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- DescriptionIt was one of the most popular vels of the nineteenth century and Tolstoy called it the greatest of all vels. Yet today Victor Hugo's Les Miserables is neglected by readers and undervalued by critics. In The Temptation of the Impossible, one of the world's great velists, Mario Vargas Llosa, helps us to appreciate the incredible ambition, power, and beauty of Hugo's masterpiece and, in the process, presents a humane vision of fiction as an alternative reality that can help us imagine a different and better world. Hugo, Vargas Llosa says, had at least two goals in Les Miserables--to create a complete fictional world and, through it, to change the real world. Despite the impossibility of these aims, Hugo makes them infectious, sweeping up the reader with his energy and linguistic and narrative skill. Les Miserables, Vargas Llosa argues, embodies a utopian vision of literature--the idea that literature can t only give us a supreme experience of beauty, but also make us more virtuous citizens, and even grant us a glimpse of the afterlife, the immortal soul, God. If Hugo's aspiration to transform individual and social life through literature w seems incent, Vargas Llosa says, it is still a powerful ideal that great vels like Les Miserables can persuade us is true.
- Author BiographyMario Vargas Llosa is a prolific novelist and essayist whose literary criticism includes A Writer's Reality, Letters to a Young Novelist , and studies of Flaubert and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. One of his books of essays, Making Waves (Penguin), won the National Book Critics Circle Award. His novels include Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto , and The Feast of the Goat . Born in Peru, he now divides his time among Lima, London, and Madrid.
- PrizesShortlisted for Choice Magazine Outstanding Reference/Academic Book Award 2007.
- Author(s)Mario Vargas Llosa
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication03/04/2007
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Weight342 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Translated byJohn King
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