Vargas Llosa did not come, but he sent José María Arguedas

03/28/2023 at 13:37


Compadre de Rulfo, forgotten and loved, the author of ‘Los ríos profundos’ is resurrected in Cádiz

Mario Vargas Llosa did not come to the IX Language Congress, which was to be held in Arequipa, the Peruvian land where he was born, as it is on March 28, 87 years ago. It occurred to him that it could be there, and now, but life took him, precisely, to the origin of his life as a human being and as a writer. He finishes a book, which goes from the Peruvian waltz, a granddaughter married, corrects proofs and reviews, surely, a life about which an extraliterary topicality has multiplied in recent times of which he has not said anything nor, he says, will tell.

The Arequipa occasion for this year’s congress was his idea. He told the director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, he processed it with the director of the Academy, Santiago Munoz Machado, who brought it to the criteria of language scholars from around the world. And it was already done. It was done until the now former president Castillo of Peru ran over the Peruvian passage through history, there were changes that continue to be dangerous and violent, and both he and the authorities cited agreed that it was better to leave it for another time. Cádiz was the city (“the white city, like Arequipa & rdquor;, has been said here) chosen to hold what is now the IX Congress of the Spanish Language. And what a euphoria there is in the city of silver, although here no one forgets Arequipa, the land of Mario Vargas Llosa.

He had even written a speech for that occasion in his small homeland, and it is among the documents that will participate in a tribute that Cervantes will give him this April, organized with the help of his Nicaraguan friend Sergio Ramirez to celebrate a literature that is outstanding not only for what he himself has written, but for what he has written by others.

That report on his love for Arequipa, already equipped to have been said there, will rest in the Cervantes “until it can be read in Arequipa & rdquor ;. He is not in Cádiz, but has sent, so to speak, an unusual ambassador, a neglected and powerful writer, José María Arguedasauthor of deep rivers, one of his great teacherswhom he has defended as if he were a relative, not only of writing, but of vital origin in favor of great literature.

The aforementioned book, which has a prologue of his that comes from his archaic utopia, It is one of the jewels that they shared, and share, shelves with the Pedro Paramo of Juan Rulfo or the multiple tales of Juan Carlos Onetti. It’s an inquiry, as it was The city and the Dogs of Vargas Llosa himself, in college life, and also in country life, as adolescents who did not get along with life around them in Peru in the 1950s. not a novel local, as he seemed to say Julio Cortazar when it became ugly (it was an anecdote, but it hurt Arguedas), but rather a book of universal encouragement, thrown into the world by a man saddened by the humiliation (of his stepmother, his father, his own stepbrother) who in the end , in a horrible precipitate of suffering, caused his suicide, which he announced like someone counting what to do with his last bullet.

the deep rivers (1958) arrive in Cádiz, then, with the impulse of Vargas Llosa, who was impacted until now by that man (handsome, funny, happy with children and in soccer and in the markets) who was interrupted by the nature of the past forever the present. Vargas Llosa dedicates part of his prologue to those times of a hard life, although his vision is widely (and generously) literary. It seems to me that the word suicide I did not see it in any angle of its text-prologue in the book that, as every time there is a Congress, is edited by the RAE, this time under the Alfaguara banner. It is a general chronicle of Arguedas, of his literature, and it is exciting to see these aspects of Peruvian literature coexist in Cádiz as if they came together.

troubled rivers

This morning of Vargas Llosa’s birthday, a few hours before he appears here the deep rivers de Arguedas, the journalist was lucky enough to hear speak, in the first person, of someone who was a fifteen-year-old boy when that writer who appeared in the newspaper a week ago killed himself Trade of Lima as the most loved (with Mario) of those who were born there, and drinking similar literary waters.

Who was the messenger of that Arguedas that he met is Alonso Cuetoan important novelist and journalist, who at the age of three was already a friend of Arguedas, because his parents (teachers, writers) were close to a José María who, in his Volkswagen, took the three Cueto brothers to soccer and the markets and he laughed with them as if he were from the same farm.

He went to eat at the Cuetos’ house every Tuesday. He spoke Quechua with the cook. He had lost a finger, he noticed, and they were having fun, before football, eating sandwiches, towers of onions, eggs, sausages, amid the smoke from the oil that surrounded the world of vendors. For him, recalls Cueto, a town provided two homes: the market and the stadium, and he became fond of them, often singing.

And Arguedas died, he killed himself. “I was fifteen years old. And I came across the fame of him in the newspapers. Then I read it. He impressed me a lot that his language in the books was the one he used to talk to young people, the wonderful sprouts of poetry that were in his language when he spoke to us. He was very loquacious, very funny, he made many jokes. I was so surprised that he had committed suicide & rdquor ;.

José María’s mother died when Arguedas was a boy of nineteen. The father, a judge, married the stepmother who ruined the boy’s spirits, his half-brother forced him (for example) to watch in horror a rape carried out by his half-relative, and frightened by that violence, José María went to the mountains in search of death… At school, says Cueto, the teacher predicted the worst for him as a student (“You will never amount to anything”), but at Leoncio Prado, where he also studied, with consequences that are in The city and the Dogs, from Mario Vargas Llosa, gets the best grades, receives affection, “and that’s where he becomes friends with my father, Carlos Cueto Ferrandini”.

It is then when the writer who was the author, in 1958, of The deep rivers. He had a well-marked obsession: to reveal the true cultural, geographical benefits of the Andean world, just as he had experienced them…” He goes to the coast of Peru, to Lima, and there begins that long process that ends up being the culmination of a talent. “He was always laughing. Saw a movie that was advertised like this, Stormy and overwhelmed, and he did not stop repeating those words for a whole day, out loud… When my father died he wrote to my mother. ‘Lilly, I cried because my compadre (he was the godfather of a brother) did not write everything he had known’ & rdquor ;.

Lilly told her son Alonso how Mario and Arguedas met. He told the young Vargas: “Nobody like you can write what I no longer know how to do, with your energy, how I envy you & rdquor ;. In the last text of Arguedas, that of his last decision, the most unequivocal, the author of deep rivers: “This gun is the last spark of my life & rdquor ;.

Today, in Cádiz, that man is revived in his literature. Mario Vargas Llosa brings it. Although he is not there, the truth is that they have always ridden together through a river that unites them in energy and, also, in the melancholy that the stories that both have starred as writers and as people give off.