The Peruvian author receives the award from the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz. :: JOSELE-LANZA
At 7pm on a warm Friday evening outside Marbella’s theatre, cultural and political figures assembled for a historic event. Nobel Literature Prize winner Mario Vargas Llosa arrived arm-in-arm with his wife Patricia; he was about to be named “adopted son” (Hijo Adoptivo) of the town (an honour similar to receiving the ‘freedom of the city’).
Born in 1936 in Arequipa, Peru, prolific novelist Vargas Llosa is one of the leading writers of the Latin American Boom. His works of note include ‘The War of the End of the World’, ‘The Feast of the Goat’ and ‘Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter’.
“I am profoundly grateful to the Ayuntamiento and people of Marbella for naming me Adopted Son of a town that I owe so much to,” said the writer during his compelling speech that was made without notes.
After visiting the town for the first time in 1984, he has since returned every year for his summer holiday. “Marbella is a little paradise that I come back to each year and it makes me feel young, optimistic and enthusiastic.”
“I always say that I am still alive thanks to three things in this order of importance: literacy; Patricia, my wife; and the Buchinger Clinic, that’s to say, Marbella,” he said. The outbreak of applause broke off the writer. And the second ovation was not far away either.
“The Marbella I know is not the Marbella that the rest of the world knows: the Marbella of the jet-set, the Marbella of hot and raucous nights, the Marbella of the seven deadly sins.
“The Marbella I know is the Marbella of cardinal virtues, a city where one lives austerely, a very disciplined town where instead of going to clubs or bars or restaurants one is fed on water and soup. The Marbella I know is a Marbella that has retained its extraordinary natural beauty despite the constructive and destructive rage.”
The moving speech lasted over 40 minutes and was warmly greeted by the people of Marbella who now have new “adopted son”.