Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Monday, January 7, 2013

"The Cubs" by Mario Vargas Llosa -Project 196 Peru

"The Cubs" by Mario Vargas Llosa (1959, 29 pages)

Project 196

17 of 196 Countries
Mario Vargas Llosa

  1. Georgia 
  2. Canada
  3. U. S. A.
  4. The Republic of Korea
  5. Antigua and Barbuda 
  6. Haiti
  7. Trinidad and Tobago 
  8. Ukraine
  9. Cameroon
  10. Botswana
  11. Sudan
  12. Dominica 
  13. Israel
  14. Syria
  15. Ethiopia
  16. Zimbabwe
  17. Peru

If you are a publisher that has an anthology that is done in the 196 spirit, please contact me as I will be spotlighting appropriate collections.  

If you are a short story writer from Peru, I would like to publish your  story on my blog.  If you are interested in this please contact me.

One of the very best things about Project 196 for me has been discovering great new to me writers.  Some of these new to me writers are giants on the world literary stage and some are just starting their writing careers.    

Mario Vargas Llhosa (Peru, 1936) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010.  He has had a long and very illustrious career as a writer and a political activist.  He ran for President of Peru (he lost) in 1990.   He is one of Latin America's most important contemporary writers.  "The Cubs" is my first exposure to his work and I am very glad to have discovered him  One of the great and the frustrating aspects of the reading life is that there are so many great writers out there we have never heard of and everyone else seems to know all about.   Or at least that is how it seems to me at times.  

There is an excellent article on Llosa in The Manchester Guardian.

"The Cubs" is a brilliant story that traces the lives of a group of young men, school day friends in Lima, from the start of puberty to middle age.   Llhosa does a great job of showing us the paths the boys take as they grown into men.  It is also a story about the destructive power of machismo. One of the cubs, the boys, is castrated in a tragic dog bite accident.   At first the boy does not really know what this will mean for his life but he is soon to find out as his friends age into puberty and acquire girl friends and have sort of sex with them.   The castrated boy is the wildest of the group.  His father was devastated by the accident to his only son and he indulged him way more than the other boy's fathers indulged them.  The other boys sort of leave the group and quit running the streets as they develop families and careers to support their own children.  This will not happen for Cuellar.  He begins to get in petty trouble with the police in incidents designed to prove how macho he is and he starts to run with people from the rough side of Lima, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes.  It was very sad to read of his friends graduating from college, marrying, having children and as time went on building vacation homes while he never advanced beyond the mentality of a macho teen.  

This is a very good story.  I am very glad I have discovered another great new to me writer.  Much of his work is available as eBooks in translation and in Spanish.  This story was translated by Gregory Kolovakos and Ronald Christ. 

Peru has a population of 30 Million.  

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