Cultura y conciencia

A Goat, a Nobel, a Novel and a Snake

Nelson Santana

By Amaury Rodríguez

October 13, 2010

Mario Vargas Lllosa, the Peruvian-born Spanish citizen just received the Nobel Prize for literature. The event does not call for rejoicing —so save those fireworks for now—even though the award in some way honors Latin American and Spanish -speaking Literature. In some ways, that is. The prestigious award will also impact his book sales. This year’s choice is strange since Vargas Llosa has not written any good fiction in years. Or a good, interesting and entertaining word –a single word, a lonely single word—to be more exact. Take for example The Feast of the Goat (La Fiesta del Chivo), which takes place during the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. So while it is true that the novel sparked a renew interest in that dark historical period, it remained a badly written novel for generations to come, amen.  The Goat was so bad, so tasteless, that a friend who stole it regretted ever doing so on the first place; my friend, a voracious and serious reader of Latin American and Caribbean lit, couldn’t get to the end. In my case, I borrowed it from a public library in New York. However, I ended up regretting it even more because I had to commute 45 minutes in order to return it. In NYC, time is everything. That is why I threw the book to a snake so I wouldn’t have to waste a minute more contemplating that awful book.