Mario Vargas Llosa!

Mario Vargas Llosa has won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature. An interesting choice — the first writer since Doris Lessing with significant name recognition in the United States. All I’ve read is Conversation in the Cathedral, which was spectacular, but it just makes me feel, as usual, woefully unread. The world of literature is so broad; how can we hope to keep up?

On an interesting side note: This may be the first time in history that we have two living Nobel Prize winners in literature who were confirmed participants in a bar fight. In 1976 — allegedly after a heated argument about a woman between the two good friends — Vargas Llosa punched Gabriel Garcia Marquez in the face. They have not spoken since. In 2007, a photograph taken a few days after the fight (showing Marquez with a black eye) was published in a Peruvian newspaper.

Marquez won the prize in 1982. And now, nearly thirty years later, his fellow combatant has won it, too. Does time heal all wounds? Is a steak really a good remedy for a black eye? Will there be a tearful reunion of the two old friends? More intrigue than usual in this Nobel season.

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