People who never voiced any concerns about the politics of other Nobel Prize winners like Wisyawa Szymborska, who wrote poetic celebrations of Lenin and Stalin; Günter Grass, who praised Cuba's dictatorship; Harold Pinter, who supported Slobodan Milosevic; José Saramago, who purged anti-Stalinists from the revolutionary newspaper he edited thought that the Swedish Academy had finally crossed a line. Mario Vargas Llosa's politics apparently should have disqualified him from any prize considerations. He is after all a classical liberal in the tradition of John Locke and Adam Smith.For those leftists who are keen on diversity such parochialism is hypocritical. And that only leftists write literature worth reading is snobbery, pure and simple. Vargas proves that non-socialists like him can write literature that not only win prestigious prizes like Nobels, but are works of high artistic merits, which is reason enough to read them. These leftists forget that Vargas won the Nobel for his literary contributions, not his politics.
But this is not the only thing that bothers these leftists: for one thing, Vargas was once one of them.
He was a convinced Communist who supported the Cuban revolution. He moved on not because he was no longer able to sympathise with the poor and oppressed, but because he still did when others began to identify more with the revolutionaries than with the people in whose name they made the revolution. He saw that Castro persecuted homosexuals and imprisoned dissenters. While other socialists kept quiet and thought that the dream justified the means, Vargas Llosa began to ask himself the difficult questions about why his ideals looked more like prison camps than socialist utopias when realized.Like a religious fanatic who cannot fathom someone leaving a faith as perfect as his, leftists wonder why Vargas became such an apostate, supporting rubbish like free markets and free trade.
[via arts & letters daily]