viernes, 27 de mayo de 2016

Mario Puzo

Mario Puzo with a cat

Mario Puzo
(1920 - 1999)

American novelist, best-known for his Godfather saga. Puzo's novel stayed on The New York Times' best-seller list for sixty-seven weeks. The work had a deep impact on American society through its film adaptation, and the saying "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse" has became a cliché. However, Puzo always claimed that he had never met a gangster in his life before writing his book.

Marlon Brando with a cat

"Don Vito Corleone was a man to whom everybody came for help, and never were they disappointed. He made no empty promises, nor the craven excuse that his hands were tied by more powerful forces in the world than himself. It was not necessary that he be your friend, it was not even important that you had no means with which to repay him. Only one thing was required. That you, you yourself, proclaim your friendship. And then, now matter how poor or powerless the supplicant, Don Corleone would take that man's troubles to his heart. And he would let nothing stand in the way to a solution of that man's woe. His reward? Friendship, the respectful title of "Don," and sometimes the more affectionate salutation of "Godfather."
Mario puzo with Oscar

Mario Puzo was born into an immigrant family in New York City in the area known as "Hell's Kitchen". Both of his parents, Antonio and Maria Le Conti Puzo, were illiterate immigrants from Avellino, a town outside Naples. His father worked as a railway trackman for the New York Central Railroad. Puzo's mother had four children from a previous marriage; her first husband had been killed in a dokcs accident. At one time or another Puzo and his brothers also worked for the railroad. "But everybody hated their jobs except my oldest brother who had a night shift and spent most of his working hours sleeping in freight cars," Puzo recalled.
When Puzo was in his early teen, his father deserted the family and they moved to a housing project in the Bronx. His brother Antionio was diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized. The discovery of public libraries and the world of literature led Puzo in the direction of writing, although his mother wanted him to become a railroad clerk, and had no understanding of his omnivorous reading. After graduating from Commerce High School, Puzo worked as a switchboard attendant for the railroad. During World War II her served in the US Air Force stationed in East Asia and Germany. For his combat service, he earned numerous decorations, though he never fired a shot – he had poor eyesight. After the war he stayed in Germany as a civilian public relations man for the Air Force. Puzo then studied at the New School for Social Research, New York, and at Columbia University. During this period he took classes in literature and creative writing. His first published story, 'The Last Christmans', appeared in American Vanguard in 1950. Puzo worked for 20 years as an administrative assistant in government offices in New York and overseas. In 1946 he married Erika Lina Broske, whom he had met in Germany; they had three sons and two daughters. After Erika's death in 1978, her nurse, Carol Gino, became Puzo's companion.
At the age of 35, Puzo published his first book, Dark arena (1955). The novel dealt with the relationship between Walter Mosca, a tough and embittered ex-GI, and Hella, a German native, his mistress. Hella dies of an infection, denied the drugs that would have saved her, and Mosca avenges her. From 1963 on Puzo worked as a free lance journalist and writer. He contributed to men's magazines, among them Stagand Male, and published book reviews, stories, and articles in such journals as RedbookHolidayBook World, and the New York Times. His second novel, Fortunate Pilgrim (1965) followed one family of Italian immigrants from the late 1920s through World War II. The plot centered round an Italian peasant woman, a twice-widowed matriarch Lucia, her perception of the 'American dream', and juxtaposed her honest and determined progress with that of a corrupt climber. Neither of Puzo's first two books gained financial success, though both received good reviews.
Puzo's fourth work, The Runaway Summer of David Shaw (1966), was a children's book. After an expensive medical emergency – a gallbladder attack – Puzo decided to write a novel that would also be a commercial success. While working in pulp journalism, he had heard Mafia anecdotes and begand to collect material on the East Coast branches of the Cosa Nostra.

"A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with guns."

The Godfather
Vito Corleone and his sons

"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse"
Vito Corleone
Mario Puzo, The Godfather

Honoré de Balzac's "Le Pere Goriot" (1834) has been the inspiration for notable lines that have gain wide popularity in cinema history. Puzo opened his 1969 novel with an epigraph popularly attributed to Balzac: "Behind every great fortune there is a crime." The saying is most likely evolved over time from Balzac's original text: "The secret of a great success for which you are at a loss to account is a crime that has never been found out, because it was properly executed".

Comédie Humaine by Honoré de Balzac, Edited by George Saintsbury, Old Goriot (Le Père Goriot) (1896), Translated by Ellen Marriage, Quote Page 124, J. M. Dent and Co., London and New York. 

The themes of love, crime, family bondage, Old World morals – including the concept of individual honour – were further developed in Godfather (1969), Puzo's international breakthrough novel. Whenever the Godfather opened his mouth," Puzo said years later, "in my own mind I heard the voice of my mother." With this work Puzo achieved his financial goals, but he also said that he wrote below his gifts. The central character, Don Corleone, is a sentimental bandit, individualist and ruthless scourge inside a tightly structured crime syndicate. His values are at the same anti-social and those of a bourgeois person; he is a conservative fundamentalist and his illicit activities spread corruption and violence. Puzo describes Don Corleone's struggle among the underworld bosses for power, and how family values are transferred from one generation to the next and how they change under social pressure. Puzo also referred to real-life events and persons. One of the characters had similarities with the famous singer Frank Sinatra, who verbally attacked the author in a restaurant in 1972.
Puzo's international bestseller was also adapted for the screen. Director Francis Ford Coppola did not like the book at first, but his films,Godfather and Godfather Part II, received several Oscars, including best picture and best script (written by Puzo and Coppola). The production was beset with difficulties. Before shooting began, the Italian-American Civil Rights League held a rally in Madison Square Garden and raised $600 000 towards attempts to stop the film. Finally Coppola agreed to eliminate the words "Mafia" and "Cosa Nostra" from the screenplay. Coppola's unlinear narrative technique and flashbacks in Godfather II puzzled critics. He cut back and forth between the late fifties and the late 1890s and early 1900s. Robert De Niro ais the young Vito is an immigrant in New York, and Michael (Al Pacino), his son, gets mixed up with the downfall of Batista's Cuba. Vincent Canby wrote in the New York Times (December 13, 1974): "It's a Frankenstein's monster stitched together from leftover parts. It talks. It moves in fits and starts but it has no mind of its own... Everything of any interest was thoroughly covered in the original film, but like many people who have nothing to say, Part II won't shut up... Looking very expensive but spiritually desperate, Part II has the air of a very long, very elaborate revue sketch."
The third part (1990), which was not based on the original book, was written by the director Coppola and Puzo, starring Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy Garcia, and Eli Wallach. Coppola's well-made film was a self-conscious mafia opera but did not find the critical or commercial success of the earlier pictures. The story was set in 1979, Pacino is now an aged don who wants to leave the world of crime behind. Compared to the movie versions, Puzo's books were less romanticized and they had more graphic sex and violence. Coppola's attitude toward the corruption is more cutting and he draws parallels to contemporary politics: the Watergate scandal was simultaneously revealing the reach of criminality into the highest levels of government. In the film, the civil servants and Cardinals of Vatican are potrayed as tough negotiators as the mobsters.
In the mid-1970s, Puzo worked on the scripts of Superman 1 and 2. His next novel after Godfather was Fools Die (1978) set in Las Vegas, Hollywood, Tokyo, and New York during the 1950s and 1960s. The protagonist is a dishonest fiction writer who considers himself a modern-day magician. Eventually Merlyn writes a bestseller that becomes a hugely profitable movie. May readers found the work aimless and dull. The Sicilian (1984) was based on the life of Salvatore Giuliano, the so-called Robin Hood of Sicily.
Puzo's later works from the 1990s include The Fourth K (1991), a global political thriller in the spirit of Frederick Forsyth and Ken Follet. In The Last Don (1996) Puzo returned to the world of Godfathers. The head of the most powerful Mafia family in the country, Don Clericuzio, decides to make his enterprises legal, and the story follows how the don's plan for his family future succeeds. Clerucuzio's daughter Rose Marie marries a member of the enemy family; she gives birth to a son who grows up into a rough man. Other central characters are Pippi De Lena, a hitman, and his son, Cross. Puzo died from heart failure on July, 1999, at his home in Long Island, after completing his final organized crime book, Omerta. This work came out in July 2000. Puzo depicts a family whose members represent the legitimate world and organized crime. Finally the right and the wrong side of the law come into conflict. His last years Puzo spent collecting material and writing The Family, dealing with the Borgias, masters of intrigues and one of the most influential families in Renaissance Italy. The book was completed by his longtime companion, Carol Gino. "The Family does not read like a Mario Puzo novel, even a lesser one. A work of such historical depth requires strong, interesting dialogue and even stronger characters to deliver it -- the very qualities that always raised Puzo's work to a higher plane. Neither exists here." (William Heffernan in The Washington Post, January 6, 2002)


Mario Puzo

The author of the Godfather, the book the Mafia loved

Eric Homberger
Monday 5 July 1999

Mario Puzo, who has died aged 78, said of his worldwide, bestselling novel The Godfather: "I wished like hell I'd written it better."
Puzo's remarkable success came about because he was broke and determined to write something which would make him money. He had a wife and five children to support.
"I was 45 years old, I owed $20,000 to relatives, finance companies, banks and assorted bookmakers and loan sharks. It was really time to grow up and sell out."
The public made his book one of the most widely read, post-war American novels, selling more than 21 million copies worldwide. Puzo's tale of treachery, violence, sex and revenge was also the story of the destruction of a family. It was written in the late 1960s, at the height of the war in Vietnam, when the country was tearing itself apart.

"Family values" was a crude slogan much favoured by right-wing politicians. But the figure of Don Corleone, with his peasant ways, holding the family together while struggling to restrain the impetuousness and ambitions of his sons and fend off the greed of rivals, deeply touched the popular imagination. Members of the Mafia, seldom interviewed about their literary judgments, were said to have loved the novel.
The Godfather remained a popular book for three decades, and in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola, Puzo wrote the screenplays for three wildly successful and award-winning films based on his novels and the characters he created: The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and The Godfather Part III.
Born the son of illiterate Neapolitan immigrants, and one of 12 children, Puzo grew up in Hell's Kitchen on the west side of Manhattan. His father worked as a trackman for the New York Central Railroad.
Mario Puzo was 12 when his father abandoned the family. The recollection of his strong-willed mother determined to support her children, and to protect them from the slums came flooding back when Puzo began to write The Godfather. The element of personal dignity in Don Corleone, and his ruthlessness, was based on his mother. Puzo later said that it was her voice in his ear while he was writing the Don's dialogue.
After the second world war (in which he served in the US army), he married Erika, a German woman who died in 1978, and worked as a clerk in a government office. He wrote freelance articles and published two novels, The Dark Arena (1955) and The Fortunate Pilgrim (1965), a story of Italian immigrant life in New York city. They earned him respectful reviews, but no noticeable sales.
For The Godfather in 1969 he received an advance of $5,000 but by the time the foreign rights, movie rights and paperback rights had been sold, he was a millionaire.
The public assumed that Puzo had written about the Mafia from personal knowledge. But, in The Godfather Papers (1972), he said that he was only aware of the lowest level of organised crime in his neighbourhood. It was as a lifelong gambler that he knew, from a distance, the street talk about "mobbed up", "respect" and the "vig".
Puzo knew the domestic interiors of the mafiosi, because he knew the tasteless interiors of their souls. Having read Hemingway to good effect, he was able to create a stylised Mafia dialogue which the public adored. Phrases from his book entered the vocabulary of the Mafia itself, as well as the vernacular.
Drawn to Hollywood for the buzz, the big bucks and the gambling, Puzo wrote screenplays for a string of other big-budget movies, including the two Superman films and The Cotton Club. His novels after The Godfather enjoyed better reviews than similar popular products.
In 1996 The Last Don completed the geographical shift of the organised crime family from the Lower East Side to Las Vegas and Hollywood. Omerta, a novel which returns again to the Corleone family, is due for publication next year.
Mario Puzo is survived by his five children and his companion of 20 years, Carol Gino.
For Puzo, the characters so vividly presented in The Godfather had, in the end, been swallowed by Brando, Pacino and Duval. It was no longer his Mamma's voice that he heard, but Brando's rasp, mandolins, sepia tints, and Coppola's soundtrack.

For further reading: The Immigrant Experience, ed. by T.C. Wheeler (1971); The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions (1972); The Italian-American Novel by Rose B. Green (1974); Contemporary Novelists, ed. by J. Vinson (1976); World Authors 1970-1975, ed. by John Wakeman (1980); Contemporary Popular Writers, ed. by David Mote (1997); Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers by Lee Server (2002)

Selected bibliography:
  • Dark Arena, 1955 
  • The Fortunate Pilgrim, 1965 
    - Mamma Lucia (suom. Mikko Kilpi, 1972) 
    The Fortunate Pilgrim, TV mini-series (1988), prod. Carlo & Alex Ponti, Rete Europa, dir. by Stuart Cooper, starring Sophia Loren, Edward James Olmos, John Turturro
  • The Runaway Summer of David Shaw, 1966
  • The Godfather, 1969 
    - Films: Godfather (1972), dir. by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Marion Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, music Nino Rota. The film depicts events, when the Mafia's New York head dies of old age, and his son takes over reluctantly but later learns how to kill. Godfather Part II (1974), dir. by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino, Robert Duvall. Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro. In 1958, Michael Corleone reflects on the problems of himself and his father before him. Godfather Part III (1990), dir. by Francis Ford Coppola, starring Al Pacino, Diane Keaton, Talia Shire, Andy Garcia. Eli Wallach, Bridget Fonda, written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola. Operatic tale, where Michael Corleone attempts to become a legitimate businessman while grooming his brother's violent and illegitimate son as his successor
  • The Godfather Papers and Other Confessions, 1972
  • Earthquake, 1974, (script, with George Fox) 
    - Prod. Universal Pictures, The Filmakers Group, dir. by Mark Robson, starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy, Lorne Greene
  • Fools Die, 1975 
  • Inside Las Vegas, 1977
  • A Time to Die, 1982 (story: 'Six Graves to Munich') 
    - Film prod. Carnation International Pictures (CIP), screenplay John F. Goff, Matt Cimber, Willy Russell, dir. Matt Cimber, Joe Tornatore, starring Rex Harrison, Rod Taylor, Edward Albert, Ralf Vallone
  • The Sicilian, 1984 
    Film: The Sicilian (1987), prod. Gladden Entertainment, dir. by Michael Cimino, (Gore Vidal contributed to the screenplay, written by Steve Shagan), starring Christopher Lambert, Terence Stamp, Barbara Sukowa
  • The Fourth K, 1991 
    Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (screenplay with others, also the story) 
  • - Film: Prod. Quinto Centenario, screenplay John Briley, Cary Bates, Mario Puzo, dir. John Glen, starring Tom Selleck, Marlon Brando, Georges Corrafe, Rachel Ward
  • The Last Don, 1996 

    Films: The Last Don, TV mini-series (1997), dir. Graeme Clifford, starring Danny Aiello, Joe Mantegna and Daryl Hannah; The Last Don II, TV mini-series (1998), dir. Graeme Clifford, starring Patsy Kensit, Jason Gedrick and Kirstie Alley

  • Omerta, 2000 
    The Family, 2001 (completed by Carol Gino)

sábado, 14 de mayo de 2016

Mario Vargas Llosa / The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2010

Peruvian novelist, playwright, essayist and literary critic, who received Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. Mario Vargas Llosa is one of the central writers in the Hispanic world, but he began his literary career in Europe. Most of his novels are set in Peru. From his first works, Vargas Llosa has used a wide variety of avant-garde techniques to create an aesthetic "double of the real world." Although Vargas Llosa has followed the tradition of social protest of Peruvian fiction exposing political corruption, machismo, racial prejudices and violence, he has underlined that a writer should never preach or compromise artistic aims for ideological propaganda.

Mario Vargas Llosa
"His voice was persuasive; it reached a person's soul without passing by way of his head, and even to a being as addlebrained as Big João, it seemed like a balm that healed old and terrible wounds. João stood there listening to him, rooted on the spot, not even blinking, moved to his very bones by what he was hearing and by the music of the voice uttering those words. The figure of the saint was blurred at times by the tears that welled up in João's eyes. When the man went on his way, he began to follow him at a distance, like a timid animal." (from The War of the End of the World, 1981)

Mario Vargas Llosa

         Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, but from ages one to then he lived in Cochabamba, Bolivia, where he was brought up by his mother and maternal grandparents after his parents separated. However, Vargas Llosa once said, that "I feel very much an Arequipan". He also spent some time in Piura, northern Peru (1945-46), where his grandfather had been appointed as Prefect, and then in Lima. When he was about eight years old his parents reconciled.
           Vargas Llosa attended Leoncio Prado Military Academy (1950-52), and Colegio Nacional San Miguel de Piura (1952). In 1955 he married Julia Urquidi; they divorced in 1964. From 1955 to 1957 Vargas Llosa studied literature and law at the University of San Marcos. He then attended graduate school at the University of Madrid, from where he received his Ph.D. in 1959. Vargas Llosa's doctoral dissertation about  García Márquez (1971) was followed by several books on literary criticism, among them LA ORGÍA PERPETUA (1975), about Flaubert's masterpiece Madame Bovary. Decades later, in TRAVESURAS DE LA NIÑA MALA (2006), he drew on the character of Emma. With Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, and García Márquez, Vargas Llosa was among the most famous writers, whose aim was to revitalize the Latin American novel.

Mario Vargas Llosa, 1972

              In the 1950s, while still a student, Vargas Llosa worked as a journalist for La Industria. He was a coeditor of the literary journals Cuadernos de Conversación and Literatura, and journalist for Radio Panamericana and La Crónica. His first collection of short stories, LOS JEFES, appeared in 1959. "I liked Faulkner but I imitated Hemingway", he said later. Vargas Llosa moved to Paris because he felt that in Peru he could not earn his living as a serious writer. Although the boom of Latin American fiction in the 1960s opened doors to some authors for commercial success, the great majority of Peruvian writers suffered from the problems of the country's publishing industry.
           In France Vargas Llosa worked as Spanish teacher, journalist for Agence-France-Presse, and broadcaster for Radio Télévision Française in early 1960s. From the late 1960s Vargas Llosa worked as a visiting professor at many American and European universities. In 1965 he married Patricia Llosa; they had two sons and one daughter. García Márquez became a godfather to his son, but after a brawl in a Mexican cinema in 1976, the friendship of two writers ended bitterly. However, in 2006 Vargas Llosa allowed an excerpt from his HISTORIA SECRETA DE UNA NOVELA (1971) to be published in the 40th anniversary edition of García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. In 1970 Vargas Llosa moved to Barcelona and five years later he settled back in Peru, ending his self-imposed exile. Vargas Llosa was a member of the 1976 Cannes Film Festival jury, led by Tennessee Williams; Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver won that year's Palme d'Or. In 1977 he was elected President of PEN Club International. The military dictatorship, which started in 1968 when General Francisco Morales Bermudez took over the country, ended in 1980.
            Vargas Llosa was a conservative candidate (Fredemo, the Democratic Front) for the Peruvian presidency in 1990. The development of his political convictions, from a sympathizer of Cuban revolution to the liberal right, has astonished his critics and has made it impossible to approach his work from a single point of view. Sabine Koellmann has noted that the publication of Vargas Llosa's LA FIESTA DEL CHIVO (2000, The Feast of the Goat) confirmed, "that politics is one of the most persistent 'demons' which, according to his theory, provoke his creativity." (see Vargas Llosa's Fiction & the Demons of Politics, 2002) Vargas Llosa was defeated by Alberto Fujimori, an agricultural engineer of Japanese descent, also a political novice, but who had a more straightforward agenda to present to the voters. An unexpected twist in the plot of this political play occurerred in 2000, when President Fujimori escaped to his ancestral homeland Japan after a corruption scandal.
              From 1991 to 1992 Vargas Llosa worked as a visiting professor at Florida International University, Miami and Wissdenschaftskolleg, Berlin. In addition to the Nobel Prize, the author has received many other honors. Among the most notable are Leopoldo Alas Prize (1959), Rómulo Gallegos Prize (1967), National Critics' Prize (1967), Peruvian National Prize (1967), Critics' Annual Prize for Theatre (1981), Prince of Asturias Prize (1986) and Miguel de Cervantes Prize (1994).
              Vargas Llosa made his debut as a novelist with LA CIUDAD Y LOS PERROS (1962, The Time of the Hero), set in Leoncio Prado military Academy, where he had been a student. The book received an immediate international recognition. According to Vargas Llosa's theory, personal, social or historical daemon gives a meaning to a novel and in the writing process unconscious obsessions are transformed into a novelist's themes. Autobiography and art has been one of the themes in his criticism.
             One of Vargas Llosa's own obsessions is the conflict between a father and son, which he has approached from the private level or from more universal or social levels. The Time of the Hero is a microcosm of Peruvian society. The murder of an informer is buried due to the codes of honor to protect the academy's reputation. LA TÍA JULIA Y EL ESCRIBIDOR (1977, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter) is a partly autobiographical story of a courtship and marriage, written with uninhibited humor. The tyrannical father threatens to shoot his son, a novelist named Marito Varguitas, in the middle of the street, because of his marriage to the sexy, sophisticated, older Aunt Julia. Marito is eighteen and the marriage is illegal. Eventually his father accepts the situation. The book started to live its own life when Aunt Julia, Vargas Llosa's first wife, wrote a reply to it.
             In LA CASA VERDE (1966, The Green House) Vargas Llosa returned to formative experiences of his childhood and youth. The complicated novel has two major settings: the first, a provincial city, and the second, the jungle, a challenging, hostile and attractive environment, which the author has depicted in several works. In 1957 Varga Llosa travelled with a group of anthropologists into the jungle, and learned how Indian girls were being drafted into prostitution on the coast. The "Green House" of the story is a brothel, which is burned to the ground but rebuilt again. Another storyline follows the fate of the virginal Bonifacia from a jungle mission; she becomes a prostitute in Piura.
            LA GUERRA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO (1981, The War of the End of the World) is a story of a revolt against the Brazilian government in the late 19th-century and the brutal response of the authorities. A religious fanatic, known as Conselheiro (Counselor), is followed by a huge band of disciples drawn from the fringes of society. Before the army of the Republic wins, the modern rational world suffers several humiliating defeats with the group of outcasts. Vargas Llosa uses Euclides da Cunha's account of the events, Os sertões (1902), as a source. One of the characters, a "nearsighted journalist", is loosely based on da Cunha.
            HISTORIA DE MAYTA (1983, The Real life of Alejandro Mayta) moves on several narrative levels. It deals with a failed Marxist-Leninist insurrection in the Andes, led by an aging Trotskyist Alejandro Mayta. He is captured and his second lieutenant Vallejos executed. The novelist-narrator interviews a number of people who give a contradictory view of Mayta's personality and the events. Finally the reader realizes that in the process of creating a novel within a novel, the narrator has invented Mayta's life and undermined the concepts of writing and reading history.
              Besides fiction, Vargas Llosa has publushed a large body of essays, criticism, and literary and political journalism. A writer with an international readership, his foreign reportage has appeared in The New York Times Le MondeThe Times Literary SupplementEl País, and other influential newspapers. Vargas Llosa's articles about the war in Iraq, written for El Pais, were collected in DIARIO DE IRAK (2003). With his daughter Morgana, a photographer, he traveled to Israel and Palestine in 2005, and recorded his impressions in ISRAEL/PALESTINA:PAZ O GUERRA SANTA (2006). The book was received with mixed reactions among the Jewish community in South America. "Israel had become a powerful and arrogant country, and it is the role of its friends to be highly critical of its policies", Vargas Llosa said in an interview.

Mario Vargas Llosa

              Vargas Llosa's bitter memoir, EL PEZ EN EL AGUA (A Fish in the Water), appeared in 1993. It focused on his run for the presidency in 1990 - he was supposed to win the little-known Alberto Fujimori. The Feast of the Goat continued the author's political excursion into the recent history of South America. The story is set in the Dominican Republic in 1961, ruled by the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo. Urania Chabral has returned to the noisy Santo Domingo to visit her father, Agustin Chabral, who is ill. He is a former Dominican senator, a faithful servant of the dictator. "And how many times did you come home saddened because he did not call to you, fearful you were no longer in the circle of the elect, that you had fallen among the censured?" Eventually "Minister Cabral, Egghead Cabral" lost his favor. Urania left the country as a schoolgirl, three and a half decades ago, just before Trujillo's assassination in 1961. Urania wants revenge against father for everything he did not do, and has her own reasons to examine the Trujillo Era. "The most important thing that happened to us in five hundred years. You used to say that with so much conviction. It's true, Papa. During those thirty-one years, all the evil we had carried with us since the Conquest became crystallized."
             Vargas Llosa portrays Trujillo as a superman intoxicated by his political and sexual powers, and worshipped by his demonic henchmen working in torture dungeons. "Oddly, Vargas Llosa's Trujillo sees himself as having gotten the short end of the bargain. He whipped his pathetic homeland into shape, modernized its attitudes and highways and in return he got -- old." (Walter Kirn in the New York Times, November 25, 2001) Vargas Llosa has structured the story like a thriller, leading the reader into the heart of the darkness. The Feast of the Goat is a highly topical book. The era of strong leaders is not totally over in Latin America, as one of the latest examples, Fujimori, sadly proved.
            In EL PARAÍSO EN LA OTRA ESQUINA (2002) two exceptional individuals, the socialist Flora Tristan, and her grandson, the painter Paul Gauguin, are inspired by great ideas. Flora devotes her life to serve the humanity, to create a worker's paradise. Gauguin leaves civilization behind and eventually rots alive in Atuana, Marguesas Island, in a tropical paradise. EL SUEÑO DEL CELTA (2010) again portayed an idealist, Sir Roger Casement, a diplomat and an Irish nationalist, who revealed human rights abuses in Congo and Peru, and was executed in 1916 by the British for treason.

For further readingMario Vargas Llosa's Pursuit of the Total Novel by Luis A. Diez (1970); La narrativa de Vargas Llosa by J.L. Martin (1974); Mario Vargas Llosa by José Oviedo (1981); Vargas Llosa: La ciudad y los perros by Peter Standish (1982); Mario Vargas Llosa by Dick Gwerdes (1985); Mario Vargas Llosa by Raymond L. Williams (1986); Novel Lives by Rosemary Geisdorfer Feal (1986); Mario Vargas Llosa by Roy C. Boland (1988); My Life With Mario Vargas Llosa by Julia Urquidi Illanes, C.R. Perricone (1988); Sobre la vida y la política by A. Ricardo Sett (1989); El metateatro y la dramátice de Vargas Llosa by Oscar Rivera-Rodas (1992); Understanding Mario Vargas Llosa by Sara Castro-Klaren (1992); Vargas Llosa among the Postmodernists by M. Keith Booker (1994); Vargas Llosa's Fiction & the Demons of Politics by Sabine Koellmann (2002).

Selected works:
  • LA HUIDA DEL INCA, 1952 (play)
  • LOS JEFES, 1959 - The Cubs and Other Stories (transl. by Gregory Kolovakos and Ronald Christ, 1979)
  • LA CIUDAD Y LOS PERROS, 1963 - The Time of the Hero (transl. by Lysander Kemp, 1966) - film 1985, dir. by Francisco J. Lombardi, screenplay by José Watanabe, prod. Inca Films S.A., starring Pablo Serra, Gustavo Bueno, Luis Álvarez, Juan Manuel Ochoa, Eduardo Adrianzén, Liliana Navarro
  • LA CASA VERDE, 1966 - The Green House (transl. by Gregory Rabassa, 1968) - Vihreä talo (suom. Matti Brotherus, 1978)
  • LOS CACHORROS, 1967 - The Cubs and Other Stories (transl. by Gregory Kolovakos and Ronald Christ, 1979) - film 1973, dir. by Jorge Fons, prod. Cinematográfica Marco Polo S.A., starring José Alonso, Helena Rojo, Carmen Montejo, Augusto Benedico, Gabriel Retes
  • LA NOVELA EN AMÉRICA LATINA; DIÁLOGO, 1968 (in collaboration with Gabriel García Márquez)
  • ed.: Seven Stories fro Spanish America, 1968 (with Gordon Brotherston)
  • CONVERSACIÓN EN LA CATEDRAL, 1969 - Conversation in the Cathedral (transl. by Gregory Rabassa, 1975)
  • LA LITERATURA EN LA REVOLUCIÓN Y LA RECOLUCIÓN EN LA LITERATURA, 1970 (with Julio Cortázar and Oscar Collazos)
  • PANTELEÓN Y LAS VISITADORAS, 1973 - Captain Pantoja and the Special Service (transl. by Gregory Kolovakos and Ronald Christ, 1978) films: 1975, dir. by José María Gutiérrez Santos and Mario Vargas Llosa, starring José Sacristán as Pantaleón Pantoja, Martha Figueroa, Sylvia Gálvez, Katy Jurado; 2000, dir. by Francisco J. Lombardi, starring Salvador del Solar, Angie Cepeda, Mónica Sánchez, Pilar Bardem
  • LA ORGÍA PERPETUA, 1975 - The Perpetual Orgy: Flaubert and Madame Bovary (transl. by Helen Lane, 1986)
  • LA TÍA JULIA Y EL ESCRIBIDOR, 1977 - Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter (transl. by Helen R. Lane, 1982) - film 1990, dir. by Jon Amiel, screenplay by William Boyd, prod. Odyssey & Polar Entertainment Corporation, starring Keanu Reeves, Barbara Hershey, Peter Falk, Bill McCutcheon, Patricia Clarkson 
  • Art, Authenticity and Latin American Culture, 1981 (?)
  • LA GUERRA DEL FIN DEL MUNDO, 1981 - The War of the End of the World (transl. by Helen R. Lane, 1984)
  • LA SEÑORITA DE TACNA, 1981 - The Young Lady from Tacna (play)
  • KATHIE Y EL HIPOPÓTAMO, 1983 - Kathie and the Hippopotamus (play)
  • HISTORIA DE MAYTA, 1984 - The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta (transl. by Alfred Mac Adam, 1985)
  • LA CHUNGA, 1986 - trans. (play)
  • ¿QUIÉN MATÓ A PALOMINO MOLERO?, 1986 - Who Killed Palomino Molero? (transl. by Alfred Mac Adam, 1987)
  • EL HABLADOR, 1987 - The Storyteller (transl. by Helen Lane, 1989) - Puhujamies (suom. Erkki Kirjalainen, 1990)
  • ELEGIO DE LA MADRASTRA, 1988 - In Praise of the Stepmother (transl. by Helen Lane, 1990) - Äitipuolen ylistys (suom. Sulamit Hirvas, 1991)
  • LA VERDAD DE LAS MENTIRAS, 1990 - A Writer's Reality (ed. by Myron I. Lichtblau, 1991)
  • Three Plays, 1990 (transl. by David Graham-Young)
  • CONTRA VIENTRO Y MAREA (1962-1982), 1983-90 (3 vols.)
  • LITUMA EN LOS ANDES, 1993 - Death in the Andes (transl. by Edith Grossman, 1996) - Andies mies (suom. Sulamit Hirvas, 1995)
  • EL PEZ EN EL AGUA, 1993 - A Fish in the Water (transl. by Helen Lane, 1994)
  • Georg Grosz and Mario Llosa, 1993
  • Making Waves, 1996 (ed. by John King)
  • CARTAS A UN NOVELISTA, 1997 - Letters to a Young Novelist (transl. Natasha Wimmer, 2003)
  • LOS CUADERNOS DE DON RIGOBERTO, 1997 - The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto (transl. by Edith Grossman, 1998)
  • LA FIESTA DEL CHIVO, 2000 - The Feast of the Goat (transl. by Edith Grossman, 2001) - Vuohen juhla (suom. Sulamit Hirvas, 2002) - film 2005, dir. by Luis Llosa, starring Tomas Milian, Isabella Rosselini, Paul Freeman, Juan Diego Botto, Stephanie Leonidas, Shawn Elliot
  • EL LENGUAJE DE LA PASIÓN, 2001 - The Language of Passion (translated by Natasha Wimmer, 2003)
  • EL PARAÍSO EN LA OTRA ESQUINA, 2002 - The Way to Paradise (transl. by Natasha Wimmer, 2003)
  • DIARIO DE IRAK, 2003 (with Morgana Vargas Llosa)
  • OBRAS COMPLETAS, 2004 (ed. Antoni Munné)
  • LA TENTACIÓN DE LO IMPOSIBLE, 2004 - The Temptation of the Impossible (transl. by John King, 2007)
  • TRAVESURAS DE LA NIÑA MALA, 2006 - The Bad Girl (transl. by Edith Grossman, 2007) - Tuhma tyttö (suom. Sulamit Hrvas, 2010)
  • ISRAEL, PALESTINA: PAZ O GUERRA SANTA, 2006 (with Morgana Vargas Llosa)
  • ODISEO Y PENÉLOPE, 2007 (with Ros Ribas)
  • Touchstones: Essays on Literature, Art and Politics, 2007 (translated and edited by John King)
  • AL PIE DEL TÁMESIS, 2008 (with Morgana Vargas Llosa)
  • SABLES Y UTOPÍAS, 2009 (ed. by Carlos Granés)
  • LAS MIL NOCHES Y UNA NOCHE, 2009 (with Ros Ribas)
  • EL SUEÑO DEL CELTA, 2010 - The Dream of the Celt (tr. 2012) - Keltin uni (suom. Sulamit Hirvas, 2011)

jueves, 5 de mayo de 2016

Flora Borsi

Flora is a young fine art photographer from Hungary. She uses exquisite photo manipulation to create surreal images that are thematically focused on identity, relationships, emotions and dreams. Her immaculate technique and subtle conceptual ideas create beautiful evocations of universal emotions, from lust and desire to despair and loss.

Flora at once captures the complex strength and fragility of the human psyche. She expertly visualises dark fantasies and
atmospheric dreams, utilising the uncanny and clever metaphor, while unlocking what it means to think, feel, dream and express in the urban world. 

Her work often features the female body and she plays with hiding and revealing the eyes or face to leave only the feminine form, exploring questions of female representation and the relationship between body and self.

Flora has exhibited internationally with solo exhibitions in Europe and the USA, and has most notably taken part in the “Continental Shift” group exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. She has also exhibited at the Louvre, France. Her ethereal aesthetic has won multiple art prizes and garnered critical
acclaim from press including The Guardian’s Observer and BBC Culture. Her artwork was the face of Adobe Photoshop in 2014.


The editor software is just a tool to complete my pictures, I want to make an image, which looks like a real, unedited photo.
I would like to shock people or make them smile with some society critics. 
My goal is to inspire the viewer to think, to feel what I felt.

Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe Photoshop
BBC Culture
Beautiful Bizarre Magazine
COMPLEX Magazine
Daily Mirror
Design Collector
ELLE Magazine
Glamour Magazine
La Repubblica
My Modern Metropolis
Oakland Press
Philosophie Magazine
ProBlog Magazine
The Daily Mail
The Guardian
The Huffington Post
The Observer
This Is Colossal

Adobe & Lee Hirsh - The Bully Project

Adobe Photoshop 25 Under 25

Adobe Photoshop CC Splash Screen 2014
ABC Studios

Budapest Airport Fall 2013 Campagin
Chris Lawyer
Duda Brack

Elle King - Sony Records

Farha AIDS Foundation

Klara Festival Brussels
National Opera Paris

Philosophie Magazine


2012 Budapest, Hungary, Solo Exhibition, Nivelco Trade Center

2014 Detroit, United States, Solo Exhibition, Museum Of Photography and New Media (MONA)

2014 Istanbul, Turkey, Solo Exhibition "Pieces of my mind", ART350 Gallery

2014 London, United Kingdom, Group Exhibition "Continental Shift", Saatchi Gallery
2014 London, United Kingdom, Group Exhibition "Flesh", Leontia Gallery
2014 Linz, Austria, Group Exhibition "Trierenberg Super Circuit's Best Works"
2014 Budapest, Hungary, Group Exhibition, "Grand Opening" at Mono Art & Design
2015 Istanbul, Turkey, Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair, ART350 Gallery

2014 Toronto, Canada, Group Exhibition "A World of Circus Art Exhibition"
2015 Budapest, Hungary, Solo Exhibition, Kaptár
2015 Bogotá, Colombia, Group Exhibition "International Biennial of Photography, Fotografica Bogota by Foto MUSEO"
2015 Detroit, United States, Group Exhibition, "Selfie Show", Museum Of Photography and New Media (MONA) 
2015 Istanbul, Turkey, Group Exhibition "YAZ", ART350 Gallery
2015 Paris, France, Exposure Award's collection, The Louvre
2015 Budapest, Hungary, Solo Exhibition "DETROIT", Art Market Budapest
2015 Los Angeles, United States, Group Exhibition "Adobe 25 under 25"


2002 Images for Earth Fifth International Edition, Drawing Contest - 3rd prize

2008 National Photography Award by NFÜ - 1st prize

2012 PictureCompete International Photography Award "The Family" -  Honorable mentioned

2014 Trierenberg Super Circuit  International Photography Award - Gold medal of excellence
2014 World of Circus International Art Contest - Finalist in three categories
2015 Exposure Award, Portraiture Collection


Budapest, Hungary


Freelance Fine Art Photographer