vuelEs se que al de to msparecido lenguaje, carcter dominantemente oral, en No que thabasensayado Pantalen. s si estoy equivocado en esto. MVL1: en Mira, los captulos llamo"objectivos," unlenque hay sumamente . escueto. . . informativo, guaje JMO:Comolos "partes" Pantalen, ejemplo? de poi MVL1: porque hayun elemento all No, que pardico, en estetexto no debera de manera. soncaptulos en aparecer ninguna No, los que realmente unamanera de comose dira muy "factual," en ingls, va desarrollandoaccin.En cambio, los otros se la en

with Llosa 555 Conversation Vargas oftheprotagonist and simultanedeepens becomes aggravated; his to ously, characters begin losetheir individuality, becoming confused oneanother. with in not but Theychange only name, alsoinfunction. boundaries separate The that them to begin vanish. ideawasto showthrough typeofepisode this and My an irreverent let phenomenon, increasingly treatment, us say, the time into focus ofnarrative andspace.Thisbrought better in narrated theother levelofreality. story is from the JMO:Themelodramatic element your in work there to With you very beginning. Pantalen seemed haveachieved but here a certain apotheosis, itlooksas though you'llgo even that. myimpression thechapter you've Is of that beyond just readan accurate one? MVL1: think Thatelement I so. must beenin haveindeed always because always I've beenvery sensitive it. Fora to mywork, I to it longtime tried hideitor cover up. Butlessandlessinthe lastfew books.ButI think this thefirst inwhich that is one it the constitutes deepcoreofthenarrative. onlybecause Not the the ofthat subliterature produces which world, world soapopera demands butbecause novel theprotagonist, the itself tries it, world nothing a magnificationa is or but to showhowall that of selection a sumofexperiences, which profoundly meloare and in dramatic sentimentalthereal-life characters. was the who JMO:Including character originally to be theone to ownpersonal experiences? your portray of than the MVL1: the that, result thebook, Well, idea,ormore in in version ordinary of real is to discover that life, that life, of exists there The melodrama themelodrama a soapopera. just of and as as deeply, as vividly intheworld imagination fanjust tasy. to I've JMO:Thetoneofthenovel, according thepassage just is alsointerestingcompare to with what heard, you'veachieved has before. Thatis,in this caseitlookslikeyourstyle become like which hadalready more spoken you language, something if in out I tried inPantalen. don'tknow I'm wrong this. MVL1:Look,inthechapterscall"objective," is I there an extremestark . lyinformative, language.. . JMO:LikePantalen's official for reports, instance? MVL1: because is there parody which should appear not No, there, in text.No,they chapters which a very in in are anywhere this "factual" manner onewouldsayinEnglish) action dethe (as On in is there an elehand, theother velops. theother chapters,

Oviedo 556 Jos Miguel de habaun elemento "huachafera," comose dira captulos, un en limeo. decir, elemento Es pardico risueo, aparey que disimulada principio que luegose al cerade unamanera muy y en hasta a casi iraacentuando, llegar seragresivo, insolente las de Este ltimas historias. fragmento captulo acabode leer que de en es unade las historias las que ya hayunaespecie desmeen de La lenamiento, la exageracinla confusin personajes. y de de anteriores, provienen captulos mayora los personajes Lo oficios sexoscambiados. que quera y peroconnombres, de en eraque hubiera especie crescendo sto.No s si al una as en resultar o si todoes mshomogneo final la novela que de darme cuenta todava. al principio; eso no logro a de las JMO:Esa tendencia la novela cruzar lneasde lo realy Me debe un lo imaginario, tener significado ulterior. gustara al cules el diseo la novela saber que propone final. Cules el la imagen puededescubrir lector? que Ques lo que da senla tidoy unidad esosdosniveles los cualesconduces aca por cinde la novela? a las MVL1: comotsabes, mno megustan novelas con Bueno, en dar . moraleja- todocasojamsheprocurado unamoraleja. . . no JMO:Hombre, pregunt ninguna sino por moraleja, porel sentidototalde la historia.. . . Puesno s cualespodran las conclusiones, MVL1: ser digamos, de Eso que interpretativas se puedesacar todaesa historia. ni melo he planteado. intencin contar histoMi era esta siquiera en riasimultneamentedosniveles mostrar cmoestos dos y tan niveles, al principio que parecen rgidamente independientes en En unode otro, realidad estn comunicados. visceralmente del uno lashistorias protagonista lo va descubriendo a poco a vista imaginativo, propoco;lo que parece primera totalmente en ducto la fantasa, enrealidad de est enraizado menudos aconde en Lo tecimientos su vida, srdidos cotidianos. misepisodios en moocurre esa experiencia tpuedes llamar diminuta que y del trivial otronarrador cuenta peripecias sus a que privadas lo de all largo ese ao. Hayelementos que sontanextravagantes, distorsionados sobre del todoa nivel sentimiento, y excesivos, comoen el mundo los radioteatros.sea que esosdosmunO de no dosen realidad estn diferenciados; tan slo constituyen disde unamisma tintos de unamisma grados realidad, experiencia. Perola historia misma ms comolo haba concluye o menos al me de al Porque olvid decirte, contestar pensado principio. tuprimera volva vera estepersonaje aos pregunta, yo que de haber la radio salidodelPer, unode en despus dejado y los cortos a que bien, viajes hicede regreso Lima.No recuerdo

Conversation with VargasLlosa -557

or as of ment bad taste "huachaferia," onewouldsayin Lima. and which bothparodie playful, I Bythat meanan element until be but wouldinitially wellhidden, wouldgainimpetus in This almost itbecame insolent, thelaststories. aggressive, in of that fragment a chapter I'vejustreadis one ofthestories of chaosintheexaggerathere's a which already sort complete of Most tionandconfusion thecharacters. ofthecharacters but comefrom names, changed chapters, with changed previous of I was What wanted a sort even genders. professions, changed if will in I effect this. don'tknow that be so at the crescendo will or endofthenovel, ifeverything be more homogeneous I can'tquitesee that yet. as thanat thebeginning; beof over boundaries to JMO:Thattendency thenovel cross must the tween realandtheimaginary havean ulterior signifiis What can what thefinal cance.I'd liketo know image design. to two and discern? What thereader gives meaning unity those the of on levels which direct action thenovel? you I've with morala I as MVL1: Well, youknow, don'tlikenovels a . to tried give moral. . . never but abouta moral, aboutthe I'm JMO:Now,wait. notasking of . ultimate meaning thestory. . . conclusions what I MVL1: might interpretative Well, don'tknow I evenposedthat from whole this be drawn quesstory. haven't simultaneouswas tionto myself. intention to tellthisstory My which first at howthese twolevels, and lyon twolevels to show visare from seemso rigidly independent oneanother, actually One to the connected. begins discover protagonist, step cerally his what looksat first totally sight through ownstories; bystep, in of is rooted minute the imaginative, product fantasy, actually in The in dailyepisodes. dailyoccurrences hisownlife, sordid, and the trivial insignificant with seemingly samething happens his of narrator experiences telling private experiences theother and There initextravagant, that are twisted, senduring year. Which of as as timental elements, much intheworld soapoperas. not twoworlds actually so different; are means that those they levels of different ofthesamereality, thesameexareactually itself endsmore lessthewayI had or But perience. thestory Because forgot tellyou,when I to from beginning. the planned that I answered first again, years person your question, I sawthis in I the and after hadleft radiostation travelled abroad, oneof but too visits backto Lima.I don'tremember well, I myshort of the it think wasinthe1960s.I metthis man, author thesoap returned but whohadleft hospital, the cured, hadnever operas,

Oviedo 558 Jos Miguel en creoquefue los60. Meencontr esteautor radiocon de pero del se teatros yahabasalido hospital, habacurado, que que pero al de no habavuelto mundo la radio.En esosmomentos estaba en de una sensacionalista trabajando unarevista Lima, publicacin de Ex financiada parturbia sellamaba tra, en yadems poltica que de Mi teporla gente Odra. personaje all trabajaba enunpuesto Era modestsimo. "datero" ni Traalos redactor. policial, siquiera de datos lascomisaras quelosredactara en A para alguien la revista. mucho l mmeimpresion verlo. habasidodentro mundo del de un realmente importante, famoso la radio personaje en muy muy realmente convertido la ltima en puesestaba Lima, ahora y pieza de enelmecanismo unarevista, curiosamenteque haca,eslo pero ntimamente tabatambin vinculado lo quehabahecho imacon o el antes: mundo de grotesco exagerado loshechos y ginado policiatuve les.O seaquesiempre elfinal la historia de un desde comienzo. JMO:Esttu novela en situada algn reconocible la de perodo vidaperuana? lo pregunto Te t porque justamente dicesque base hayunagran derealidad muchos y y personajesexperiencias concretas. gustara Me saber aludea circunstancias algn si de o o de polticas sociales, si,talvezestdesconectada toda tipo, referencia histrica. MVL1: no,estmuy fechada los aos50, a en No, precisamente de mediados esa dcada. JMO:Que es la de costumbre t. . . . para MVL1:S,comode costumbre. hayalgunas Y alusiones, supor al a a puesto, momento poltico, tambin algunas y modas, la de msica esa poca,lo que contribuyesituarla el tiempo. a en Y tiene final eplogoque ocurre un o unosdiezo doceaos despus. JMO:Unaltima pregunta. Cmose llamatu novela? MVL1:Bueno, comoya meocurri vez,tambin novela otra esta meha dado muchos de dolores cabezaconel ttulo. dudado He muchas veces.Habapensado un momento en uno ponerle que desech me demasiado despus porque pareca jocoso y distorsionador la historia. La taJulia el escribidor,1 la de Era y pero descart al final creoque mevoya quedar unttulo con y que es ms... de novela Viday milagros PedroCade picaresca: macho. JMO:Bueno, creoque eso es todo.Gracias, Mario. IndianaUniversity, Bloomington Nota
1. Juliaes el nombrede la primeraesposa del autor.

Conversation withVargas Llosa 559

for to radio. He was thenworking a magazinein Lima,a sensaof tionalist publication murky politicscalledExtra,whichwas financed Odria's partisans. in Salmnworkedthere, by partly a veryhumbleposition.He was not even a reporter but himself, factsforpolice stories.He would bring informathe gathered the for tionfrom precincts someoneelse to writethereports. It shockedme terribly see him.He had been quite an important to character within worldof radio,veryfamousin Lima,and the now he had become the smallest in the mechanism a magof cog azine. But strangely enough,whathe was doingnow was inticonnectedwithwhathe'd done or imagined before:the mately and exaggerated worldof police reports. Whichmeans grotesque thatI alwayshad the epilogue,from verybeginning. the JMO: Is yournovelset in some recognizable periodin Peruvian life?I ask you because you say thatit has a broad basisin realcharacters experiences. like to and I'd ityand manyconcrete knowifthereare allusionsto specific or social circumpolitical stancesor ifit is completely devoid of historical references. MVL1: No, no, it is veryprecisely dated in the '50s, in thatdecade. JMO: Which theusual one foryou. is MVL1: Yes, the usual one. And thereare some allusions, course, of to thepoliticalmoment, and also to some trends, the music to of thattime,all of whichcontribute placingit in a certain to time.And it has an epiloguewhichtakesplace about ten to twelve yearslater. JMO: One lastquestion:what'sthe name of yournovel? MVL1: Well, like once before, I've had headachesoverthe titleof thisnovel.I've had so manydoubts.I had thought first a at of titlethatI laterdismissed because it seemedmuchtoo jocular and distorting the story.It was La taJuliay el escribidor,2 of but I discardedit and finally thinkI willretaina titlewhich I is more. . . thatof a picaresquenovel: Vida y milagros Pedro de Camacho. JMO: Well, thinkthatis all. Thanks,Mario. I Indiana University, Bloomington Notes
1. Interview translated Marcela Loiseaude Rossman by is Llosa's first 2. Julia thenameof Vargas wife. After interview this was his and published novelunder title. the this made,thewriter changed mind