In Praise of Reading Fiction by Mario Vargas Llosa

On December 7, 2010, Mario Vargas Llosa was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His Nobel lecture is a resounding tribute to fictionspower inspires readers to greater ambition, to dissent, and to political action.  We would be worse than we are without the good books we have read, more conformist, not as restless, more submissive, and the critical spirit, the engine of progress, would not even exists, Vargas Llosa writes. Like writing, reading is a protest against the insufficiencies of life. When we look in fiction for what is missing in life, we are saying, with no need to say it or even to know it, that lifeas it is does notsatisfyour thirst for the absolute -the foundation of thehuman conditionand should be better.

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