Release date: 1-Mar-06
Contact: Elaine Justice at 404-727-0643 or

Peruvian Novelist Vargas Llosa to Deliver Emory's 2006 Ellmann Lectures

WHO: Peruvian novelist and essayist Mario Vargas Llosa

WHAT: Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature

WHEN: Lectures: Sunday, April 2 – Tuesday, April 4; Reading and book signing: Tuesday, April 4

WHERE: Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Rd., Emory. Free parking in the Fishburne and Peavine decks. For directions, go to

COST: Free and open to the public. 404–727–2223.

Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, whose career has ranged from fiction to criticism to even a stint in politics, will deliver the 2006 Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory University April 2–4. The three-lecture series will be followed by a reading and book signing. There is a two book per person limit for signatures. All events are free and open to the public. For more information call 404–727–2223.

Vargas Llosa is one of the leading figures of the Latin American literary world. He is the author of more than three dozen novels, books, plays and other works, and has been awarded numerous honors over his career, including the National Critics' Prize (1967), the Peruvian National Prize (1967) and the Miguel Cervantes Prize (1994).

Among his recent works are "The Feast of the Goat" (2000), "The Way to Paradise" (2002) and "The Temptation of the Impossible" (2004). His novels have been translated into many languages, and several have been made into films; the film version of "The Feast of the Goat" opens this spring in Madrid.

"He clearly gives the Ellmann Lectures an international scope," says Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C. White Professor of English, who directs the lecture series named for the late literary scholar and Emory Woodruff Professor Richard Ellmann. The biennial lectures last were delivered in fall 2004 by novelist Salman Rushdie.

The series is titled "Three Masters: Cervantes, Borges and Ortega y Gasset" in which "Vargas Llosa will step out of his writings and talk about the literary figures who have been most meaningful to him as an author and citizen," says Schuchard.

"We've had Irish, English, American and Indian writers with Rushdie," Schuchard says of the Ellmann Lectures. "Vargas Llosa is a world–class figure and has a great following. He is actively involved in modern literature as a novelist, a playwright, an essayist, a literary critic and as a political figure."

In 1990, Vargas Llosa ran for his country's presidency against Alberto Fujimori, a Peruvian engineer of Japanese descent. Vargas Llosa lost, though 10 years later his opponent fled Peru in disgrace following a corruption scandal.

Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, Peru, in 1936. He studied literature and law at the University of San Marcos in Lima from 1955–57 before attending graduate school in Spain at the University of Madrid, where he received his Ph.D. in 1959. He wrote his dissertation on his soon-to-be Colombian literary peer, Gabriél García Marquéz, and his first collection of short stories, "Los Jefes," appeared the same year he received his doctorate.

Vargas Llosa's first novel, "The Time of the Hero," was published three years later to instant acclaim. He went on to write "The Green House" (1966), "The War of the End of the World" (1981) and "The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta" (1984), among other works.

"Many people [in this country] have not read him," Schuchard says, "but he's really quite an extraordinary man of letters. He has the background, as a literary critic and journalist and very productive novelist, playwright, man of many genres, to step out of his writing and address something that will be of great interest to audiences."

The Ellmann Lectures are named for Richard Ellmann (1918–1987), who served Emory as the first Robert W. Woodruff Professor from 1980–87. For more than 40 years his writing set the highest standards of critical inquiry and humanistic scholarship. He was one of the most noted literary biographers of Oscar Wilde and James Joyce as well as an eminent scholar of W.B. Yeats, Samuel Beckett, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens and other modern authors.

Ellmann's public lectures were unparalleled in their appeal to a world–wide audience of readers for his use of language that invited the reader to share his personal engagement with serious literature. Past lecturers and invited readers besides Rushdie are Seamus Heaney (1988), Denis Donoghue and Anthony Hecht (1990), Helen Vendler and Jorie Graham (1994), Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Wole Soyinka (1996), A.S. Byatt (1999), and David Lodge (2001).

The series is published for Emory by Harvard University Press, which will publish Vargas Llosa's "Three Masters: Cervantes, Borges, and Ortega y Gasset" this year.

The schedule for "Three Masters " follows. All events will take place in Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Rd., Emory.

• "Cervantes and 'Don Quixote,'" 4 p.m. Sunday, April 2, followed by a reception on the lawn.

• "Jorge Luis Borges, Today," 8:15 p.m. Monday, April 3.

• "Ortega y Gasset and 'The Revolt of the Masses,'" 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 4.

• Vargas Llosa will read selections from his works, followed by a book signing, 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 4. There is a two book limit per person for signature. For those who want books signed but cannot attend the reading, books may be purchased in advance at Druid Hills Bookstore, 1401 Oxford Rd., in Emory Village (404–727–2665), and picked up later.


Emory University is known for its demanding academics, outstanding undergraduate college of arts and sciences, highly ranked professional schools and state-of-the-art research facilities. For nearly two decades Emory has been named one of the country's top 25 national universities by U.S. News & World Report. In addition to its nine schools, the university encompasses The Carter Center, Yerkes National Primate Research Center and Emory Healthcare, the state's largest and most comprehensive health care system.

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