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Vargas Llosa, Mario (Translated by Natasha Wimmer) . THE LANGUAGE OF PASSION: SELECTED COMMENTARY. New York City, NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2003. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 292 pages. Fine/Fine.

The author's second retrospective collection of literary and political essays. One of the finest collections of its kind ever published. The first appearance of the pieces 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 very scarce. The DJ cover design is audaciously original: A badly stained, dilapidated, "seen-better-days" wallpaper that looks so convincing many readers will think it is a DJ flaw. It is not. Presents Mario Vargas Llosa's second collection of essays, most of which originally appeared in his now-legendary El Pais column, "Touchstone". The title captures both Vargas Llosa's sensibility and the response that his work often elicits: He is a critic of power and a sensualist who also worships reason; every essay is a passionate defense of "thinking-things-through" rather than ignorant reaction-ism. Many of the pieces "made waves", that is, generated enormous controversy when they first appeared and made the author more aware of the feelings behind even the most clinically dispassionate argument. Although much better-known as a novelist, Vargas Llosa's range as an essayist is breathtaking: Literature, politics, Europe, Latin America, the United States, and the relations among them all. He writes about his subjects with a fresh voice and keen insight. 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". "Making Waves" won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism in 1997, besting its American contenders. The sustained brilliance of "The Language of Passion" (2003) and "Touchstones" (2007) shows a writer at the absolute peak of his critical powers. A self-described "European writer of Peruvian origin", Vargas Llosa's only equals as an essayist among Latin-American writers are Carlos Fuentes and Octavio Paz. Together with their forefather, Alejo Carpentier, the trio demonstrates the cosmopolitanism of the "Boom", a Cultural Revolution that brought Latin America out of the darkness of backwardness and provincialism (Vargas Llosa is especially scathing about his Peruvian predecessors) into the Paradise that Jorge Luis Borges dreamt about. A "must-have" title for Mario Vargas Llosa collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black fountain pen on the half-title page by Mario Vargas Llosa. His specimen-signature on this copy is one of the most beautiful we have ever seen. It comes from the private collection of a noted academic/specialist in Latin-American literature who knew and corresponded with Vargas Llosa, making this signed copy that much more special. This title is now highly collectible. This is the only signed copy of the First American Edition available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Among "Boom" writers, Mario Vargas Llosa has been grossly under-valued for the longest time even though he rarely does public signings. 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 0374183260. $250.00

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