Ye Gods. Just when you thought he couldn’t get more repugnant, crabby, fuddy-duddy or racist, Peru’s most tragic export to the First World has piped up again…and surpassed himself in a show of sheer subhuman backwardness that makes me want to take up blushing on his behalf:
The literary Nobel prizewinner from Peru, Mario Vargas Llosa, considers that “young people” who abbreviate words and break grammatical rules in internet chats or on Twitter and Facebook, think “like a monkey”, according to an interview published today in the Uruguan weekly paper, Búsqueda.
“The Internet has done away with grammar, has liquidated grammar. In such a way that there is now a species of syntactical barbarism,” said the 75-year-old author of Conversation in the Cathedral, in a lengthy interview published on Thursday.
Vargas Llosa also referred to South American politics, calling Argentina “a barbarity” and claiming that the Kirchners “are the owners” of that country. He also said that Ollanta Humala won the first round of elections in Peru because of Wikileaks.
He also opined that daily newspapers are living through a “difficult” moment, and that they have been contaminated by the people’s fondness for “being entertained and diverted” by periodicals, a phenomenon which neither the English nor the Spanish press has escaped.
Similar things are happening with the fine arts and with literature, according to Vargas Llosa, who says the young Latin American writers of today “crack up laughing” whenever “anyone talks to them about literary commitment” and accept that “literature is a very high form of entertainment.”
However, he reserved his harshest words for the language “the youngsters” use on the internet or mobile phones, which he called “frightful”.
“If you write like that, you talk like that; if you talk like that, you think like that; if you think like that, you think like an ape. And to me, that’s worrisome. Maybe people are happier to live that way. Maybe monkeys are happier than human beings. I don’t know.”
Reiterating his criticisms of the Wikileaks phenomenon, which he views “with terror”, he said that “a good part of the electoral catastrophe in Peru owes” to the leaked United States embassy cables from Lima to the State Department in Washington, which “favored Humala”.
Regarding Argentina, he opined that “it’s a terrible case”, because it is “a developed country when three-quarters of the world is underdeveloped” and “extraordinarily cultured” but has become “a barbarity”.
“Argentina is, potentially, the richest country in the world. So, how is it possible that this country could be the barbarity it is? How is it possible that the Kirchners are, shall we say, the owners of Argentina?
“How is it possible that the phenomenon of Peronism, in the end, has surpassed what is Argentina, and that Argentina is Peronism?”
His analysis of the region doesn’t end there. Regarding Ecuador, he said that he hopes that one day the residents of the Peruvian city of Piura, in the north of the country and very near the border of Ecuador, “put up a statue to [Ecuadorian president Rafael] Correa.”
The Ecuadorian leader “has struck such fear into the hearts of businessment, industrialists and shopkeepers in Ecuador that they take all their money and, among other places, take it to Piura,” said Vargas Llosa.
Finally, the author confessed that the novel that has impressed him the most of late is “Soldiers of Salamina”, by the Spaniard Javier Cercas, although he admitted that in reality, he reads “far more dead authors than living ones.”
There is so much that I could say about him, but these Facebookers say it so much better than I can. I think I’ll just translate a representative sampling of their opinions:
“Better to think like a monkey than like a MUMMY!”
“Since he shook hands with [Chilean president Sebastián] Piñera, now he’s a pig.”
“uh ahah aahahaa (primate noises)”
“And he thinks like a fascist.”
“Fucking fascist…typical conservative ‘without future’.”
“Since when is this guy some kind of authority?”
“HE SAYS THAT B/C NOBODY TALKS TO HIM ON MSN…FOREVER ALONE”
“They gave him the Nobel and now he thinks he’s God, the pigeon-eating prick.”
“He may be a Nobel winner, but that doesn’t concern me as much as a guy who thinks it’s okay for big business conglomerates to steal all the wealth from a country saying that kids think like monkeys.”
“The Nobel prize doesn’t mean anything anymore, since all the prizes get handed out by hidden and opportunist interests. This Vargas Llosa talks trash because he has nothing else to say. It’s really sickening to read [about] him.”
“Who said that? An old relic, one of those who say things like ‘ay, that’s no form of communication, you don’t talk face to face’. Who cares, keep talking face to face, old fart, this is the reality that’s called TECH-NO-LO-GY, get with the times!”
“The subject isn’t as reactionary as you think, but he’s not a dick, he’s a sellout, like many of the literati of our era, who get their undeserved awards by sucking up to the fascists and to power. Pretty crappy, the literary prizes they’re giving out nowadays. But there’s one true thing in what he says, you can write well without being an arriviste or a literato.”
There’s more, but I think you get the general idea. Not only has Mario Vargas Llosa gotten too big for his britches, he’s turned into some other species altogether, something far more sub-human than a monkey or an ape.
He’s become a troll.