Former Georgetown professor wins Nobel Prize in Literature

Last week, Mario Vargas Llosa won the Nobel Prize in Literature. The surprise? He once taught in Georgetown’s Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

“Mario guided his students in the discovery of the world of imagination, the world of books,” Serafina Hager, a retired Italian professor, said. “He has more than demonstrated his unique writing talent and continues to transport us in the world of fiction.”

The 74-year-old, who is well known for his novels, essays, and political aspirations, was a visiting professor in 1994 and the Parker Distinguish Writer-in-Residence in 1999. In the early 2000s, he also served as the Chair of Ibero-American Literature and Culture. (Vargas Llosa has also taught as a visiting professor at Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia University, among other schools.)

In 1994, Vargas Llosa told the University alumni magazine that his passion for literature inspired him to teach.

“Reading literature has been so very rewarding that I would like very much for young people to enjoy the same pleasure that literature has been for me,” he said.

According to the Swedish Academy, which chooses the Nobel winner, Vargas Llosa earned the award “for his cartography of structures of power and his trenchant images of the individual’s resistance, revolt, and defeat.” Since his popularity surged by way of a 1960s literary movement—that also introduced the world to Gabriel García Márquez, the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature—Vargas Llosa has produced classic works of literature, such as the 2000 novel The Feast of the Goat.

Photo: University News

One Comment on “Former Georgetown professor wins Nobel Prize in Literature

  1. “The Feast of the Goat” was also the class of 2007’s freshman reading. Vargas Llosa spoke to the class in Gaston during freshmen orientation.

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