The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Mario Vargas Llosa at Yasnaya Polyana

___01October 14, 2017 at 15:00

Yasnaya Polyana Cultural Center

The Nobel Prize-winning author for literature, the Latin American writer Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award, will visit Yasnaya Polyana.

Admission to the event is free with registration in advance. Registration can be done on the site Registration opens on October 9 at 10:00.  The number of places is limited.

The meeting will take the form of an interview. The writer’s interlocutor will be the translator of Llosa’s books into Russian, Kirill Korkonosenko, who received the Yasnaya Polyana Award this year along with the author. Vargas Llosa will answer the translator’s and guests’ questions, and also present to the public his book The Discreet Hero.”  The language of the event will be Spanish, with simultaneous interpretation into Russian.  Simultaneous interpretation equipment will be issued upon presentation of an official identity document.

Mario Vargas Llosa is a classic of world literature, one of the creators of the Latin American boom in prose alongside Julio Cortazar, Jorge Luis Borges, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez. His first novel The Time of the Hero was awarded the highly prestigious Spanish prize Biblioteka Breve, his second, The Green House, the largest prize in Latin America, the Romulo Gallegos Prize. The novel The DIscreet Hero, in the author’s words, is a fable about a contemporary country. The book was translated into more than 20 languages and became a bestseller in ten countries.

In 2010 Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize, given „for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt, and defeat.“

A week after the latest award of the Nobel Prize in Literature, on October 12, the Yasnaya Polyana Museum and the Samsung Electronics Company will award Mario Vargas Llosa the Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award.

Also as a part of his visit to Russia on October 10 the author will hold an autograph session and answer readers’ questions, and on October 11 will give a public interview to journalist Konstantin Milchin in Moscow. The final event of the Nobel laureate’s visit to Russia will be at Yasnaya Polyana.

Background information:

In 1906 the Russian Academy of Sciences nominated the 78-year-old Leo Tolstoy as a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Tolstoy could have become one of the oldest awardees, but the writer went to great pains to see that he was not awarded the prize. He wrote: “If that were to happen, it would be very unpleasant for me to have to decline the prize.” And later, when the prize was awarded to the Italian writer Giosue Carducci, Tolstoy confessed: “First of all, this kept me from having a big difficulty—to dispose of the prize money, which, like all money, I am convinced, can only cause evil; and secondly, this did me the honor and great pleasure of receiving expressions of sympathy from so many persons, who although I do not know them, I nonetheless greatly respect.”

Three years ago the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award instituted the Foreign Literature category, to choose the most important books of the 21st century and mark their translation into Russian. In 2016 the winner of the award was Orhan Pamuk for his book A Strangeness in My Mind, and Apollinaria Avrutina received the award for her translation into Russian.  In 2015 the award went to the book A Tale For the Time Being by the American author Ruth Ozeki and its translator Ekaterina Ilina.  One of the aims of this category of prizewinner is not only to recognize an outstanding work of world literature, but also to emphasize the translator’s contribution and role in the literary process.

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