Review Of "A Storyteller: Mario Vargas Llosa Between Civilization And Barbarism" By Braulio Muñoz

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Muñoz examines the numerous contradictions he finds in Vargas Llosa, the famous storyteller and former presidential candidate of Peru, and suggests that those who follow the voice of Vargas Llosa's implied author throughout his impressive corpus will be struck by a series of moral ambiguities long since addressed by Western social theorists. Recognizing that Vargas Llosa would agree in general that notions of good and evil are historically contingent, Munoz argues that his writing manifests disdain for those who fall victim to this relativism. Yet Muñoz sees an underlying relativistic ingredient in everything Vargas Llosa writes. Because of these contradictions, Vargas Llosa, according to Muñoz, fails to offer his reader a unified moral system and distances himself from the great 19th-century European writers whom he has admired. Vargas Llosa's interest in such diverse thinkers as Sartre, Camus, Popper, and Friedman reflect his eclectic approach to morality: within such eclecticism contradiction reigns, and Muñoz argues that Vargas Llosa has forfeited all claim to the traditional role of the Latin American "storyteller" whose primary function is to offer the public an insightful glimpse into a meaningful universe. Instead, he offers readers only the conviction that chaos is the ultimate arbiter in people's lives. An invaluable addition to the literature. All collections.


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