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Essay on Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Vargas Llosa Student Eric Kasum Advisor Rachel Pollack Goddard College Revised February 23 2004 - WinterSpring Fiction is a lie uncovering a deep truth Rebellion lies at the heart of every literary calling the desire to change reality the questioning of real life which is the secret raison dtre of literature They dont imagine themselves as plotting secretly to dynamite the world The difficult and thrilling moment you decide whether you will go beyond amusing yourself leads you into servitude into nothing less than slavery an all-encompassing all-excluding occupation an urgent priority A tapeworm Those who make this vocation their own dont write to live but live to write As I read Letters to a Young Novelist by candlelight - the power blacked out a little over an hour ago - it haunts me My mind is sick my stomach queasy I am horrified thrashed by a whirlpool a fish in a blender How could he know Vargas Llosa whispers in my ear Not in English but in a special language only we two can understand A primal language of secrets The wind rustles the curtains at my window The candle flickers An unbearable truth wants to come inside Whats he saying I try to listen I am naked trembling a lonely tree in a field of snow I hear him whisper You are not alone Not alone Is he insane I have always been alone In my childhood fantasies I was always a hero I remember rescuing my Dad from a polar bear when I was about three years old I was riding on my tricycle He says it didnt really happen What does he know I was also Student Body President raced on the Olympic Ski Team All the cheerleaders liked me They tore my clothes off and made love to me Several cheerleaders
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