Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thirty Years of Authors' Feud

It's sad when a close friendship degenerates into enemity, deeply unfortunate when it ends in fisticuffs.

Gabrial Garcia Marquez's close friendship with Mario Vargas Llosa ended in a punchup in a Mexican cinema in 1976. The reasons for the fight have never been revealed, and the two have not spoken since. (Marquez is apparently not prepared to write the second volume of his memoirs because he does not want to have to reveal the cause of the feud.)

Now after thirty years, it seems that relationship between the two giants of Latin American literature has thawed a little, the Guardian reports. A special edition of García Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude, is to be published by the Spanish Language Academy, marking this year's 40th anniversary of the book's publication. It is to include a prologue by Vargas Llosa which is an excerpt from his book about García Marquez History of a Deicide (1971)

Guy Dammann on the Guardian blog ponders this and other favourite literary feuds, but reckons:
... pens unsheathed in enmity write with more wit and interest than do the nibs of praise - nobody now reads the panegyrics of eighteenth-century English literature, but everyone reads Pope and Swift - and I'd prefer any literary feud to the soppy, self-serving associations that most great writers have in place of friendship.
He asks which literary feuds would you like to see ended? (And more wickedly, begun?)

We certainly don't have writers' feuds here in Malaysia ... or do we?


Want more? A reader on the Guardian blog points to this essay on the subject in the New York Times.

(Picture nicked from the Guardian shows Marquez (left) and Vargas Llosa (right))


bibliobibuli said...

no-one congratulated me on the wonderful play of words in my title. am devastated.

Amir said...

Does thisqualify as a local writers' feud?

bibliobibuli said...

oh yes, that's quite delicious! and both are writers ...

(see, amir, you don't need to invent satire ...)

many thanks

Anonymous said...

Sorry, it's not that apparent (or grammatical, for that matter :) )