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Vargas Llosa, Mario (Translated by Gregory Kolovakos & Ronald Christ). CAPTAIN PANTOJA AND THE SPECIAL SERVICE. New York City, NY: Harper & Row, 1978. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 245 pages. Fine/Fine. Slight wear and closed tears to DJ.

The author's fourth novel. Now considered a late-modern classic. The first appearance of the title in English and in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now rare. Presents Mario Vargas Llosa's fourth novel. Raymond Williams, the most important literary critic/scholar on the author, regards the work as "the discovery of humor". It consists of brilliantly depicted vignettes that document the relations between Peruvian armed forces and a corps of prostitutes assigned to visit military outposts in remote jungle areas. The technique of "interlacing dialogue" (seamlessly conflating two conversations that occur at different times), which Vargas Llosa perfected in "The Green House", is used once again, this time for comic effect. While "The Green House" is serious in tone, "Captain Pantoja And The Special Service" is its parodistic mirror-novel. Mario Vargas Llosa is the writer/intellectual/philosopher par excellence among the Latin-American geniuses of the so-called Boom: He refuses to be categorized, labeled, and reduced by ideology, whether it is Fascist conservatism, political correctness, or Leftist academicism, what he has condemned as "authoritarianism of the Left and the Right". He considers himself an heir to the great European cultural tradition yet his work is firmly grounded in Latin America's (not just his native Peru's) history and mythology. His aesthetics and literary practice - Vargas Llosa has embraced and appropriated every literary genre - prompted Roberto Bolano, his greatest successor, to consider him an inescapable influence, among a handful of others, on contemporary Latin-American literature. That is to say, to be a Latin-American writer is to become a Classical master of language and a Modernist artist, writing in language of the highest quality and reinventing literary form and convention at the same time. Literary genres are inventions of a particular culture's idea of imagination and storytelling, "templates" that Vargas Llosa transforms into "poetic tales" (in Harold Bloom's brilliant phrase). "He has helped evolve the art of the narration" (Nobel Prize Committee). "Literature shouldn't be secluded, provincial, or regional. It should be universal even if it has deep roots in one place" (Mario Vargas Llosa). A "must-have" title for Mario Vargas Llosa collectors. This copy is very boldly and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Mario Vargas Llosa. This title has been out-of-print as a hardcover for more than thirty years and is now highly collectible. This is one of very few signed copies of the First American Edition still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Among "Boom" writers, Mario Vargas Llosa has been grossly under-valued for the longest time. The collectible value of his books will not only keep but keep going up. A rare signed copy thus. Winner of the Cervantes Prize, awarded to the greatest living writers in Spanish by the Spanish Government, in 1994. Winner of the Jerusalem Prize in 1995. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. One of the greatest living writers. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0060144947. $300.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on May 29, 2020.